Life and works of Jose Rizal tackled in Austria symposium

The life and works of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal were tackled in a symposium held recently at the Museum für Völkerkunde, Hofburg Palace in Vienna., Austria.

The Embassy in Austria organized the symposium, dubbed "Life and Works of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippine National Hero."

The event was held in cooperation with the Museum für Völkerkunde Wien (Museum of Ethnology in Vienna).

"During the symposium, the Museum presented the work of art of Mr. Erwin Blumentritt, great grandson of Dr. Blumentritt, depicting Dr. Rizal's novel 'Noli Me Tangere.' Mr. Blumentritt also presented his family's donation of collection of Rizal books to the Museum," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Philippine Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre provided an introduction on the biography and achievements of Rizal.

University of Passau Professor Emeritus Dr. Bernhard Dahm lectured about his recent publications on the Filipino national hero.

For his part, Dr. Johann Stockinger of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna talked about Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt's friendship with Dr. Rizal.

Those who attended the symposium were Austrian government officials, academics, business community, and leaders of the Filipino community in Austria, including second generation Filipino-Austrians.

Meanwhile, Yparraguirre awarded a Plaque of Recognition to Rizal-Blumentritt Society Austria (RBSA) President Dr. Angelina Del Rosario-Banke, in recognition and appreciation of her outstanding work as one of the founders of RBSA and her continued support and promotion of Philippine culture in Austria.

The Rizal-Blumentritt Society Austria Youth Ensemble serenaded guests with Philippine music classics such as "Bakya Mo Neneng, "Leron-Leron Sinta," "Dandansoy" and "Bahay-Kubo."

The group includes five second-generation Filipino-Austrian artists, including:

  • Mia Banke (piano)
  • Aureen Quimzon (cello)
  • Valerie Hruska (violin)
  • Dominic Hruska (flute).


Rizal (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896), was a Filipino polymath, patriot and advocate of reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period.

His execution by the Spanish on December 30, 1896, a date commemorated annually as "Rizal Day," is believed to have sparked the Filipinos fight for freedom from the Spaniards.

Rizal was born to a rich family in Calamba, Laguna. He was the seventh of eleven children.

He went to the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts, and later enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas.

He later studied at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, earning a Licentiate in Medicine.

He also attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg.

Posted On : 10 December,2011