On 26 June 2022, the Filipino community of Tuscany, led by the Order of the Knights of Rizal – Firenze Chapter celebrated the 124th Philippine Independence Day in Empoli, Tuscany, Italy with Empoli Mayor Brenda Barnini, City Council President Alessio Mantellasi and Philippine Consulate General in Florence Secretary Simona Amerighi.
This year’s celebrations are held under the theme selected by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines which is ”Rise Towards the Challenge of a New Beginning”. The event was held at the historic Cenacolo del Santo Stefano Degli Agostiniani. Present at the event were city officials of Empoli, representatives from the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in Florence and leaders and members of various Filipino organisations.
As part of the programme, the national anthems of the Philippines and Italy were sung followed by a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the Philippine hero Dr. Jose Rizal who’s non-violent literary works inspired the Philippine independence movement resulting in Asia’s first republic. There were also traditional performances aside from messages from the guests of honor.
Several individuals were also honored as part of the programme. Prof.Dott.Cav.Uff. Guido Bastianelli, the Honorary Consul of Yemen in Florence was inducted as Knight of Rizal under the Order of the Knights of Rizal. Sir Alfredo Lugue and Sir Francisco Santiso meanwhile were promoted to the rank of Knight Officer of Rizal. Newly-elected officers of the chapter were also sworn in. The celebration ended with an outdoor cocktail reception at the cloister.