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New Knights of Peace


Photo by Christopher Cottrell
By Christopher Cottrell
Images:Christopher Cottrell
and Kester Rey Senson Celestino

The century old order of the Knights of Rizal in Manila Philippines has inducted Professor Manson Fok and Dr. Billy Chan into its hallowed halls.

Photo by Christopher Cottrell


Photo by Christopher Cottrell


Photo by Christopher Cottrell


Photo by Christopher Cottrell

At a special ceremony at the International Headquarters of the Knights of Rizal this past weekend, Prof. Fok and Dr. Chan were brought into this fraternal organization to head a new “International Heroes” chapter.

Dedicated to the Filipino national martyr and revolutionary José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Realonda who was executed in 1896, the Knights of Rizal was founded in 1911 to honor his legacy and conduct active community engagements to celebrate his life’s work. The International Headquarters is located in a historic building in downtown Manila erected in 1951–the first hall was destroyed during with the Second World War.

Photo by Christopher Cottrell


Photo by Christopher Cottrell

International friends knighted in this tradition include American statesman Henry Kissinger, King Juan Carlos I of Spain, and Buddhist Philosopher and Soka Gakkai founder Daisaku Ikeda.

The new “International Heroes” chapter will continue to seek peace and harmony between China and the Philippines, drawing on Prof. Fok and Dr. Chan’s medical diplomacy the two have carried out since 2011 with their Sino-Luso International Medical Forum and Sino-Asia Pacific International Medical Forum.

Prof. Fok, who is Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), said, “The heroic leader Dr. José Rizal was a revolutionary and visionary I have come to profoundly admire. His dedication to service is something I value as a trained surgeon, medical educator, and philanthropist.” 

Photo by Kester Rey Senson Celestino

Prof. Fok, added, “For many years now, I have been humbled to pay homage to him at wreath laying ceremonies at Rizal Park. There, I could feel his lasting legacy in a personal way.”


Photo by Christopher Cottrell


Photo by Christopher Cottrell

Dr. Chan, Director for the Center of Professional Medical Excellence at the Faculty of Health Sciences at MUST, said, “I am so touched by so many great fellows here together to help celebrate this important day. This gives me a joy to establish this important chapter for “International Heroes”.

Photo by Kester Rey Senson Celestino

Dr. Chan further said, “I also have been involved in establishing my international medical forums in both Manila and Davao for the past five years. Advancing healthcare training with these programs is an inner joy beyond words for me. I am sure many of you have also shared this kind of satisfaction through your missions.”

Photo by Kester Rey Senson Celestino

Dr. Chan added, “Volunteering has been an important part of my adult life. The more I give, the more it returns to me.”

Among their first missions will be to donate medical equipment later this month to a hospital in Davao.

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