The Knights of Rizal: an order institution
The history of the Order of the Knights of Rizal go back to December 30, 1911 when Colonel Antonio C. Torres organized a 9 group of men from different walks of life for the purpose of commemorating in a fitting manner the execution and martyrdom of our foremost national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Thereafter, year after year, the same group would gather to celebrate the birth and commemorate the death of Dr. Jose Rizal. During Rizal Day celebrations, this group would be seen conspicuously on horseback reminiscent of the knights of old known for their chivalry and exemplary life.
To provide a continuing entity and to encourage others to join them, these admirers of Dr. Rizal on November 16, 1916, organized a private non-stock corporation and named it the “Orden de Caballeros de Rizal.”
The incorporators of the corporation were: Antonio C. Torres, Juan Flameño, Martin P. de Veyra, Jose A. del Barrio and Jose S. Galvez.
Their activities comprise of:
– To study and spread the teachings of Rizal;
– To organize and to hold annual programs in honor of Rizal such as June 19 (birth anniversary) and December 30 commemorating his martyrdorn;
– To hold programs, ‘convocations, seminars, training institutes in schools and universities;
– To hold oratorical and essay contests among students and private citizens;
– To organize institutional chapters from the elementary to’ the college level under the auspices of the local chapter;
– To help organize auxiliary units composed of women civic leaders who may. Function as counterpart organizations of the local chapter;
– To solicit and donate books, writings and- other reading materials by and about -the national hero to libraries and other reading centers;
– To sponsor ‘contesi and give awards to outstanding citizens for outstanding achievements in the arts and sciences, the professions, industry, agriculture, and the promotion of international understanding.
– To erect, if there be none, ‘a monument, marker or bust of Rizal within the proper vicinity or locality,
– To sponsor literary contests on poetry, essays and characters in Rizal’s novels; within the context
– To participate and discuss public issues of Riza I’s philosophy and ideals which will promote unity, freedom and peace with justice; and
Projects like charity and fund raising projects are the top prioritized activities of the Knights of Rizal. Like their collaboration with private institutions, as well as the government makes their activities contribute to the community service of the Philippines. To become a Knight of Rizal is purely a fraternal title, and does not imply that its bearer becomes aristocratic, in name or in blood. However, he may add his rank after his name to indicate his membership, without the prefix “Sir”, which is limited to a polite means of addressing each other within the Order. It does not, by any means, ennoble a Knight of Rizal. It is well recommended that Knights of Rizal refer to themselves as brothers, in any official capacity, to avoid confusion with the British title that denotes nobility. European Chapters are well advised to act accordingly. In any case, Knights of Rizal should never use their rank for self-serving purposes. It should only be used in connection with the Order and to its charitable, social or cultural activities, and hence must not interfere with heraldic jurisdictions of states that have constituted own orders of chivalry that run back to and have deep roots in feudalism. Such has never been the case in the Philippines not even during the long centuries of Spanish colonization. Despite nobility existing in the Philippines during the Spanish regime, the idea and concept of a chivalric institution patterned after the European model never came to pass.