Wednesday, July 21, 2010


July 16 Manila, Philippines- Festivals are rich in the Philippines all year round in various regions, provinces, cities, and barangays. Starting this 2010, the Philippines joins the rest of the world in commemorating Día del Galeón (Day of the Galleon) on October 8 of every year, following the UNESCO Resolution passed last year in Paris, France, which honors the Galleon Trade between the Philippines and Spain via Mexico that took place for 250 years from 1565 to 1815.  
On July 16, 2010, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), which is the lead agency for organizing the festival, held a press conference at Barbara’s Restaurant, Intramuros, to formally announce and launch Día del Galeón Festival 2010, which is anchored on the theme “Continental Connectivity, Precursor to Globalization.”
The Galleon Trade is one of the most important trade routes in world history because it bridged Asia, starting from Manila across the Pacific Ocean, with Europe, the Americas, and Africa in the 15th Century continuing to the 17th Century. Considering our major role in this history, the Philippines has taken up the task of organizing a monumental festival in tribute to the shared history and culture brought about by the Galleon Trade.
The Día del Galeón honorary chairpersons Senator Edgardo J. Angara and DepEd Undersecretary and NCCA Chairman Vilma L. Labrador joined Cecile Guidote Alvarez, Día del Galeón Director General, in leading the panel of speakers. Joining them were Miguel Angel George Cruz, Third Secretary and Consul of Mexico to the Philippines; Jose Hornero, First Secretary of the Spanish Embassy to the Philippines; and Jose Ma. Fons Guardiola, Deputy for Cultural Affairs of Instituto Cervantes. They presented the media with the Festival’s objectives, programs, and significance to History, Heritage, Habitat, and Language.
“With the Galleon trade, the world became a global village and Manila became the most important port in Asia. It gave us a place in world history,” Sen. Angara related to the press.
Señor Hornero, in behalf of Ambassador Luis Arias Romero, said, “It is the first institutionalized venture and commemoration of (the) Galleon Trade. We are pioneers in this ground. I am very excited. We are in the process of creation.” 
                Meanwhile, Señor Fons said, “There’s something common in our history. It’s good if we can use that history and heritage to establish a dialogue for the future.” He added that the festival will be an interesting catalyzer for cultural dialogue and understanding.                
Consul George shared that “Día del Galeón will be observed in a grand way in Mexico, particularly because of its centennial celebration.”
                The panel also relayed to the media that the Día del Galeón Steering Committee has planned a multiplicity of activities simultaneously happening in Manila, Mexico, and Madrid as the three capital cities of the Galleon Trade. In Manila, there will be a three-week workshop for international and local participants, leading to October 8, which shall see the triangulated cooperative performance of the three capital cities for the staging of Miguel Sabido’s Juana la Loca.

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