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.

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