Press Release
August 18, 2010

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY UNITES FOR DIA DEL GALEON FESTIVAL

Philippines, Mexico and Spain look back at their cultural connection while the International Community supports the Día del Galeón Festival

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Senator Edgardo J. Angara presided over a meeting with representatives from fifteen Embassies at the Department of Foreign Affairs' Summit Lounge.

Vilma Labrador of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts spoke on the role of the arts and culture sectors in providing the spine and engine of cultural expressions for the Festival, while D�a del Gale�n Festival Director Cecile Guidote Alvarez shared a detailed update on the events being organized for the historical fete.

Senator Angara also broke the wonderful news that plans are underway for the Spanish Galleon, "Andalucia", which is currently berthed at the Shanghai Expo, to dock in Manila and be a major centerpiece for the Philippine celebration of the first Día del Galeón Festival.

Representatives from China, Chile, Brazil and Mexico among others were in attendance in the diplomatic briefing. Embassies have showed their support by pledging to send representatives to ARTES TALLERES: THE WORKSHOP which will take place from September 20-October 8.

ARTES TALLERES is a three-week interdisciplinary festival of workshops, demonstrations, exhibits, and performances highlighting the impacts of the Galleon Trade---the good, the bad, and everything in between. A culminating activity will include a theatrical production of Mexican playwright, Miguel Sabido's Juana la Loca . The play will involve workshop participants, local artists and a Spanish composer. It which will fuse Filipino and Spanish languages, and include indigenous art forms.

Hugo Lambrechts, Ambassador of South Africa, was ecstatic about the workshop's scheduled events and relayed the African influence on the Trade. First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, Wu Jianhra expressed enthusiasm and support while Miguel Angel George Third Secretary of the Mexican Embassy, announced collaborations with Museo Pambata for special events on October 8. The festival has reawakened the cultural connection between Mexico and the Philippines, which were the two ports of entry during the Galleon era. The Mexican Ministry of Education is now adding a chapter in all their schoolbooks on Philippine-Mexican ties during the Galleon Trade.

The festival will focus on the impacts of the Galleon and it will mirror the three concerns of the United Nations for the year 2010: the protection of biodiversity as impacted by climate change, the advancement of seafaring concerns, as well as Cultural Rapprochement. The Philippine festival will add a new dimension to the Galleon trade as it will highlight the role and impact of the Filipinos during the trade as well as emphasizing indigenous art forms.

Preparations are underway for the UNESCO-approved global observance of Día del Galeón scheduled for October 8 to remember its historic role as a trade route connecting continents and as a vessel of cultural exchange. For more information log onto www.ncca.gov.ph or e-mail diadelgaleon@yahoo.com

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