|Welcome Remarks at the Symposium on the Role of Religion in Philippine-German Relations|
|Written by Philippine Embassy Webmaster|
|Wednesday, 04 November 2009|
Welcome Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Delia Domingo-Albert
Welcome to the temporary site of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin. I hope that our next meeting will be in our own Chancery. As you know we are doing our best to acquire a permanent site in Berlin Mitte, the building where our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal lived and edited his novel “Noli Me Tangere” between 1886-1887.
Today is a historical moment in Philippine – German relations. We are hosting Monsignor Bacareza, the author of the most comprehensive book on Philippine – German relations and on this occasion we are deeply honored by the presence of Archbishop Georg Kardinal Sterzinsky.
Your presence with us today, Cardinal Sterzinsky and Monsignor Bacareza represents a concrete symbol of a sturdy bridge linking the Philippines and Germany. In a way it reminds me of lively meetings between Philippine Cardinal Sin and Cologne Cardinal Meisner which I had the privilege to witness in the ‘80s.
While it is true that the first German investor in the Philippines was Jakob Fugger the financier of the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan when he discovered the Philippines for the West, it is the presence of the German missions that strengthened the relations between our two peoples. The musical Benedictine nuns of Tutzing who educated our women as early as 1902 and the SVD priests who courageously ventured into the mountains of Abra in 1909 who educated our youth are living examples of the solid foundations of this relationship. Today, the Philippines enjoys a literary rate of 96%. Thanks to all the mission schools built all over the country. I understand the Benedictine nuns have 22 colleges with an enrolment of more than 30,000 students.
I also read in Father Bacareza’s book that even before the Benedictine nuns and the SVD priests came German Jesuit priests.
Three years ago we celebrated 50 years of Philippine – German diplomatic relations. I would like however to celebrate an even deeper and more meaningful relationship which is the relations between Philippine and German religious institutions and persons.
Today’s lecture will hopefully lead to making both our people better aware of this unique dimension in the relations between our two countries. I look forward to strengthening this very special link between the Philippines and Germany. I invite you all to participate in this joint venture.