Trivia about the 150 years of Philippine-Switzerland Relations
To commemorate 150 years of relations between the Philippines and Switzerland, the Philippine Postal Corporation will issue a set of stamps that features the monuments of the national heroes of the two countries – Dr. Jose P. Rizal of the Philippines and William Tell of Switzerland – designed and executed by the renowned Swiss sculptor, Richard Kissling.
Relations Between the Philippines and Switzerland may be traced back to the early 1800s when Swiss traders, missionaries and travelers ventured to East Asia. The opening of official Swiss. representation. in the Philippines was first considered by the Swiss Federal Council (Cabinet) in 1851. The initiative which led to the establishment of a Swiss honorary consulate in Manila, the first in Asia, in 1862.
Considered one of the highlights of the relations between the two countries is the visit oi Dr. Jose Rizal to five Swiss cantons – Basel, Berne, Lausanne, Schaffhausen and Geneva – in 1887 during which he was impressed with the Swiss people’s respect for a man’s dignity and their zealousness in guarding their political and innovation freedom that they have earnestly struggled for.
To enable fellow Filipinos to understand the struggle of the Swiss people against the tyranny of the Hapsburg of Austria, Dr. Rizal translated into Tagalog a play portraying the courageous deeds of the Swiss national Hero – William Tell – from-the German text written in 1804 by eminent German dramatist J. C. Friedrich von Schiller.
The commemorative souvenir sheet released together with these stamps features prominent natural landmarks and tourist attraction of the two countries – the Mayon volcano of the Philippines which has long been heralded for its perfect cone and the Matterhorn, the famous “peak” of the Swiss Alps which has been a symbol of Swiss culture.