Friday, 28 April 2017 Brussels Belgium
Inauguration of Timichegtunnel in Ghent
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 13:08    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

Timetcheg_205 May 2011 -- Philippine Ambassador to Belgium H.E. Enrique A. Manalo led the ribbon-cutting ceremony today, alongside the Mayor of Gent Mr. Daniel Termont, formally opening the "Timichegtunnel" at the St. Pieter's Train Station in Gent, Belgium. The tunnel, named after an Igorot called "Timicheg", was made possible through a Gent City Council resolution passed in 2007 that intended to commemorate the Gent World's Exhibition of 1913 through the naming streets and tunnels after notable participants of this historical event.

 Timicheg shares the honor of having a specific place named after him with prominent Belgian personalities of that time, such as Mr. Oscar de Voorde and Mr. Valentin Verwyck, well-renowned architects of Old Flanders who made significant contributions to the Expo.

During the ceremony, the Ambassador remarked that it was "commendable that the City of Gent has not only chosen to celebrate the achievements relating to the 1913 expo, but has been able to balance this by commemorating those who experienced difficulties to participate in this event".

Witnesses of the event include high-ranking officials of NMBS-Holding, VVM De Lijn and Infrabel Network, which are the private sector partners of the "Project Gent St. Pieters", as well as members of the press. The Timichegtunnel is part of this project, which is a long-term infrastructure development plan of the Gent St. Pieters train station and its environs, and is set to be completed by 2020.

The Ambassador ended his speech by saying, "Let the naming of this tunnel be a positive symbol of the recognition of human-centered development and celebration of cultural diversity through non-exploitative means by the international community".

 Timicheg is one of the 54 Filipinos (in particular, 36 men, 16 women and 2 children) from Bontoc, Mountain Province that participated in the "Filipino Village" of the 1913 Gent Expo, who had unfortunately died from tuberculosis four months upon his arrival in the city. After the expo in Ghent, the rest of his companions had lingered on in Gent until December 1913, apparently because no funds could be raised to bring them back home, until the US government provided the support. After that experience, such kind of "exotic peoples' display" had started to be banned from World Fairs. END

 

 

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