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Schaffhausen commemorates Rizal’s 153rd birthday with a painting exhibition of the hero’s life in Europe  

Schaffhausen, the first city that Dr. Jose Rizal visited in Switzerland during his brief sojourn in the alpine country in June 1887, commemorated the 153rd birth anniversary of the Philippine national hero on 19th June with a wreath-laying ceremony and a painting exhibition of the hero’s life and travels across Europe.

The wreath-laying ceremony was done in front of the historical marker dedicated to the hero on the façade on former Hotel Müller, presently the office of Credit Suisse, along the Bahnhofstrasse. Ambassador Leslie Baja, in his message, thanked the City and Canton of Schaffhausen for their support and for making Rizal’s birth anniversary part of Schaffhausen’s annual tradition.

Photo: Schaffhausen City Councillor Simon Stocker (L) with Ambassador Leslie Baja (R) in front of Rizal marker

Schaffhausen City Councillor Simon Stocker welcomed the guests present at the wreath-laying ceremony and recounted the significance of the annual celebration. He said, “Commemoration of the birth anniversary of Dr. Rizal has been a part of the City of Schaffhausen’s annual activities, making Rizal and the Filipinos here also part of our life.”


Photo: (L-R) Ms. Irene Sadang, Schaffhausen officials Chris Schneider, Claudia Rudischhauser & Simon Stocker, Ambassador Leslie Baja, Dr. Peter Scheck, Member of Schaffhausen Parliament, and Consul Tess Lazaro

In his reply, Ambassador Baja, thanked the Schaffhausen officials present during the ceremony. “We are very fortunate to have good friends in Schaffhausen who have been part of this annual celebration of the life of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Your untiring support, which guarantees the success of this annual celebration, is well and truly appreciated,” said Ambassador Baja.

The wreath-laying ceremony was followed by the opening of a painting exhibition entitled, “Filipinism – What Makes a Filipino?” at the Haus der Wirtschaft. The exhibit featured sixteen (16) of the final entries in the international painting competition, “The Life of Dr. Jose Rizal in Europe”.

Photos (L-R): Mr. Ver Cuizon explains the Rizal exhibit to the public; Guests appreciate the various interpretations of Rizal’s life in Europe

Mr. Virgilio Cuizon, art impresario, explained that the paintings, were chosen as finalists during the pre-judging event held in the Philippines in December 2013, will be judged by jurors from Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom during exhibition time.

In an interview by Mr. Marki Liebenberg, Regional Editor of Schaffhauser Nachrichten, Ambassador Baja explained, “We are bringing this exhibit to Switzerland as part of the roving exhibition to countries in Europe that Rizal visited when he was a student and active member of the Propaganda Movement. Each of the paintings had its own significance in the life of the young Rizal and his struggles to awaken Spain to the needs of the Philippines.”

The event was attended by around 100 guests, including the locals, tourists and members of the Filipino community in Schaffhausen and neighboring cantons of Zürich, Aargau, St. Gallen, and Winterthur. A number of Swiss-based Filipino artists were also present during the occasion. END

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