Remarks by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for the book launching of “KAIBIGAN-PŘATELÉ: CZECH-PHILIPPINE CULTURAL AND DIPLOMATIC DIALOGUE”

Location Ceremonial Hall of the Malacañan Palace in Manila

Well, thank you very much, Your Excellency Prime Minister Fiala and on behalf of the Philippines, it’s my pleasure to launch together with you a publication that highlights the cultural and diplomatic exchanges between our two republics.

As we commemorate the forthcoming 50th year anniversary of Philippines – Czech bilateral relations this year, I am proud to present “KAIBIGAN-PŘATELÉ: Czech-Philippine Cultural and Diplomatic Dialogue.”

It is a collaborative effort of various Filipino and Czech contributors and editors, under the initiative of Ambassador Jana Šedivá. And for that, I congratulate her and thank her for her efforts at making the relationship of our two countries even better in new and noble ways.

While formal relations between Philippines and the Czech Republic were only established in 1973, contained in this book is the documentation of the rich history of people-to-people and socio-cultural exchanges between our two countries as early as 17th century.

From the arrival of Jesuit missionary and taxonomist Georg Josef Kamel, whom the camellia plant was named after, to the warm friendship between Jose Rizal and Ferdinand Blumentritt who was born in Prague, to the recollections of Czech diplomats and journalists who have lived here in Manila – the book is proof that Filipino and Czech people consider each other as přátelé, or as friends.

I hope that all the work and effort poured into this publication makes it not only an informative tool for everyone who is interested in the rich history of cultural and diplomatic exchanges between our two countries, but that it serve also as a symbol of the friendship amongst our people.

I believe that it is only fitting that the launching of the book happens during the visit of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to Manila, so he can witness, as we continue to foster and strengthen the relationship between the Philippines and the Czech Republic.

Thank you all for witnessing this momentous occasion. [applause]


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