A breath of fresh air
A farewell message from Albert Stalin Garrido (Philippines)
AEA invited Albert to the second three-country congress in Bekasi. It was the first time to hear something about Esperanto in the Philippines.
Dear congress-participants and friends,
With regret I apologise because I could not take part in the closing ceremony with you, because I had to fly out at 11am. I could not even properly say goodbye, specifically during the banquet, because I had to leave early to take the opportunity to buy souvenirs in the bazaar.
Indonesia is a very wonderful country. As I have said many times, it reminds me a lot of Manila. With the cultural and linguistic diversity, it is colourful and it is the challenge for us to discover even more deeply the wonderful things in these colours.
The three-country congress is a breath of fresh air for me. This is my sixth congress, but the first five were especially for older people, with whom I have understandable differences, views or experiences, etc. So, it is my first opportunity to participate in an international Esperanto event, whose participants were mostly young people. I see with my two eyes that the Esperantist youth both in Indonesia and in East Timor are really growing, and they cause the flourishing of competent participants in the movement, strengthening the fire in my heart. That fire is my constant affirmation that southeast Asia is the hope of our movement. And that we still have much work to do to promote the success already begun. I thank all the young Indonesians and East-Timorese who have the enthusiasm to show their skills and knowledge during various programs, and who also interacted with interest with me. Well, I’m generally a timid man, but the passion of interaction flows from that energy shown by them.
I’m also glad to get acquainted with Australian and New Zealand Esperantists, with whom I previously had almost no contact. It was indeed strange that despite the relative proximity between the Philippines and those two countries, we have not really had any kind of cooperation. On the other hand, I also thank the Australian Esperanto Association that made my trip possible and has thus effectively established relationships between our movements. Hopefully, the movements in both countries will continue to contribute to strengthening relations between countries in Asia and the Pacific.
Overall, I’m glad that through the three opportunities in which I could share my knowledge (The Philippines, the Philippines movement and Tagalog), many started to have a fresh knowledge of us. I always find energy to open the eyes of foreigners to my country, especially about our country’s Esperanto movement, which unfortunately remains relatively isolated from the rest of the international community.
Having said all that, I invite you to keep in touch with the Philippines Esperanto community, and I hope we will see each other very soon, whether in Indonesia again, or elsewhere, or even in the Philippines, where I will welcome you with all my heart. Returning home, let’s continue to plan and act more passionately to advance our noble cause.
Albert Stalin Garrido