Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Spot the Difference: Rizalista as Religious Cult vs Rizalistas in a Socio-Civic Org'n



One of the Rizalista sects

Rizalista Religious Groups - According to Brittanica.com, Rizalists are any of numerous ethnic religious groups in the Philippines that believe in the divinity of José Rizal, the national hero martyred by the Spanish in 1896. Among many peasant cults it is commonly believed that he is still alive and will return to deliver his followers from poverty and oppression. Rizal has been identified as God, as the second, or Filipino, Christ, and as the god of the pre-Spanish Malay religion. Rizalist cults, such as the Iglesia Sagrada ni Lahi (HolyChurch of the Race) and the Banner of the Race Church (the largest group), synthesize Roman Catholic rituals.
Generally, Rizalista groups immortalize and worship Jose P. Rizal as a divine being. But they also have contrasting views about the persona of Rizal. For instance, some groups consider him as god, the son of Bathala, the reincarnation of Christ, a spirit, an avatar, a saint, a prophet, while others believe that he is a god and a man at the same time. Some of the registered Rizalista groups are Samahan ng Tatlong Persona Solo Dios, Ciudad Mistica de Dios, Adamista, Bathalismo, Watawat ng Lahi, Iglesia Sagrada Flilipina, and Espiritual Pilipino Catholic Church, among others. They are scattered all over the archipelago but most of them are based in Calamba, Laguna and at the foot of Mt. Banahaw in Quezon Province. There are even chapters abroad. 

Order of the Knights of Rizal - The history of the Order of the Knights of Rizal goes back to December 30, 1911 when Colonel Antonio Torres organized a group of men from different walks of life for the purpose of commemorating in the fitting manner the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal. During Rizal Day celebrations, this group would be seen on horse back, reminiscent of the knights of old known for their chivalry and exemplary life. On November 16, 1916, the same group organized the “Orden de Caballeros de Rizal” with Colonel Antonio Torres as its first Supreme Commander.
Philippine President Noynoy Aquino conferred Knighthood in 2011


On June 14, 1951, President Elpidio Quirino signed into law Republic Act 646 which officially gave the Order of the Knights of Rizal the legislative authority to propagate the ideals and teachings of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. The purpose of the attached bill is to accord to’ the civic and patriotic organization known as “Orden’ de Caballeros de Rizal” (Order of the Knights of Rizal) the same kind of official recognition and encourage-ment as that accorded to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines by Commonwealth Act No. 111, by grant-ing to it a legislative Charier and investing ‘it with the necessary powers to enable it more fully and more effectively to accomplish the laudable purposes for which it was organized".  The counterpart of the Knights for Rizal are the Ladies for Rizal Inc.

Every Knight and Lady has a mission to fulfill; to study the Ideals and Teachings of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, and to propagate them among all classes of the Filipino people, and others who would want to follow Dr. Rizal’s ideals of justice, freedom, honesty, integrity, and unity, and his teachings.

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