As a toast to the longstanding friendship and bilateral relations between the Philippines and Germany, a very notable coffee table book entitled, Freundschaft- Pagkakaibigan (Sixty Years of Friendship between Germany and the Philippines) was launched on November 28 at the German Club in Legaspi Village, Makati City.
Produced by Filipino design and book publishing company Studio 5, the coffee table book is written in three languages—German, English and Filipino—with messages from President Benigno Aquino 3rd, German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
As partners who made the book project possible, forewords, as well as several feature articles were provided by Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad and German Ambassador to the Philippines Thomas Ossowski.
In a brief interview with The Manila Times Natividad said, “This book celebrates the friendship between two nations that has lasted for 60 years when the Philippines opened a Consulate General in Hamburg, and established diplomatic relations between two nations. This friendship has flourished in relations of education, culture and business.”
Preserving articles, photos, messages, documents and events from key personalities who contributed to the two countries’ six-decade relations, Natividad also took part in editing the book, working alongside The Manila Times College president Dr. Isagani Cruz. German content, meanwhile, was edited by Charlotte Bandelow.
Articles on various aspects of German-Philippine relations were also contributed by Völker Schult, Lucien Spittael, Zeus Salazar, Gretchen de Venecia Del Rosario, José Abeto Zaide, Delia Domingo-Albert, Herbert Jess, Gerhard Zeidler, Rosalinda Orosa, Petra Raymond, Ramon del Rosario Jr., Bodo Goerlich, Domini Torrevillas, Thorsten Franz, Mary John Mananzan OSB, Astrid Martinez López, Teresa Cura-Puno, Lito Monico Cabrera Lorenzana, Benigno Beltran SVD, Sophia Natividad, and Monique Zimmerman—an international group of outstanding personalities and writers.
The book further commemorates events as early as Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage to the Philippines, which was partly financed by German banker Jakob Fugger, and recorded as the first contact between Europeans and Filipinos.
Another milestone in the history of Filipino-German friendship was when national hearo José Rizal lived and studied in Germany, where he wrote and published his first novel Noli Me Tangere.
In one letter to his mother dated in 1887, Rizal wrote of his time in Germany. “I spend half the day in the study of German and the other half in the diseases of the eye. Twice a week I go to the Bierbrauerei, or beer hall, to speak German with my student friends.”
Anecdotes as well as personal accounts of the key personalities were also included in the book.
Sponsored by top German-Philippine companies, the book promises to take readers in a journey from the past to the present, where Filipinos and Germans developed strong bonds both in business and personal lives.
To further enhance bilateral relations, Natividad said she hopes to bring more Filipino health care providers to Germany, as well as attract more German investors and tourists to the Philippines.
For inquiries on the coffee table book, call 347-3975 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.