Cultural and EducationalPast Events

Sept 7 | Rizal, Maps, and the Emergence of the Filipino Nation

The US-Philippines Society and Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.

invite you to an evening presentation


a special talk by Professor Ambeth Ocampo

Thursday, 07 September 2023
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM EDT

Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex
1617 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

In-Person Event

The Philippines is a young nation with an old history. It has a long and complicated narrative that can be read, partly, through maps and cartography starting from the 16th century. The legacy of Philippine National Hero, José Rizal, includes two great literary novels, Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer), and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed), along with 25 volumes of writing, poetry and drawings. He studied and worked abroad, and during his research in the British Library in 1889, discovered 17th century texts about the Philippines, consulted old maps and from this knowledge built and designed a relief map of Mindanao in Dapitan now declared an important National Treasure. Learn about how the geographic shape of the Philippines was formed and with it the idea and emergence of a nation.

Ambeth R. Ocampo, Professor in History and the Humanities at the Ateneo de Manila University will present a historical account of Rizal’s contribution in the birth of the Filipino nation. Prof Ocampo’s lecture will be followed by an American perspective with Dr. Frank Jenista, Professor Emeritus of International Studies at the Cedarville University, focusing on the year 1898 when the Philippines declared independence and on developments in the decades that followed.

Seating is limited. Please click REGISTER to attend the September 7 event.


Ambeth R. Ocampo
History and Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

Professor Ocampo is a Public Historian whose research covers the 19th century Philippines: its art, culture, and the people who figure in the birth of the nation. He writes a widely-read editorial page column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and has published over 30 books on the Philippines.

He previously served as President, City College of Manila; President, Philippine Historical Association; Co-Chair, Manila Historical and Heritage Commission; Chairman, National Historical Commission of the Philippines and concurrently as Chairman, National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Dr. Frank Jenista
Professor Emeritus of International Studies
Cedarville University

Dr. Jenista was born in the United States but spent most of his elementary and high school years in the Philippines as the son of missionary parents. He returned to the United States for college and graduate school. Dr. Jenista is the author of a book on Philippine American history, has published articles in professional journals such as the Philippine Historical Review and Southeast Asia Quarterly, and has done extensive research and writing for the U.S. government.

In 1975, he joined the United States diplomatic service, with assignments in Japan & Indonesia, New Zealand, and South America and twice in the Philippines. During his diplomatic career, he earned four Meritorious Honor Awards, and two Superior Honor Awards, the latter for his service in the Philippines.

Prof Ocampo will participate as panelist and Dr. Jenista will attend representing the US-Philippines Society in the National Portrait Gallery’s two-day Symposium, Sept 8-9, 2023 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. The symposium will examine the War of 1898 (the Spanish-Cuban-American-Filipino War), the Joint Congressional Resolution to annex Hawaii, and the Philippine-American War. Drawing on portraiture and visual culture, the symposium will provide a panoramic perspective on these conflicts and shine a light on the public debates surrounding them.

For more information about the National Portrait Gallery’s Exhibition, please visit the website

To attend the 2-day symposium, please register via an Eventbrite link  “1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions” Symposium

Battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898 (Batalla en la Bahía de Manila, 1 de mayo del 1898). Ildefonso Sanz y Doménech (1863–1937)
Oil on canvas
99.1 × 200.7 cm (39 × 79 in.)
Courtesy of the Army and Navy Club Library Trust, Washington, D.C.

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