In the picture fltr Father Sir Jorgedy Bago, KGOR, Sir Albert Arevalo, KGOR, HE Ambassador J. Eduardo Arevalo, Sir Lino Paras, KGCR, Sir Anton Lutter, KCR and Sir Tony Guansing, KGCR.
By Anton Lutter
The current ambassador of the Philippines to The Netherlands H.E. J. Eduardo Malaya in his distinguished career previously served as a young diplomat at the embassy in Brussels. Many remember him fondly, one of them is Sir Lino Paras, KGCR with the Pro Patria award the highest awarded knight of Rizal in Europe.
So wonderful memories were brought back during the meeting with the visitors from Belgium at the Philippines embassy in The Hague. The delegation of the Knights of Rizal – the official order of knighthood of The Philippines – consisted of its leader Regional Commander of Europe Sir Albert Arevalo, KGOR, Over-all adviser Europe Region Sir Lino Paras, KCGR both from Brussels; former Honorary Consul and past Regional Commander of Europe Sir Tony Guansing, KCGR, Father Sir Jorgedy Bago, KGOR, Spiritual Adviser Europe Region and priest for the Philippines community and Stella Maris seamen’s mission at Antwerp.
From The Netherlands Sir Anton Lutter, KCR chapter commander of the Knights of Rizal in The Hague attended the joyful gathering at a temporary address since renovation is taking place at the embassy.
Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya who represents his country since April of this year is very active and forceful in meeting up with key persons, organizations and businesses in The Netherlands as well as advancing different kinds of activities to strengthen the ties between our countries.
2021 marks the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between The Philippines and The Netherlands. To that end the Second Philippines-Netherlands Bilateral Consultations were held on 29 June on virtual mode, hosted by the Philippines. This meeting which was co-chaired by Jaime Victor B. Ledda, assistant secretary for European Affairs, and Karin Mössenlechner, director for Asia and Oceania of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at The Hague.
Discussed were matters of mutual interest, notably on political and economic cooperation, development cooperation, maritime cooperation, security, and people-to-people linkages. The decades long engagement in these fields of both countries will be continued, as the Joint Statement concluded.
The establishment of an honorary consulate of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Davao City, gateway for the island of Mindanao and a highly successful tourist destination, is a welcoming new initiative by both governments. The joint statement confirmed the strong and sustainable bond between The Netherlands and The Philippines.
The ambassador reiterated the importance of the Knights of Rizal in promoting the legacy of Philippines’ national hero Dr. Jose Rizal and expressed his support of their activities in The Netherlands, as well as looking forward in future cooperation between the embassy and The Hague chapter of the Knights of Rizal in a variety of activities. The works of Dr Jose Rizal known as the most important contribution of The Philippines to world literature have been highly influential to independence movements in Asia and are still of significance today.
Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya himself an author in the legal field presented the delegation from Brussels with his book Stewards of the Nation, published in 2018. It tells the story of the presidents of The Philippines from Aguinaldo to Duterte. This must-read book for anyone interested in Philippine history provides essential information and insights on the lives and times, challenges and achievements of the sixteen men and women who led the country since independence until now.