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Philippine Embassy Remembers Jose Rizal’s Berlin Sojourn

A wreath was laid to commemorate Jose Rizal’s 118th death anniversary at his former residence in Jägerstraße

January 21st, 2015

Officials from the Philippine Embassy along with members of the Berlin-Brandenburg Chapter of the Order of the Knights of Rizal and the Ladies of Rizal laid a wreath at 71 Jägerstraße.  The wreath was laid at Jose Rizal’s former Berlin residence to mark the 118th anniversary of his death.

Jose Rizal is considered on the greatest heroes of the Philippines.  Rizal campaigned to have the ills of Philippine society exposed.  Unfortunately, his work angered the authorities and in 1896 the Spanish Army executed him.

Mr Mardomel Melicor, the Filipino Chargé d’Affaires to Germany, recalled that Rizal spent numerous months from 1886 to 1887 in Berlin completing his classic work ‘Noli me Tangere’.  Mr and Mrs Müller, members of the Knights of Rizal and Ladies of Rizal respectively said that Rizal had a deep knowledge of Germany.  He had travelled and lived in Heidelberg, Wilhemsfeld, Ulm, Munich, Dresden and Berlin.

The Third Secretary of the Philippine Embassy, Ms. Azela Arumpac, noted that Rizal had been a frequent visitor to university in Berlin as well as the Royal Library.  He borrowed and translated books from the library in an effort to improve his German.  Rizal was also an avid reader of books by German scholars about the Philippine islands.  Rizal’s particular interest in works by German scholars was because he believed them to be scientific, objective and non-racist.  

Rizal became a member of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Pre-History after delivering an inaugural lecture on the art of Tagalog (the Philippine language) poetry and verse. After leaving Germany, Rizal said that he would “always think of Germany and the German scholars [and] talk of German loyalty and integrity.”  Rizal said he gladly heard the German language as if it were his other tongue.  Finally he said that he owes to Germany his best and favorite memories.  Many Filipinos today have followed in Rizal’s footsteps and now call Germany their second home.

Mr. Melicor emphasised at the wreath laying ceremony the values that Rizal had imbibed in Europe – tolerance, freedom, enlightened self-determination and love of country.

Jose Rizal.jpg

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News from Berlin
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