First ever Dutch translation of El Filibusterismo launched in The Hague

The Order of Knights of Rizal together with the Embassy of the Philippines in The Hague launched Gerard Arp’s Dutch translation of El Filibusterismo, written in the 19th century by Jose Rizal, the national hero of The Philippines. Last year during the embassies Independence Day reception Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere was presented to Jaime Victor Ledda, the ambassador of The Philippines to The Netherlands.


Knights of Rizal from The Hague Chapter with Ambassador Ledda and Knights of Rizal European leadership.

Ambassador Ledda held an interesting expose about Dr. Jose Rizal and his connection with The Netherlands. He mentioned the fact – although Rizal – never visited The Netherlands, the El Filibusterismo was clearly influenced by one of Netherlands’ greatest literary works the 19th century Max Havelaar by Multatuli. After ambassador Ledda, the renowned Rizal scholar from Belgium Lucien Spittael entertained the attendants with a visual history of Rizal’s life in Europe, which brought us through countries like Great Britain, Swiss, Germany, France and Belgium. Finally, Jan Mulder’s lecture placed Rizal in the historical context of the 19th century in comparison with the Netherlands-Indies (nowadays Indonesia). This included also the earlier mentioned author Multatuli, who was in fact the civil servant Eduard Douwes Dekker, who wrote the Max Havelaar based on his experiences in in the residency Banten on Java. Ofcourse the first exemplar of El Filibusterismo, translated from the original Spanish version, as De Revolutie, was presented to Ambassador Ledda by the translator and publisher Gerard Arp. The former profusely thanked Mr. Arp for his contribution to promote the legacy of Dr. Jose Rizal, by publishing this Dutch translation.

De revolutie front

Cover of Dutch translation of El Filibusterismo

The gathering took place on the 6th of February at Museum Sopiahof and included many guests from Philippine’s Diaspora, board members of the Multatuli Genootschap, academe as well as many others. From the diplomatic corps we noticed the deputy head of the Embassy of Indonesia Minister Fikry Cassidy, the Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Malaysia Dr. Mohd Norhisyam Mohd Yusof, the Minister Plenipotentiary of Curaçao Anthony Begida, the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten Rene Violenus and the Honorary Consul-General of The Philippines at Amsterdam Eppo Horlings, also a Knight of Rizal.


Ambassador Ledda receiving De Revolutie/El Filibisterismo from translator Gerard Arp, with European Leadership of Knights of Rizal

The Order of the Knights of Rizal is the sole official order of knighthood in The Philippines and created to honor and uphold the ideals of José Rizal. Organized on a global scale its headed in The Netherlands by The Hague chapter commander Sir Anton Lutter, KCR. Next to the Dutch members a large delegation from Brussels attended the launching. Including the European Regional Commander Sir Albert Arevalo, KGOR and deputy Sir Juanito Villa, KGOR, former European commanders Honorary Consul Sir Tony Guansing, KGCR and Sir Lino Paras, KGCR. The latter being the sole person ever to have been awarded the Pro Patria Award outside of The Philippines. Of interest to note is that Ambassador has been the chapter commander of the El Filibusterismo chapter in Brussels, earlier in his career.

Order of Knights of Rizal 17th Regional Assembly of Europe in London

The Republic of The Philippines has one order of knighthood, founded in 1911to commemorate the martyrdom of Philippine national hero, Dr. José Rizal.The order is internationally organized and has about 200 chapters all over the world including Europe.

Once in every two years an assembly of knights from Europe is held, this time in London 30 August – 1 September 2019. Delegates who attended the 17th European Regional Assembly came amongst others from Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy The Netherlands and of course the United Kingdom.

The assembly was honored by the attendance of the international leadership from Manila, including the supreme commander of the order Sir Elihu Ybanez , KGCR a judge and candidate for the Philippines supreme court, Sir Frisco San Juan , KGOR Undersecretary in the current government of The Philippines and former vice-governor of Rizal Province, Sir Francis Sison , KGOR from the USA and former supreme commander Sir Virgilio Esguerra , KGCR. Futhermore the attendants included – among many – former New Jersey judge Sir Victor Sison , KCGR, Sir Gilbert San Diego , KCR, the regional commander National Capital Region and former Europe Regional Commanders Sir Antonio Guansing , KGCR and Sir Rudy Nollas , KGOR.

