Ambassador Theresa Dizon-De Vega joined officials of the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt headed by Consul General Evelyn Austria-Garcia and Vice Consul Fatima Muller at the event commemorating the 158th Birth Anniversary of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal at the Rizal Plaza in Wilhelmsfeld, Germany on 23 June 2019.
The event organized every year by the Knights of Rizal and the local government of Wilhelmsfeld with support from the Ladies for Rizal and the different Filipino Asso
ciations of Wilhelmsfeld was attended by nearly 200 guests who came from different parts of Germany to take part in this annual event.
Ambassador Dizon-De Vega, herself a member of the Ladies for Rizal said it was a very emotional moment for her coming to Heidelberg and Wilhelmsfeld for the first time and to witness the deep admiration and respect for Dr. Rizal among the German community and fellow Filipinos.
She said the challenge for every single admirer of Dr. Rizal in the present-day is to keep his legacy alive by reading more about his life and works and by practicing the values of patriotism, love of country, and the desire to learn more about the world that Dr. Rizal championed.
Consul General Austria-Garcia for her part thanked the family of Pastor Ullmer in whose home Rizal stayed during his sojourn in Germany for keeping Rizal’s memory alive. She invited the guests to visit the newly-opened Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt to view the Rizal memorabilia loaned by the Ullmer family and currently on display at the Consulate premises.
For his part, Knights of Rizal Chapter Commander Reinhold Lovenich spoke about Rizal’s pioneering and modern views on education and invited the audience to reflect on his far-reaching vision in this area.
Mayor Christoph Oeldorf, whose town hosts the Rizal Park, and also the home where Rizal stayed spoke of the pride of Wilhelmsfeld in hosting places dedicated to the memory of Dr. Rizal.
After the wreath-laying, Mayor Oeldorf, awarded Certificates and prizes to 12 Wilhelmsfeld school children who won the Rizal Prize for their reflections on Rizal.
Ambassador Dizon-De Vega took the occasion to handover books on Dr. Rizal by Dr. Ambeth Ocampo and other authors to the Knights of Rizal, the Wilhelmsfeld Library, and the Ladies for Rizal.
A Cultural Program highlighted by a special message from Senator Loren B. Legarda, who informed the Filipino-Germany Community about the new projects and initiatives between the Philippines and Germany, completed the day’s activities.
Senator Legarda, an advocate of stronger Philippine-German relations, particularly in the areas of education and cultural cooperation, had earlier visited Wilhelmsfeld and Heidelberg to re-trace the steps of our national hero during his stay in Germany. She was guided by Dr. Frizt Hack-Ullmer, great grandson of Pastor Karl Ullmer, Dr. Rizal’s host in Wilhelmsfeld. END