Renowned Filipino historian and author Professor Ambeth Ocampo visited Madrid for a lecture on Rizal: The Hero as Traveler held at Casa Asia Madrid on 29 October 2019. Close to a hundred Spaniards and Filipinos attended the lecture, a number of whom were part of the Spanish Ministry of Education’s Auxiliares de Conversacion Program.
The audience were welcomed by the Director of Casa Asia Madrid, Ambassador Carmen Diez Orejas, who expressed her pleasure over the public’s response to the lecture and the successful, first-time collaboration between the Embassy and Casa Asia.
In his remarks, Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier stated, “We are truly very privileged to have [Professor Ocampo] with us this evening. His influence in public discourse on Philippine history, and his contribution to our knowledge about Jose Rizal has been unparalleled. Through his books, his column in the Inquirer and social media posts, he continues to ensure that Philippine history comes alive for generations of Filipinos.”
He further stated, “This evening we will learn from him about how Jose Rizal’s travels shaped the man and the hero. It is a unique take on Rizal, and once again tells of a life and personality so remarkable that more than a hundred years after his death, we continue to learn new things and gain new perspectives about him. But again, this is thanks to the work of people such as Dr. Ambeth Ocampo. Rizal was indeed a great man but the instrument of his timelessness are the Filipino historians who work hard to portray him as a living, breathing, endlessly fascinating nationalist character in our collective memory.”
Professor Ocampo’s lecture dwelled on the influence of Rizal’s travels on his fight for reforms for the Philippines, and their later impact on his life in exile in Dapitan.
Professor Ambeth Ocampo is an Associate Professor of History at the Ateneo de Manila University and former head of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). He has authored 39 books and is a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Organized by Sentro Rizal, NCCA and Foreign Service Posts, Professor Ocampo’s Madrid lecture concludes his European tour which included lectures in Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna, London, Frankfurt.