The first day included a visit to The Philippines embassy not far from the famous Trafalgar Square, where knights and ladies were received at the Sentro Rizal by the deputy chief of mission and consul-general Senen Mangalile , hosting an exquisite reception afterwards.

The actual conference – at Baden Powell House in Kensington – was organized under the leadership of the regional commander of the UK Sir Alfonso Taguiang , KGOR and Lady Aurea Taguiang and their team, with their hospitality and kindness they made everyone feel welcome. The first message was delivered by Sir Albert Arevalo, KGOR the regional commander for Europe, followed by highly interesting keynote speeches by Ybanez, San Juan and Esguerra, about the different aspects of Rizal and his relevance for the world we now live in.

After the ceremonies which are typical for an order of knighthood, it was of great joy that the overall adviser for Europe and master of ceremony at the conference Sir Felino Paras , KGCR – from Brussels – had been awarded the Pro Patria Award for his decades of service to order and Filipino community. The Pro Patria Award is not only the highest award within the Order of Knights of Rizal, it has never been awarded -save 2 others – to non-supreme council members.

The commander of The Hague chapter from The Netherlands Sir Anton Lutter, KCR, was given the honor to present the recent new Dutch translation of Jose Rizal’s first book the Noli Me Tangere written in 1887, to the supreme commander. The Dutch Noli will be part of the extensive collection at international headquarters in Manila. The day ended with a magnificent gala dinner and ball at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, which included a Philippines cultural program. The next day started by mass celebrated by Fr. Jorgedy Bago , catholic priest of Filipino community in Antwerp which was followed up by a fraternal message from the supreme commander Sir Elihu Ybanez , KGCR which concluded the 3 day assembly in London.

Noli Me Tangere presented to Philippines ambassador in Brussels


Ambassador Eduardo de Vega and Gerard Arp.

During the celebration of the 158th anniversary of the birth of Jose Rizal in Brussels, ambassador De Vega was presented the Dutch translation of Noli Me Tangere. It was for over a century that such a translation has seen the light of day. Mr. Gerard Arp of Arpenco Publishers in Zoetermeer took on this important and painstakingly job. This resulted is an important contribution to promoting the legacy of Philippines’ national hero Jose Rizal.


The  408 page hardback book has an introduction by Sir Anton Lutter, chapter commander of The Hague chapter of Knights of Rizal.

Ambassador de Vega thanked Mr. Arp for his kind gesture of coming all the way to Belgium to present his gift. He also expressed his wish to see a Dutch translation of the El Filibusterismo someday and for Mr. Arp to become a full-pledged Knight of Rizal in the near future. The ambassador himself is a Knight grand officer of the Knights of Rizal.


Ceremony at Philippines embassy in Brussels.

Source (including photo’s): facebookpagina Philippine Embassy in Belgium @PHinBelgium


Knights of Rizal from The Netherlands attend 6th European Regional Assembly at Brussels

By Sir Anton Lutter, KCR

IMG_0426Sir Reynato Puno, KGCR

From the 25th to the 27th of august the 6th European Regional Assembly of the Order of the Knights of Rizal – the sole order of knighthood in The Philippines – has taken place in Brussels. The assembly was visited by more then 200 knights and ladies, from all over Europe: Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, under the leadership of the European Regional Commander the Hon. consul Sir Antonio Guansing, KGOR. But also knights from the United States and Canada attended the assembly. The guest of honour was without doubt the Supreme Comander of Knights of Rizal and former Chief Justice of The Philippines Sir Reynato Puno, KGCR, who attended with several other members of the Supreme Council. The Dutch delegation was led by Sir Anton Lutter, KCR, chapter commander of The Hague Chapter. The first day commenced at The Philippines Embassy in Brussels hosted by the chargé d’affaires Alan L. Deniega. As guest speaker of the evening Sir Olaf baron van Boetzelaer, KR held a very interesting speech titled Dr. Jose Rizal : A Philippine Patriot who knew Europe:


Sir Olaf baron van Boetzelaer, KOR

Dr. Jose Rizal’s life and work : a gift to his country and to the world! Of course a gift to his country. As the intellectual patriot he was, he stays as a beacon of light to his countryman: then, now and for the generations to come. But what strikes, this patriot, with the Philippines never out of his mind was also a cosmopolitan. He has travelled the world. He studied in Spain where he got his licentiate in medicine and his degree in philosophy and letters.

