A Call for Peace and Friendship – Manila Bulletin

EUROPE DAY From left to right: Jezreel Apelar, Deputy Executive Director of NPDC, Cecille Lorenzana-Romero, Executive Director of NPDC, Ms. Nicole Weismann, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, and Ambassador of the Delegation of EU Luc Véron

Coincidentally, Europe Day coincided with this year’s national elections in the Philippines. Celebrating a day earlier, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines illuminated the Rizal monument in the colors of the EU flag, blue and yellow.

The Musical and Dancing Fountain in Rizal Park also lit up in the same colors with jets of water gushing upwards and dancing to the tune of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, which has been adopted as the official anthem. of the EU.

“We are honored and touched to illuminate this evening in European colors the monument dedicated to the national hero of the Philippines, Jose Rizal”, declared the Ambassador of the European Union to the Philippines, Luc Véron. “In the context of Russian aggression against Ukraine, Europe Day reminds us that peace is at the heart of the European integration project. A value that we share with the Philippines. It is a wonderful symbol of the ties that unite the Philippines and the European Union.

BLUE AND YELLOW The Rizal monument lit up in the colors of the European Union for Europe Day (EU Delegation)

Ambassadors and embassy officials as well as local government officials attended the event. The list included Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, Deputy Secretary of the Foreign Ministry’s European Affairs Office Jaime Victor Ledda and National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) Executive Director Cecil Lorenzana Romero. The NPDC is in charge of the maintenance, management and rehabilitation of the Rizal and Paco parks.

In his remarks, Romero highlighted the partnership between the NPDC and the EU in organizing the event. Romulo-Puyat spoke about Rizal Park’s European connection, which makes it the perfect venue.

“An icon of nationalism, [Rizal Park] has strong European roots. Having been built by the Spaniards and given the original name of “Paseo de Luneta”, she said. “Throughout the Spanish period it became a place of recreation and socializing.”

TRAVEL IN TIME The guests were able to ride on one of the Tranvias of the Intramuros administration (EU delegation)

Romulo-Puyat also shared that Rizal Park, in its Noli Me Tangere garden in particular, also houses a very special fountain. Our national hero, Jose Rizal, drank from it when he was an assistant ophthalmologist in Wilhelmsfeld, Germany in 1886. The red sandstone drinking fountain was donated to the Philippine government on December 30, 1964 as a symbol of German- Filipino. Friendship.

The Noli Me Tangere garden was inaugurated in June 2011 in time for Rizal’s 150th birthday. A bust of Rizal’s close friend, Czech intellectual Ferdinand Blumentritt, is also in the garden.

The Noli Me Tangere garden was inaugurated in June 2011 in time for Rizal’s 150th birthday. A bust of Rizal’s close friend, Czech intellectual Ferdinand Blumentritt, is also in the garden. Blumentritt campaigned for Philippine independence and was one of Rizal’s closest confidants.

After the speeches, event guests were also able to board a tranvia from the Rizal Park Visitor Center to the Rizal Monument and back, courtesy of the Intramuros Administration. At the beginning of the 20th century, the tranvia was a light rail system that served Manila and surrounding areas.

Ambassadors of UNITED EU countries and representatives of embassies headed by the EU Delegation to the Philippines, Ambassador Luc Veron, attended the event (EU Delegation)

Europe Day takes place on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. This date marks the anniversary of the historic “Schuman Declaration” which launched the idea of ​​a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between European nations unthinkable.

This declaration led to the creation of the European Communities, now the European Union, a union of 27 European countries based on the values ​​of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the state law and respect for human rights.

On May 10, the facade of De La Salle University was also illuminated in blue and yellow to commemorate Europe Day. The university is an official depository of educational material and information on the European Union within the framework of its European Center for Research and Documentation. DLSU is also part of the Consortium of Universities in the Philippines offering a European Studies program.

Both events at Rizal Park and DLSU were streamed live on the EU Delegation’s Facebook page. They can still be consulted by the public via this link

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Edward K. Thompson