Text by Cyril Constantino
Makati, Philippines – The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Philippines celebrated 29 Years of German Unity on 03 October 2019 at the New World Makati Hotel with members of the German community in the Philippines, distinguished guests from politics, business, culture and academic circles, as well as civil society, government and the Diplomatic and Consular Corps.
Dressed in a dirndl, German Ambassador Anke Reiffenstuel welcomed everyone and – with reference to the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – highlighted in her address the important role of individuals in cultivating change and nourishing relationships. German poet Johann von Wolfgang Goethe once said “Nur der verdient die Freiheit wie das Leben, der täglich sie erobern muss (Freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them anew everyday)”, shared Ambassador Reiffenstuel.
From the mass demonstrations in East Germany in 1989 that led to the Fall of the Berlin Wall to the inevitable reunification of East and West Germany a year after – which itself marked the end of the bipolar world created by the Cold War – Germany has since been at the forefront of international relations. With a reinvigorated economic and political strength, Germany and its people welcomed a new era committed to fostering peace and promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. With a dynamic emphasis on multilateralism and international cooperation, Germany is prepared to address the new global challenges that lie ahead.
Moreover, Germany remains a reliable international partner to the world and a dependable bilateral partner to the Philippines. Ambassador Reiffenstuel acknowledged the essential roles German institutions in the Philippines play in actively fostering strong relations between Germany and the Philippines from trade and investment to political and development cooperation, as well as cultural, academic and people-to-people exchanges. “People-to-people contacts,” added Ambassador Reiffenstuel, “are the foundation and backbone for the strong bridges and the successful cooperation and relations between our two countries.”
Ambassador Reiffenstuel is convinced that the spectrum of German-Philippine relations is broad and will be further strengthened by cooperation between both countries. Consequently, DFA Undersecretary Enrique Manalo shared this conviction and acknowledged the strong bond between the two countries as we also commemorate 65 Years of German-Philippine Diplomatic Relations.
Guests were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner paired with overflowing authentic Oktoberfest beer and German wine. A variety of musical performances by harpist Heloise La Harpe, the Brass Rosettes and DJ LustBass entertained the guests throughout the evening.
This year’s Day of German Unity celebration would not have been possible without the valuable support of Allianz-PNB Life, Audi & Porsche, BASF, BMW, Boehringer Ingelheim, Mercedes-Benz, PPI Pazifik Power, thyssenkrup, the German Club, Pegotec, Weihenstephan, Wines & More, and the five German political foundations in the Philippines – Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, Hanns Seidel Stiftung, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.