[This blog has a new domain: http://philippineaffairs.com/]
“Non Omnis Moriar” is the Latin motto of the Knights of Rizal which can also be found in the official emblem of the organization. It can be translated in English as “Not all of me shall die.” I am not certain if it was uttered or written by Rizal himself as his personal motto. However, it is a quotation that is attibuted to the ancient Roman poet, Quintus Horatius Flaccus, otherwise known simply as Horace. It does not really matter whether Rizal indeed uttered or used the quotation as his personal motto. What matter is that Rizal is an embodiment of that quotation.
Although Jose Rizal was executed by the Spanish regime more than 112 years ago, his ideals and influence never died. The Order of the Knights of Rizal is just one of the living proof that not all of Rizal had died. His legacy and ideals lives on. The Knights of Rizal is not only just an ordinary fan club. It is neither a fanatic group that worship a hero. It is an organization that seeks to spread the patriotic teachings of Rizal. It is an organization that seeks to honor Rizal by emulating his exemplary service to the country. Hence, it is is not surprising why many notable Filipino statemen and professionals are members of the organization. Manuel Quezon, Carlos Garcia, Diosdado Macapagal, Hilario Davide, Ambeth Ocampo, Heherson Alvarez, Rufino Cardinal Santos, Jaime Cardinal Sin, and Benigno Aquino, Jr. are just some of the notable Filiipnos who became members of the Knights of Rizal.
The prestige of the organization is mainly because of its members who had accompished great things in service of the Philippines and humanity in general. Nonetheless, it should not mistaken that the organization is a highly exclusive or discriminating club. It is an organization that welcomes all people of any race, nationality, educatinal background, or economic status. The minimum qualification is the endorsement of at least two active members. Although it is an exclusive male fraternal order, it has women and youth affiliate organizations.
The Order of the Knights of Rizal was founded by Col. Antonio Torres on December 30, 1911. The organization was incorporated in 1916. It has gained its independent legislative charter in 1957 as promulgated in Republic Act 646, otherwise known as the Charter of the Knights of Rizal. The organization was originally known in its Spanish name as Orden de Caballeros de Rizal. Presently, the organization has more than 25,000 members all over the world.
Rizal is not just the national hero of the Philippines, he was a champion of humanity against tyranny. His genius and accomplishments were dedicated to the ideals of freedom and universal brotherhood. The Order of the Knights of Rizal is just one of the living legacy that was inpired by Rizal.
When I was a child, I thought the organization was some kind of a religious cult. I thought the organization was the same as the religious movement that worship Rizal as a god and Filipino Christ incarnate. I was wrong. The members of the Order of the Knights of Rizal are far from being fanatics or zealots. They come from all walks of life. Athough there are some members who are academicians, professionals, judges, and statemen, majority of the members are from the common people.
Last December 30 (Rizal Day), I was initiated and became a member of the Order of Knights of Rizal. My father encouraged me to join the organization in which he is also a member. The ceremony was simple. It was more akin to the ceremonies of Freemasonry and Knighthood. It was one of my proudest moments. I only hope that I could live-up to the expectations and ideals of the organization.