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Spotlighting Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal

Professor Ambeth R. Ocampo delivers a presentation “Rizal: The Hero as Traveler” at the Sentro Rizal Washington DC, June 10, 2019. Photo credit: Philippine Embassy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “It is not a question of forgetting or moving on, it is moving forward not being imprisoned by history. And this is what Rizal taught us, to be liberated from history and to find and create a new world that is better not only for the Philippines but for everyone else.”

This is how Professor Ambeth R. Ocampo concluded his very informative and engaging presentation entitled “Rizal: The Hero as Traveler” at the Philippine Embassy’s Sentro Rizal on 10 June 2019.

Speaking before a capacity crowd, Professor Ocampo talked about the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, and how he was formed by his exposure to other lands, peoples, and cultures.

“When we think about it again, this is all that I am teaching you, giving you a sense of how I do my work and how important it is – It is just to make Rizal relevant to today’s Filipinos, and to make these people know Rizal because to know Rizal is to know what it is like to be Filipino,” said Professor Ocampo.

“It is also important to recognize in Rizal our own capacity for greatness,” he further emphasized.

Ambassador Romualdez, in his opening remarks expressed the Philippine Embassy’s appreciation to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and to the US-Philippines Society whose support and cooperation made the event possible.

“Sentro Rizal has become the platform for showcasing outstanding Filipino talents as well as telling various Filipino and Filipino-American success stories. And the Philippine Embassy through Sentro Rizal plans to continue and expand these efforts, and hopefully reach wider audiences, present more of the vibrant Filipino culture, and introduce remarkable Filipino and Filipino-American artists in the next few years,” the Ambassador said.

“This center, this place, is where Filipino-Americans and Filipinos come to learn much more about the Philippines and tonight has been an opportunity for that. The US-Philippines Society is so happy to have participated in this event,” Ambassador John Maisto, President of the US-Philippines Society said in his closing remarks.

Ambeth R. Ocampo is a public historian whose research covers the late 19th century Philippines: its art, culture, and the people who figure in the birth of the nation. Prof. Ocampo is Associate Professor and former Chairman of the Department of History, Ateneo de Manila University. He served as Chairman, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2005-2007) and Chairman, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (2002-2011), and President of the Philippine Historical Association.

Professor Ocampo has published over 30 books, writes a widely read Editorial Page column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and moderates a growing Instagram and Facebook Fan Page.

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