“My Pursuits of visiting Germany” Germany and the Philippines have a century-old relationship of friendship, mainly due to our national hero’s travel to this country. According to Philippine history books and accounts of German chroniclers particularly Ferdinand Blumentrit, Jose Rizal, the Great Malayan, equaled to Mahatma Gandhi traveled intensively to Germany from February 8, 1886 to May 31, 1887, particularly to Heidelberg and Wilhelmsfeld to further his studies on optometry. In Heidelberg, our hero met Dr. Otto Becker whom he studied.
Hence, the relationship between our national hero and the prominent Germans of his time like Ulmer, Becker and Blumentrit forged a pact of undying friendship between the two nations that lasts for a lifetime. To further remember Rizal’s presence in Germany, his bust is erected in the city of Wilhelmsfeld, Germany. As a Filipino student studying in Thailand, I remember the days when Rizal was also a student and traveler in a foreign land. I assume he experienced great difficulties communicating to German people.
Yet, he saw this as an opportunity to learn the language, thus, in no time at all, he spoke like them. In Thailand, language barrier was the first obstacle I hurdled. But my patience and genuine interest of the people and the culture made me overcome this. Homesickness is another obstacle that every foreigner should surmount if he/she wants to stay longer in a foreign soil. Jose Rizal, during his time in Germany had the same feeling of longing to Motherland which is very evident in his poem “To the Flowers of Heidelberg”. I’ve been studying at Naresuan University for two years now.
I might say that for a while, I am dreaming and thinking the Thai way. My course is Human Resource Management. Understanding human relationships in a business and personal matters is important in this course. As Thailand is preparing for the ASEAN, my status as a foreign student is an advantage because I’ve been in both countries which are ASEAN members. But as we all know, the world is now a “global village”, meaning, we are not just ASEAN or EU but all members of international community aiming to create a world without borders.
Never in my wildest dream did I imagine the chance to travel to European country would come walking at my doorstep. Since Germany has left an indelible mark to my mind since I was young, the opportunity to travel to this country loved by our national hero is a dream come true. If Jose Rizal travelled to this country for educational pursuit, I will do the same. As Rizal was able to learn German language fluently and among his best-friend was a German, Ferdinand Blumentrit, this will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about Germany, thus understanding better why our national hero loved the country so much.
As a student of Human Resource, it is a great opportunity for me to learn about a country which is so different from our Asian traditions, norms and cultures. It will enhance my understanding of the potentials of every individual, be it European or Asian. Travelling widens one’s perspective in life. It may be full of surprises and excitements but most importantly, travelling to another country, specifically Germany shall make me cognizant of the life beyond Asia.