We can say, here in our European assembly that he knew different European countries. He worked in Paris and was also a member of the Berlin Anthrological Society. He has lived here in Brussels and his famous book El Filibusterismo was printed in Gent. As an extraordinary linguist he mastered more than 20 languages and could speak at least 8. Dr. Rizal was driven by universal ethical values: succinctly: human dignity at home and if possible also abroad.

Therefore he belongs to the Pantheon of great men – and women – of our world who want to further human dignity, human rights, without naiveté.

As said, he visited studied and worked in several European countries. We can say he “knew” parts of our continent. He had contacts, friendship even, with European scholars. An outstanding example of course was his friendship and exchange of ideas with the German scholar Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt. What has all this to say to us, in our present time? Well, his example as an outward looking patriot and at the same time as a fatherland loving internationalist is still relevant and inspiring, especially in our world where on the one hand people are sometimes afraid of loosing their national or regional identity and traditions and where on the other hand, we witness more and more globalization.

Both aspects should be complementary not contradictory. Dr. Rizal always saw his fatherland as part of the global world, the family of nations. In this aspect he is also inspiring in 2017, now that The Philippines has the chair of ASEAN. The “homo universalis” he was, would have seen with a benign eye the contacts and cooperation between the European Union and ASEAN. Regarding the status of the EU-ASEAN relations, I can quote the then High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Baroness Ashton, who stated: “The EU wants to be an active and constructive player in Asian regionalism. “The appointment of an EU Ambassador to ASEAN in August2015, is an important step in that direction.

The theme of this assembly is “KOR Europe in solidarity of Rizal’s vision”.

Well, look to us here today. Dr. Rizal still brings nations and people together: brothers and knights from so many European nations, in brotherly solidarity. Also an example for international relations. And we all have also a special bonding with the country where it originated: The Philippines”.

Also part of the event was the elevation to Officer in the Order of Knights of Rizal of – amongst others – Sir Olaf baron van Boetzelaer, KR and Sir Steef Klarenbeek, KR, respectively pursuivant and exchequer of The Hague Chapter. Earlier Mr. Jos van Dijk was dubbed a knight. All this -uniquely – by the visting supreme commander Sir Reynato Puno, KGCR who led the official ceremonies of the three days assisted by members of the supreme council and knights residing in Belgium. The official ceremonies ended by the awarding of the Regional Commander Sir Antonio Guansing, KGOR with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Knights of Rizal for his longtime honorably serving the Order.

From: Munting Nayon

The Hague chapter of the Order of Knights of Rizal officially reestablished

On the 26 of june 2015 at the The Hague residence of the Philippines ambassador Sir Jaime Victor Ledda, KCR, the chapter The Hague was reestablished. This and the dubbing of two new members was performed by Sir Peter Plückebaum, KGOR, of the Knights of Rizal Supreme Council who came from Manila. A delegation from the Knights of Belgium attended the meeting. One of the Belgium knights Sir Lucien Spittael, KGOR gave a lecture about Jose Rizal in Europe. Afterwards he presented the book “Belgian Rizalist” by Prof. Dr. Emmanuel F. Calairo, president of the Philippine Historical  Association, to Ambassdor Ledda.


After the ceremony the ambassador Sir Jaime Victor Ledda, KCR invited the chapter commander Sir Anton Lutter, KCR to inaugurate with him the “Virtual Sentro Rizal” in The Netherlands. This government project is to educate children of Philippine overseas workers about their roots and provide anyone interested in Philippine culture and history with information. The “Virtual Sentro Rizal” collection comprises 250 gigabytes of data including 72 hours of video of Filipino cultural materials covering different genres across regions.