As part of the Consulate General’s efforts to promote Philippine culture under its jurisdiction, the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt and Ruhr University Bochum signed an agreement creating a Philippine studies program on 15 October in Bochum, Germany.
Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, a staunch advocate of Philippine culture and principal sponsor of the project, witnessed the signing of the agreement by Consul General to Frankfurt Evelyn Austria Garcia and Rector of Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) Prof. Axel Scholmerich.
The agreement involves the donation of t-5,000,000 (approximately EUR83,000) to support academic and research activities on Philippine matters and the creation of a center that would serve as a hub for Philippine-related projects.
Consul General Austria-Garcia applauded the significant support of Deputy Speaker Legarda for the project and expressed appreciation to RUB officials for their deep interest in the study of the Philippines.
‘We deeply appreciate the invaluable support of Deputy Speaker Legarda as we embark on this academic collaboration between the Consulate and RUB. We also appreciate the deep interest and commitment of officials and professors to advance Philippine studies at Ruhr University. It is my hope that this project will enhance greater understanding of the Philippines, strengthen cultural ties and people-to-people relations between our countries,” the Consul General said.
Rector Prof. Scholmerich stated that the university “will do its best in implementing the programs and projects under the agreement” and expressed hope that the project would be the start of a fruitful collaboration between the two sides.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Prof. Dr Kornelia Freitag, Vice-Rector of RUB; Monika Sprung, Director for International Affairs; Prof. Roger Friedlein, Vice Consul Fatima Mejilla Mueller, and Sheree Mangunay-lnfante of the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda.
After the signing, Legarda delivered a lecture on Philippine weaving tradition entitled “Piña-Seda Weaving and Embroidery in the Philippines” to students and professors of Ruhr University.
The Deputy Speaker underscored that “piña-seda weaving and embroidery are only a few of hundreds of stories of the Philippine weavers.” She expressed they can further enrich the Philippine weaving tradition and make the piña-seda textile a prized item in Germany and the rest of Europe.
She also visited an exhibition of Philippine ethnographic objects at the University’s exhibition area and participated in a roundtable discussion with University professors from different faculties with interests in the Philippines.
RUB is one of Germany’s leading universities. It is expected to conduct courses, seminars, lectures, conferences and other activities concerning the Philippines, coordinate academic research and teaching about the Philippines and organize research visits for scholars in the Philippines and vice-versa.
RUB will also enhance its acquisition of Philippine books, journals and other publications for the University’s library.