Germany and the Philippines have a century-old relationship of friendship, mainly due to our national hero’s travel to this country. According to Philippine history books and accounts of German chroniclers particularly Ferdinand Blumentrit, Jose Rizal, the Great Malayan, equaled to Mahatma Gandhi traveled intensively to Germany from February 8, 1886 to May 31, 1887, particularly to Heidelberg and Wilhelmsfeld to further his studies on optometry. In Heidelberg, our hero met Dr. Otto Becker whom he studied. Hence, the relationship between our national hero and the prominent Germans of his time like Ulmer, Becker and Blumentrit forged a pact of undying friendship between the two nations that lasts for a lifetime. To further remember Rizal’s presence in Germany, his bust is erected in the city of Wilhelmsfeld, Germany.
As a Filipino student studying in Thailand, I remember the days when Rizal was also a student and traveler in a foreign land. I assume he experienced great difficulties communicating to German people. Yet, he saw this as an opportunity to learn the language, thus, in no time at all, he spoke like them. In Thailand, language barrier was the first obstacle I hurdled. But my patience and genuine interest of the people and the culture made me overcome this. Homesickness is another obstacle that every foreigner should surmount if he/she wants to stay longer in a foreign soil. Jose Rizal, during his time in Germany had the same feeling of longing to Motherland which is very evident in his poem “To the Flowers of Heidelberg”.
I’ve been studying at Naresuan University for two years now. I might say that for a while, I am dreaming and thinking the Thai way. My course is Human Resource Management. Understanding human relationships in a business and personal matters is important in this course. As Thailand is preparing for the ASEAN, my status as a foreign student is an advantage because I’ve been in both... [continues]
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