Another ambassador together with the deputy head for mission are scheduled to visit Naga on December 12-13, 2019 for some meetings and cultural engagements with Ateneo de Naga University and Universidad de Santa Isabel. His Excellency, József Bencze is the Ambassador of Hungary in the Philippines since December 2016 who officially reopened his country’s Embassy in Manila while Mr. David Ambrus is the Deputy Head of Mission whose previous assignment was in Indonesia.
The highlight of the visit according to Ateneo de Naga University Press Deputy Director, Kristian Sendon Cordero will be the signing of the memorandum of agreement between Ateneo de Naga University and the Embassy in Hungary in Manila as represented by His Excellency, József Bencze and Fr. Robert E. Rivera, SJ, Ateneo University President. The agreement will enable both parties to produce an anthology of classical and contemporary poetry in Hungarian available in Filipino. The embassy has agreed to provide some financial assistance which will provide for the printing and the modest honorarium for the translators, editors, artist, and book designer that will be involved in the project.
Fr. Wilmer Tria, the university press director believes that these on-going projects with foreign embassies and the Ateneo de Naga Press is a good sign for the university to continue its mission to promote mutual and cultural activities beneficial to our common good. He said, “As director of the university press often described as “the small powerhouse outside Manila”, we are happy that the Embassy of Hungary has honored us with this project. Now, you too can be called as co-rebels. Rebellion against the tyranny of market driven platforms, rebellion against ignorance and strangeness, rebellion against alienation. It is our hope that with this book which we are about to do, we may be able to bring each other’s countries for a deeper mutual understanding that can be gleaned though our literature especially through our poetry.”
Tentatively entitled, MGA TIPAKLONG SA KAMPANA (Grasshoppers on the Bell) based from the short poem of László Nagy (1925-1978). Nagy is a Hungarian poet and translator. He is also known as a graphic artist and a prose writer. Around four hundred poems are attributed to him. In this anthology, which will be co-edited by Cordero and another Palanca-award winning poet, Enrique Villasis, around fifty Hungarian poets will be made available in the national language including the classic poets like Sándor Petőfi considered as their “Jose Rizal”.
During his visit, the ambassador will also have an author’s reception at the Savage Mind Bookshop, at 5 Peninsula St, Mayon Avenue, Naga City. He and Mr. Ambrus are expected to meet students and local media in the said bookshop. A career police and customs officer by vocation, he is also an avid reader and poet, with three published volumes under his belt. His first two volumes, Az első tanítóm (My First Teacher) and Teljesség (Wholeness) are available in his native Hungarian, while the third A szerelem csillaga (The Star of Love) was translated to Macedonian and published in that country. After many years in the service of the police, hr applied his law enforcement experiences to civic duties when he became the mayor of a small town in Central Hungary. After heading that municipality, he was tasked with leading one of the most important police districts in the center of Budapest. From 1995 onwards, he held several positions in the Hungarian administration and was appointed the number two of the Hungarian Customs and Finance Guard in 1997 which was followed by his promotion to Chief of the Hungarian National Police in 2007. In 2010, Jószef Bencze took the opportunity to challenge himself in a new field, diplomacy, by assuming the post of Ambassador to Skopje (Macedonia), a position he held until Summer 2016.
The head envoys from Hungary will also meet the civic groups, the Rotary Club of Naga and the Jaycees Carinosa and members and leaders of the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce in a dinner hosted by the management of Tugawe Cove Café on December 12, 2019. They will also pay a courtesy visit to the Naga City Mayor’s Office before visiting the Universidad de Santa Isabel, one of the historical landmarks in the region which is dedicated under the patronage of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.