MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 16, 2011) - Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa issued several memorandums on Thursday extending Rizal-related exhibits at the National Library, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Central Post Office, in line with celebrations on the 150th birth anniversary of national hero Jose Protacio Rizal.
Rizal was born on June 19, 1861, in the town of Calamba in Laguna province.
The original manuscripts of the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo were originally scheduled to be displayed in the National Library from June 14 to 18, while the Rizal@150 Photo Exhibit will run from May 23 to June 30. "Rizal in our Midst: A Homage to Greatness" is also currently open for viewing at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, while the Rizaliana Collection of Stamps is currently being displayed at the Central Post Office.
The exhibits were all directed to “observe regular operating hours” on June 19 and June 20.
Recognizing the importance of the Rizal sesquicentennial, Malacañang had earlier issued Proclamation no. 154, declaring the Monday, June 20, 2011 a special non-working holiday. Executive Secretary Ochoa ordered the extension of the exhibits “to allow the public to commemorate Rizal’s patriotic deeds and sacrficies for the country and for the country to rekindle their admiration and respect for him.”
“The exhibits were put up to spur reflection on Rizal; it’s only fitting that they remain open on the holiday that was declared to allow our people time to reflect and pay tribute to him. We hope the public will take this opportunity to revisit the life and works of our national hero,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said: "Rizal’s example binds us as a people, as much as the flag and national anthem does.”
President Benigno Aquino III is expected to lead the festivities in the town of Calamba on June 19 and parallel activities commemorating Rizal’s birth have also been planned by different sectors during the same day.