The Order of the Knights of Rizal

DEFINITION

The Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKR) is a civic, patriotic, international, cultural, non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-profit and non-racial organization. It was founded for the purpose of perpetuating the memory of Dr. Jose Rizal and propagating his ideals and teachings.

HISTORY

The Knights of Rizal traces its roots back to the year 1911, when Colonel Antonio C. Torres, who before the last war was Chief of Police of Manila, organized a group of men from various walks of life for the purpose of commemorating, in a fitting manner, the execution and martyrdom of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Thereafter, year after year, the same group would gather to celebrate the birth and commemorate the death of Dr. Jose Rizal. During Rizal Day celebration, this group would be seen conspicuously on horseback, reminiscent of the knights of old known for their chivalry and exemplary life.


To encourage others to join them, these admirers of Dr. Jose Rizal on November 16, 1916, organized a private non-stock corporation and named it "Orden de Caballeros de Rizal." The original incorporators of the corporation were: Antonio C. Torres, Juan Flamenco, Martin P. de Veyra, Jose A. del Barrio, and Jose S. Galvez. Colonel Antonio C. Torres was the first Supreme Commander of the Order.

The following have since been Supreme Commanders of the Order: Martin de Veyra, Manuel Lim, Juan F. Nakpil, Herminio Velarde, Teodoro Evangelista, Hermenigildo B. Reyes, Santiago F. de la Cruz, Jesus E. Perpinan, Vitaliano Bernardino, Jose Ma. Paredes, Claudio Teehankee, Jose S. Laurel III, Justo P. Torres, Jr., Simeon C. Medalla, Conrado M. Vasquez, Sr., Filemon H. Mendoza, Angel Rica Alvarez, Elias B. Lopez, Lamberto C. Nanquil, Demetrio L. Hilbero, Rogelio M. Quiambao, Vicente P. Palmon, Carmelo T. Gempesaw, Jesus B. David, Jose D. Lina, Jr., Hilario G. Davide, Jr., Virgilio R. Esguerra, Pablo S. Trillana, and the incumbent, Reghis M. Romero, II.

In 1951, the Supreme Council of the Order created a Committee on Legislation for the purpose of studying the feasibility of filling a bill in the Congress of the Philippines to be enacted into law to enable the Order to secure a legislative charter. Justice Roman Ozaeta was the Chairman of the Committee with Sirs Carlos Hilado and Pedro Sabido as members. The bill seeking to give the Order of the Knights of Rizal a legislative charter was docketed as Senate Bill 251, with Senators Enrique Magalona, Lorenzo Sumulong, Esteban Abada, Emiliano Tria Tirona, Camilo Osias, Geronimo Pecson, Jose Avelino and Ramon Torres as sponsors. In the Lower House, Congressman Manuel Zosa of Cebu was the principal sponsor of the measure.

Recommended for approval on May 15, 1951, the measure was signed into law by the President of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino on June 14, 1951, becoming Republic Act 646.


MISSION
To inculcate and propagate the teachings of our national hero not only to the Filipino people but also to foreign nationals as well, to promote the spirit of Rizalian virtue, patriotism and internationalism and engage in civic, social and cultural endeavors.

VISION
An organization dedicated to the propagation of Rizalian thoughts, ideas and works to the end, that people regardless of race and creed may emulate his examples for the benefits of humankind.


PURPOSES

GENERAL PURPOSES
a. to study the teachings of Dr. Jose Rizal;
b. to propagate and inculcate the said teachings in the minds of the Filipino people and other citizens of the world and by word and deed exhort them to emulate and practice the examples set by Dr. jose Rizal;
c. to promote among the Knights of the Order the true spirit of patriotism and Rizalian chivalry;
d. to develop a perfect union among Filipinos and other citizens of the world in revering the memory of Dr. Jose Rizal; and
e. to organize and hold programs, activities and annual festivities in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal.

SPECIFIC PURPOSES
a. to study and spread the ideals, teachings and exemplary life of Dr. Jose Rizal especially among the Youth of the Land;
b. to organize Chapters in the Philippines or any part of the world, undertake programs which will promote individual commitment to the ideals and teachings of Rizal, and encourage enlightened personal involvement in addressing contemporary issues; and
c. to train and develop the youth in character building, citizenship training, democratic leadership, patriotism, universal brotherhood, and dedicated service to God, country, and people.


MEMBERSHIP

QUALIFICATIONS 
a. any male person of legal age, of good moral character and reputation; and
b. who believes in Rizal and is willing to learn more about him and follow his teachings.

HOW TO JOIN?
Application for membership shall be made in writing, duly recommended by at least two (2) members in good standing of the Order, screened and favorably endorsed by the concerned Chapter Council, and approved by the Supreme Council.

CLASSIFICATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP

I. By type:
a. Regular- those who join the Chapter and go through the normal initiation
process and screening by the local Chapter Prefectural Tribunal.
b. Honorary- those who are awarded in recognition of their meritorious and
distinguished service to the country or the Order.

II. By degree:
1st degree: Knight of Rizal (KR)
2nd degree: Knight Officer of Rizal (KOR)
3rd degree: Knight Commander of Rizal (KCR)
4th degree: Knight Grand Officer of Rizal (KGOR)
5th degree: Knight Grand Cross of Rizal (KGCR)


CODE OF ETHICS

A Rizalian:
a. Love his country and people;
b. Venerates the memory of the nation's heroes by making their ideals his own and his children's;
c. Is industrious, self-reliant and persevering;
d. Strive to do justice to all his fellowmen;
e. Maintains a tolerant and understanding gratitude towards his fellowmen;
f. Values honor as he values his life;
g. Finds meaning and purpose in life;
h. Upholds freedom at all costs;
i. Promote social justice and general welfare of his country; and
j. Is truthful and honest in thoughts, in words and in deeds.



MOTTO
Non Omnis Moriar (Not everything in me will die) (Hindi lahat sa akin ay mamamatay)


PLEDGE
In fraternal union with my brother Knights, I pledge lifetime devotion to the ideals of the Order of the Knights of Rizal and the teachings of the National Hero who gave up his life that the tenets of justice, freedom, chivalry, human dignity and love of country, which I make my own, will not perish from the hearts of men. So help me God!