Friday, July 26, 2024

Philippines Consul-General visits park named after national hero

A Ballarat park dedicated to honouring a national hero from the Philippines is undergoing a significant upgrade.

Rizal Park, named after Dr Jose Rizal, was established in 1999 and was the first Australian park dedicated to the Filipino nationalist, writer, anthropologist and educator. 

Born on 19 June 1861, Dr Rizal was a staunch advocate for equal rights of the Filipino people living under Spanish colonial rule. While in exile in Europe due to his political activism, he spent years writing to expose injustice and advocate for Filipino equality and human rights. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government in 1896 at age 35, sparking the Philippine revolution and leading to the First Philippine Republic in 1898.

Every year, Ballarat’s Filipino community gather at Rizal Park, in Invermay Park, to honour his birthday. 

This year, Consul-General of the Philippines Maria Lourdes Salcedo visited Rizal Park to celebrate the completion of stage one of the improvement works.

Stage 1 of the upgrades included: 

  • relocating the existing plaque for increased safety
  • a new connecting path
  • refurbishment of the existing shelter
  • and a new seating area.

Mayor Hudson said it was an honour to have the Consul-General in Ballarat to celebrate a highly important day on the Filippino calendar.

“We know from working so closely with our local Filippino community that this park is of genuine significance to them, so we are proud to upgrade it,” he said.

“Having the Consul-General visit Ballarat on this special day for Filippino people is an honour.”

Rizal Park is one of a suite of local parks being upgraded as part of the City of Ballarat’s Neighbourhood Park Program.

Stage two of the upgrades will include an improved playspace, seating and tree planting and is expected to be finished by mid-2025, following further community engagement.

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