The Philippine Embassy in Berlin marked the 121st Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence and the 158th anniversary of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s birth with a traditional diplomatic reception on June 19.
The event held at the Maritim Hotel Berlin was also the culmination of the series of Independence Month events organized by the Embassy. It was graced by no less than Senator Loren Legarda, a strong advocate of enhanced Philippine-German Relations, and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who was in Berlin to inaugurate the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
In her speech, Senator Legarda extolled our National Hero’s vision for the nation and his pivotal role in advancing our quest for freedom, adding that “Dr. Rizal’s ideas began the revolution that earned us our freedom, and his integrity and nationalism continue to inspire new generations.” She expressed hope that Filipinos will “continue to be inspired by his values and principles, especially his nationalism, which involves respect for our heritage.”
Labor Secretary Bello, for his part, underscored the valuable contribution of Filipinos overseas to the Philippine economy and the Government’s efforts to respond to their needs, both in the Philippines and abroad.
The Independence Day reception was the first such event for the new Philippine envoy to Germany, Ambassador Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega. In her remarks, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega underscored that amidst the dynamic engagement between the Philippines and Germany in recent years, the core of the relations finds strength in the convergence of our mutual commitment to transparency, connectedness, respect for the environment, and people-to-people connections.
The evening was livened up by a special musical performance by former Starlight Express Germany lead performer and Miss Saigon actor Dolan José. The Philippine and German National Anthems were also sang live by Filipino tenor Jose Mari Rubio.
Filipino creativity was on display at the venue with unique Filipino touches, including table runners and pillow cases made of Philippine fabrics, and traditional instruments and decorative items from the southern Philippines.
Guests from the German Government, business community, and media, social media personalities, and members of the Filipino community enjoyed a variety of dishes and desserts, including Philippine favorites lumpia, adobo, and halo-halo, as well as special cocktails made of Don Papa Rum, and fruit-based alcoholic beverages from Destileria Limtuaco.
Delighted guests also received gift pouches with coconut water and chocolate, courtesy of Dr. Goerg Coconut Products and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC), whose bio-certified ingredients are all sourced from the Philippines. The company takes pride in being a business that engages in fair trade practices, with a strong corporate social responsibility footprint, especially in Mindanao and the Visayas.
Representatives of the PTIC, Department of Tourism-Frankfurt Office, and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office were likewise present during the event. END