His theme was well chosen considering the fact that The Netherlands and The Phillipines enjoy 65 years of diplomatic relations and 150 years of consulair relations. On behalf of the Knights of Rizal the chapter commander of The Hague Chapter Sir Anton Lutter, KCR thanked ambassador Ledda for his hospitality and strong support of OKOR in The Netherlands. Sir Anton conveyed the good wish message from the European Regional Commander Sir Antonio Guansing, KGOR to the ambassador and the attendants.
The keynote speach of Rizalday was delivered by Professor Sir Olaf baron van Boetzelaer, KR and titled Dr Jose Rizal in retrospective as inpirator for ASEAN:
” 2017 will be a special year: The commemoration of 50 years of ASEAN, under the chairmanship of the Republic of the Philippines.
We can pose the following questions: is it fruitful, inspiring to reflect about the ideas of Dr. Jose Rizal, In relation to the opinions of the Philippine diplomacy on its chairmanship about ASEAN in 2017?
Can reflection on Dr. Rizal in retrospective, be inspiring with regards to ASEAN’s future? Indeed the past is sometimes the key to the future. In Dr. Rizal’s perception is central his aspiration for the freedom of the person, his concern for the person’s dignity and his analienable rights. And it is here also fits in exactly the message of the Philippine diplomacy, mentioning “a people and oriented and centered ASEAN”.
Back to Rizal.
In the soul of Rizal were always the patriot and the cosmopolitan as complimentary characteristics. So as the Philippine diplomacy on the eve of his chairmanship proclaims: “peace and stability in the region” it is also in line with the spirit of Rizal, wishing that for his countrymen. Let us hope that the “Declaration of Conduct concerning the South China Sea “ by ASEAN, leads to appropriate attitudes and behavior of the concerned sea faring nations.
Also Dr. Rizal saw the place of his fatherland within it’s regional context and sphere but not exclusively. This in line with the viewpoint of Philippine diplomacy to further “maritime security and cooperation”, also in accordance with the ASEAN “Declaration against natural disasters”.
The Philippines aspires for ASEAN to develop a model of regionalism, even a role of global player. In Dr. Rizal’s perception , the Philippines were also of course part of the global family of nations. A fitting conception for the “homo universalis”, a patriot and in the same time being open to the world. Certainly to the European nations with their heterogeneous civilization. Great linguist as he also was.
Dr.Rizal was a believer in the Christian values but as an authentic Catholic his criticism of the Spanish friars bore strong resemblance to the criticism of our Lord about the hypocrisy of the pharazees in His time.
So let he be an example . Also with the Civilistic Appeal Movement I founded , I trust not to be too far from Dr. Jose Rizal’s Ideals”. The commemoration ended with food and drinks and ofcourse a lot of discussion on our esteemed hero Dr. Jose Rizal!