Rizal Monument Ground-breaking Rites to Highlight 2018 Markham Independence Celebrations

article writien by: Mogi Mogado 

The Markham Filipino community will hold its 120th Philippine Independence celebrations starting at 11:00 a.m. on June 10, 2018 at the city's Civic Centre grounds. As usual, according to the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians, sponsor of the event, the public is invited.

This year the celebrations will happen in three parts. The first part will be the flag-raising and short program of congratulatory speeches. For the second part the group will proceed to Box Grove community park for the ground-breaking ceremonies to formally start the building of Luneta Gardens and its prime attraction, a full-size statue monument of Dr. Jose Rizal. The third part is a free lunch picnic featuring traditional Filipino food and entertainment at the MFFC Center.

It was the MFFC that initiated the Philippine Independence tradition in Canada when it organized the first Independence Week in Markham in 1989 with the raising of the Filipino flag alongside its Canada, Ontario and Markham counterparts, and keeping its place of honor aloft for the whole week. In line with Canada's multiculturalism policy, the event afforded the local Filipinos an occasion to share their culture, traditions and friendships to the other peoples of their adopted country. Thanks to MFFC, this flag-raising and picnic mania has caught up, and now copied everywhere, not only by Filipinos but also by other immigrant groups celebrating their prime national holidays. Markham Civic Center is located at 101 Town Centre Boulevard, north off Highway 7 and west of Warden.

A long-time aspiration for Markham Filipinos, the ground-breaking finally brings into reality the dream to have a Rizal monument here. It completes the grand plan to honor the homeland and imprint it on the map in this part of Canada, which began with the naming of Rizal Avenue, and now to be topped by having the Rizal monument right across the road where Rizal Avenue begins. "Once and for all, it signifies that Filipinos have planted our roots in Markham, that we have helped in building this great city, as we continue to fulfill our hero Rizal's ideal for us to be good citizens of the world," remarked Councillor Alex Chiu, who has been in the forefront in these Rizal project initiatives.

A partnership project between the City of Markham and the local Filipino Canadian community, the Luneta Gardens and Rizal Monument undertaking is budgeted at over $300T, shared by both groups. On hand for the ground-breaking will be dignitaries and guests that helped inspire the project, to be led by Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Philippine Consul General in Toronto Rosalita Prospero. The unveiling is slated for sometime in Autumn. The site is west off of Box Grove Bypass and Rizal Avenue.

Following the ground breaking, the action moves to the MFFC Center for the picnic and entertainment at 1151 Denison St. in Milliken, Markham. For further info please call MFFC at 905 305 1320.

Rizal in bronze almost done on a visit to the foundry by Project committee Chair Alicia Chiu, Councillor Alex Chiu and sculptor Mogi Mogado.