Sir Resty C. de Jesus, KCR: ‘Non omnis moriar’

OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who are current and former  members and officers of the Knights of Rizal (KOR) in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, and other Filipinos have reacted positively to Bravo News  article recently on Sir Zane M. Thirlwall.

       Al Khobar-based Sir Thirlwall holds the rank of 5th degree, Knight Grand Commander of Rizal (KGCR), and Regional Commander of the Middle East and Africa Region (MEAR).

       “Very nice article. Sir Zane is the best Regional Commander ever in MEAR,” said Jun L. Nacion, one of the KOR founders when the organization was formed in 1999 in the Saudi capital. Nacion, who is now a retired OFW, was also a KSA Chapter Commander and Central Region Chapter (CRC) chair.

    Noel Santos, also a KOR-CRC founding member, noted that “the article was a wake-up call to Filipinos to know more about their national hero”.

    “It took a foreigner to show us that we should know more about Dr. Jose Rizal,” he said.

    Roberto Garcia added, “It’s a great literary work to highlight the ongoing influence and relevance of our National Hero Gat Jose Rizal, as reflected through the works and life of distinguished Knights of Rizal Sir Zane Thirlwall.”

    Garcia is the multicultural development officer of the Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) and president of the Filipino-Australian Business, Industry and Communities Council of Queensland, Inc. (FABICCQ) in Australia.

    Restituto “Resty” C. de Jesus, Knight Commander of Rizal (KCR) and former chapter commander in the Central Region, added, “The article is good, opening the minds of Filipinos to the fact that Dr. Jose Rizal was outstanding…”

    He is also a member of the Prefectural Tribunal and (PT) and Council of Advisers (CoA).

    Being away from home is not easy, especially when OFWs come from a closely-knit family. Thousands of kilometers away from home, they seem  to be  in a world totally different from their own.

    Even after years of working overseas they still regret leaving the Philippines and miss their families. This is what many OFWs, like de Jesus who left the Philippines in 1991 in his desire to give a better life to his loved ones, feel.

    De Jesus’ wife, Juanita, now 70, was only 37 years old when he kissed her goodbye and said, “Alagaan mo ang mga bata (Take care of the children).”

    Mark Marion, the eldest, was only 5 years old; Luigi Lauren, 3; and Rex Daniele had not even been born yet. Now, the oldest child who is still single is 38, working in Canada.

    Luigi Lauren is 35 and he is in the United States with his family while Denielle is 28, an English teacher in the Philippines.

    Perhaps, nothing could reflect de Jesus’ sadness as an OFW than being a father who could not be with his children on “Father’s Day” and other important occasions like birthdays, Christmas and New Year.

    “It saddens me that I’m not with my loved ones during important occasions like ‘Father’s Day’,” he said.

    One consolation he has is the fact that his children have become professionals through his and wife Juanita’s efforts.

    Even after several years of being an OFW, his thoughts drift off to his family once he is back in his lodgings in the afternoon after work.

    To pass the time and forget about homesickness, he goes to the malls or join other OFW groups such as the Knights of Rizal (KOR) which is involved in various projects.

    Other groups where OFWs are involved include the Toastmasters Club and OFW Congress.

    “I enjoy being with the Knights of Rizal, learning about the life and teachings of our National Hero,” de Jesus said.

    He said camaraderie and brotherhood bound the KOR members that was why he joined it. “I joined the group because my job at the Saudi International Trading Comp. (SITCO) gave me enough time for it,” he said.

     “It goes without saying that I thank my bosses at SITCO for their trust and confidence in me and for being helpful in my work,” he said.

    Being with KOR, he is not only able to forget about longing for home but is also learning about Rizal and is trained to become a better and more effective leader.

    His and fellow Rizalians’ rallying cry is always in his mind, Non omnis moriar or “Not everything in me will die.”

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