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Flag-raising ceremony held at the Embassy grounds.

(Left) Chargé d’Affaires Mrs. Margarita S. Ibayan during her welcome remarks. (Right) Salo-Salo brunch with the Filipino community at the Embassy grounds.

Rizal Chronology” Photo Exhibit at the Embassy commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

(Left) City of Schaffhausen officials and CDA Ibayan at the Wreath-laying ceremony infront of the Jose Rizal marker in Shaffhausen on 18 June 2011. (Right) Reception at the “Haus der Wirtschaft” in Schaffhausen.

Commemorative Events in Berne and Schaffhausen (Switzerland) Mark the Celebration of the 113th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence and the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Dr. Jose P. Rizal

The Philippine Embassy in Berne and the Filipino community in Switzerland celebrated the 113th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence, and the 150th birth anniversary of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, through simple but meaningful events held at the Embassy grounds in Berne last June 12, 2011 and in Schaffhausen on June 18, 2011.

The National Day was attended by friends of the Embassy and Filipino community leaders from all over Switzerland. The program began with a flag-raising ceremony led by Chargé d’Affaires Margarita Ibayan, followed by a holy mass service, and then a “salo-salo” enjoyed by guests.

An exhibition on the chronology of the life Dr. Jose Rizal was also put up at the Embassy premises that gave the viewers a deeper insight into and appreciation of the influence of Dr. Rizal’s life and works on the lives of the Filipinos, even up to the present times.

A second celebration took place on 18 June in Schaffhausen City, a city visited by Dr. Rizal on 2 – 3 June 1887. A wreath-laying ceremony at the historical marker dedicated to Dr. Rizal was held, led by CDA Ibayan and Mr. Urs Hunziker, a member of the Schaffhausen City Council and representative of the City Mayor. Both officials highlighted how Dr. Rizal’s translation into Tagalog of the Swiss play Wilhelm Tell forged Filipino-Swiss affinity, long before PHL-Swiss diplomatic relations was established.

The commemorative event in Schaffhausen was witnessed by both Filipinos and Swiss friends, and was able to achieve its 3-fold purpose: to raise the level of awareness of the Philippines and the country’s values of democracy and freedom; to pay tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal, and to enhance the friendship between the Philippines and Switzerland.

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