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PIA Press Release
2009/02/02

European ambassadors find Dapitan safest place in Mindanao

By Franklin P. Gumapon

Dapitan City (2 February) -- Three ambassadors to the Philippines from European states visited here recently to attend the groundbreaking rites of Rizal-Blumentritt Friendship Park project in this city.

Ambassador Jaroslav Ludva of the Czech Republic together with Ambassador Herbert Jager of Austria and Ambassador Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch came all the way from Manila not only for the groundbreaking of Rizal-Blumentritt Friendship Park project but also to explore the historical city of Dapitan where Blumentritt's bosom friend Jose Rizal was exiled for four years..

The three ambassadors also paid a courtesy call on Zamboanga del Norte Governor Rolando E. Yebes in his office at the provincial capitol in Dipolog.

In a media interview at Dakak Park and Beach Resort, Czech Republic Ambassador Jaroslav Ludva disclosed that he already visited Dapitan seven times, while the other two ambassadors from Germany and Austria reached the place for the first time.

When asked about his impression on the place, Austrian Ambassador Herbert Jager said "we feel very safe here in Dapitan and I am planning to come back after a week or two."

The three embassies have extended support to the construction of Rizal-Blumentritt Friendship Park in this city knowing that Dr. Jose Rizal was a close friend of Ferdinand Blumentritt, a Eurpoean who served as a high school principal in Litomerice town of the Czech Republic. Rizal and Blumentritt became friends when the former was still studying in Europe.

Litomerice Mayor, Ladislav Chlupac and his wife also joined the Dapitan City visit of the three ambassadors.

It could be recalled that a sisterhood covenant was forged between Litomerice and Dapitan City a few years ago when the city officials went for an educational tour in Europe.

City Vice Mayor Patri B. Chan, on the other hand, has expressed optimism that with the recent visit of the three European ambassadors more tourists would be coming to the city especially those from Europe. (PIA-ZN) [top]

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