Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Celebrates Rizal Day

Amb. Manuel M. Lopez and Mme. Maria Teresa L. Lopez (center, in front of the bust of Rizal) with Philippine Embassy officers and staff at the Embassy commemoration of Rizal Day.

The officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo led by Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and Madame Maria Teresa L. Lopez held a simple ceremony at the Embassy on 28 December 2012 to commemorate the martyrdom of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

The ceremony began with the singing of the national anthem by all Embassy personnel, followed by a wreath-laying at the bust of Dr. Rizal at the Embassy by Ambassador Lopez, assisted by Minister Angelica C. Escalona. At the luncheon hosted by Ambassador and Madame Lopez, the Ambassador gave his Rizal Day and New Year message, thanking all Embassy personnel for ensuring that the Embassy ran smoothly and seeking everyone’s cooperation for the year ahead.

Dr. Rizal visited Japan in February and March 1888 after leaving Manila at the height of the controversy over his first novel, the Noli Me Tangere. Although he did not plan to stay long as he was on his way to Europe, he stretched his visit to more than 40 days because he fell in love with Seiko Usui, or Osei-san, the daughter of a samurai. Rizal wrote that he stayed longer than intended “for the country appeared to me very interesting and because in the future we shall have much contact and relations with Japan.”