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Remarks on the occasion of the 114th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, 30 December 2010, Berlin Print E-Mail
Written by Philippine Embassy Webmaster   
Thursday, 30 December 2010

 

REMARKS OF HON. LEAH BASINANG RUIZ
Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.

On the Occasion of the
114th Death Anniversary of Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal
THEME: “Rizal: Haligi ng Bayan” (Pillar of the Nation)

Philippine Embassy, Berlin
30 December 2010, 09:00H


Mr. Helmut Kissner, Deputy Commander of the Knights of Rizal Berlin -Brandenburg Chapter,
Mrs. Lourdes Müller of the Filipino Association of Berlin and Mr. Gerhard Müller,
Knights and Ladies of Rizal,
Fr. Adonis Narcelles, SVD,
Ladies and Gentlemen:


It is my great honor and pleasure to welcome you all to the Philippine Embassy’s commemorative rites on the occasion of the 114th Death Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

It is only fitting that the theme for this year’s commemoration is “Rizal: Haligi ng Bayan” (or in English, “Rizal: Pillar of the Nation”), for indeed, Dr. Rizal’s life and works have been a continuing source of inspiration for many Filipinos to this day more than a hundred years after his death.

Dr. Rizal, our Philippine national hero, was by no means an ordinary man. He was born to a relatively affluent Chinese-mestizo family in Calamba, Laguna in northern Philippines.

 

However, despite the temptation to live a care-free life, Dr. Rizal devoted himself to his studies both in the Philippines and Europe – so much so that he became an accomplished linguist, doctor, surgeon, sculptor, artist, athlete and author!

 

Truly, Dr. Rizal deserves to be called ‘the pride of the Malay race”.


As many of you may already know, Dr. Rizal finished the remaining chapters of his revolutionary novel “Noli Me Tangere” (or “Touch Me Not”) right here in Jaegerstrasse 71, in Berlin-Mitte.

 

In fact historians tell us that it was during a hard and dreadfully cold winter not so different from what we are experiencing today that Dr. Rizal, then in dire financial straits and ill, managed to finish writing his novel.

 

In our day and age, we realize what a great vision this young medical doctor had for his country. In a foreign land, away from family and friends, he was driven with such zeal to waken his countrymen from their colonial bondage through his writings. We marvel at the kind of man Dr. Rizal was who put his country first before his own interests and welfare.

Perhaps it is because of his exemplary life and integrity that Dr. Rizal remains today an example for his countrymen to emulate.

 

Dr. Jose Rizal, who died a martyr for his country is a pillar of the nation, a model of patriotism and self-sacrifice, a true Renaissance man who strove to make out of his strengths a tool to unite the Filipino people against its enemies.

My heart swells with pride when I think of the many Filipinos and foreigners alike who seek to propagate the life and example of Dr. Rizal in their fraternal communities. I congratulate the Knights and Ladies of Rizal for your service to society, and thank you for honoring our national hero’s memory with your worthwhile endeavors.

I also wish to thank the Filipino community in Germany for living up to Dr. Rizal’s example, for being themselves the “new heroes” of today. I hope that as Filipinos we may all do our part in planting the example of Dr. Rizal’s love of country and of learning in our communities.

Finally, to my colleagues in the Embassy, let us continue to derive inspiration from Dr. Rizal in our own work, believing that oftentimes a public officer’s best reward is the pleasure of knowing that a job was done well in service of one’s country.

 

Dr. Rizal’s great love for his native land is best expressed in a letter he wrote while he was in exile in Hong Kong, four years before his death, and I quote:

 

“I have always loved my poor country and I am sure that I shall love her until my last moment, should men prove unjust to me. I shall die happy, satisfied with the thought that all I have suffered, my past, my present, and my future, my life, my loves, my joys, everything, I have sacrificed for love of her. Whatever my fate may be, I shall die blessing her and wishing her the dawn of her redemption."

 

Once again, thank you for joining the Embassy in its commemoration of Dr. Rizal’s martyrdom.

 

Vielen Dank! Mabuhay tayong lahat!