2 January 2020, AGANA, GU - The Philippine Consulate General in Agana (Guam), together with the Laguna Association of Guam (LAG), as well as the officers and members of various Filipino organizations and the Filipino Community of Guam, held a wreath-laying ceremony on 27 December 2019 at the Consulate General's reception area in advance commemoration of the 123rd anniversary of the execution and martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines.
Ms. Ann S.A. Leon Guerrero, president of LAG, welcomed and thanked the guests, among them 35th Guam Legislature Senator Joe San Agustin and past LAG president Angel Baldemor who both represented the Masonic District of Guam, for attending the commemoration that LAG has jointly hosted every year with the Consulate General. Other organizations represented during the affair were the Filipino Community of Guam, Batangas and Southern Tagalog Association, UP Alumni of Guam, Lion's Club, Apalit Association, and the Eskuwelahang Munti ng Guam.
In his message during the occasion, which had for its theme "JOSE RIZAL: Huwaran ng Pilipino sa Ikadalawampu't Isang Siglo," Acting Head of Post Consul Mark Francis C. Hamoy said that, "[Rizal] lived and died for this yet unborn nation, a nation only just conceived as an idea in the hearts and minds of our revolutionary forebears. There was no reality of that country yet, but Rizal's boundless patriotism afforded him such clarity of vision and such purity of love for this place and its people that he was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice any citizen could offer to his motherland."
As the 21st century enters its third decade, Consul Hamoy further noted that, "(n)o longer are we required to offer blood, tears, and our very lives as our contribution to making the Philippines a reality. We already have a real country to speak of, to serve with a sense of duty and patriotism."
Citing Rizal as an enduring exemplar of how to love one's country, Consul Hamoy exhorted those present to, "renew in our hearts and minds our determination to manifest in our own lives and in the work that we do our own versions of Rizal, driven by a shared and steadfast dedication to love, to serve and to bring dignity and glory to our country just as he had."
Those present then shared in a traditional merienda cena immediately after the short but solemn ceremony.