Iconic Brussels Symbol Aims High to Commemorate PH Independence Day, PH-Belgium Relations



The Manneken-Pis is dressed in camisa de chino in commemoration of the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence. (Brussels PE photo)


BRUSSELS 23 June 2019 —Brussels dressed its world-famous statue of the Manneken-Pis in a camisa de chino on 12 June 2019 to commemorate the 121st Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence.

Ambassador to Belgium Eduardo José A. de Vega addresses the crowd in English, French, and Dutch. Citing the historical ties between the Philippines and Belgium, he said “Today, as I stand before the Manneken-Pis, I can only wonder what our national hero, Dr. José Rizal, would have thought as he passed by this statue, since he lived here in this neighborhood, just over in Rue Philippe de Champagne, from 1890 to 1891, as he wrote one of two novels that would inspire the revolt against Spain and lead to the very occasion that we are celebrating.”

“The people of Brussels are known for their cheeky, rebellious nature, and thus the symbol of the city is appropriately that of a cheeky, rebellious boy. We Filipinos share these same qualities, and should be glad that this famous Belgian boy honored us on our National Day. And you can say that like a true Bruxellois, he made sure to ‘aim high’ when he joined in commemorating our Independence Day and our special ties with Belgium,” Ambassador de Vega added.

City of Brussels Councilor Fatima Abid was also present to extend her sincerest felicitations to the Philippines. Alongside her were members of the Order of the Knights of Rizal, a representative of the Manneken-Pis foundation, as well as members of the Filipino Community.

The Manneken-Pis is a landmark statue, depicting a child passing water into a fountain, that has been an icon of Brussels since the 17th century. It is supposed to symbolize the good humor and independent spirit of the residents of the Belgian capital.

The camisa de chino was donated in 1986 during the visit of then-Vice President Salvador H. Laurel to Brussels. It has since made various appearances on the Manneken-Pis, most recently last year. END



Ambassador to Belgium Eduardo José A. de Vega speaks with Brussels City Councilor Fatima Abid. (Brussels PE photo)


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Ambassador de Vega with Embassy officers and staff and tourists witness the ceremony. (Brussels PE photo)


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