Sentro Rizal opens in Ottawa, Toronto

Community News & Features May 25, 2018 at 3:58 pm
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Photos: Y. Cabana

By Ysh Cabana
The Philippine Reporter

TORONTO–“Meron tayong Rizal Commercial Bank, Rizal Sports Complex, meron tayong Rizal town at Rizal province hanggang posporo meron tayong Rizal, kaya baka sumosobra na tayo sa ating ‘veneration without understanding,’ sabi nga ni Renato Constantino noong 1970s.”

Philippine national artist for literature Virgilio Almario, concurrently the chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), lectured during the inauguration of Sentro Rizal-Toronto on May 12.

Bust sculpture of Dr. Jose Rizal

Bust sculpture of Dr. Jose Rizal

The event was graced by Consul General Rosalita Prospero, Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and local Toronto Filipino community members clad in Filipiniana attire. Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia and Almario inaugurated the Sentro Rizal Ottawa on May 10.

In her welcome remarks, Prospero thanked Almario and the NCCA and all those who contributed to the launch of the cultural hub.

“We are around 400,000-strong Filipinos in Ontario contributing to the diverse and dynamic cultural landscape of the province so I think it’s just fitting to have a Sentro Rizal here,” added Prospero.

The bust of Dr. Jose Rizal and the gold-plated inscription was unveiled as guests were treated to a performance by folk musician Joey Ayala and a live painting by local visual storyteller Eric Tigley.

Astravel Pimentel-Naik, CFO executive director, issued to the consulate office a package of the Virtual Sentro Rizal, the digital counterpart to the established centers all over the world. It is a multilingual collection showcasing the country’s arts, culture and language through animation, audio recordings, photos and detailed articles.

“Angat na tayo ngayon, mayroon na tayong maipamamahagi sa ating mga kabataan,” said Pimentel-Naik that it is primarily to cater to the cultural formation of children of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Sentro Rizal Toronto is located at 170 Eglinton East, 6th Floor, Toronto, Ontario.

Consul General Rosalita Prospero  and Virgilio Almario sign a Memorandum of Agreement between PCG-Toronto and NCAA.

Consul General Rosalita Prospero and Virgilio Almario sign a Memorandum of Agreement between PCG-Toronto and NCAA.

Rizaliana books

Rizaliana books

Prominent Filipino folk musician Joey Ayala performs at the  Philippine Consulate Toronto.

Prominent Filipino folk musician Joey Ayala performs at the
Philippine Consulate Toronto.

Toronto artist and comic book author Eric Tigley with his painting.

Toronto artist and comic book author Eric Tigley with his painting.

Attendees at the Serntro Rizal launch

Attendees at the Serntro Rizal launch