Finally. After months of procrastination and soul searching, I’ve made my choice and it’s going to be German.

I’ll start learning the language of the Teutons next month at the Goethe Institut-Manila. I’m still having a hard time pronouncing “Goethe”. It should sound like this. I’ll get the hang of it soon.

Why German?

1. I’ve always been fascinated with the language and its people. Dr. Jose Rizal was noted for his fluent German and his experience in the country was a very significant one for him. His encounter with its people gave him a better perspective on religious tolerance that aided him in revising his first novel. 

2. It’s near my home.

But wait, you live near Alliance Française de Manille?

My wife asked this question. Why not French? My interest in it is not as strong as German.

I also think that my country’s relationship with Germany needs to be strengthened further. Rizal saw something in its people. In his letter, he described the German people as “free, hard-working, well governed, full of confidence in its future, and master of its destinies.” (The First Filipino, L. Guerrero).  Maybe we Filipinos can learn something from them. These are qualities that we should aspire for.

Guiding in German will help in delivering my message to a wider audience especially to those who are interested in our culture and our links to them. It is a good way to connect with my guests. Should they have a great time here, they will become instant endorsers of the Philippines when they return home.

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I had a drinking tour in Malate last year with a group of German expats. Their eyes glowed when I told them about Rizal and Rizal Strasse and how he had a terrific time in their country. Questions poured in and it made the evening truly enjoyable. It’s reactions like these that make me love my job.

I’m excited to guide this group,  talk about the Philippines, bring them to its beautiful places, answer their questions, show them around Greenhills, and ask them to tell their friends and loved ones that the Philippines is ready to receive them. All these in German.