Press Release
September 18, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the event's Steering Committee, led Friday's press launch for the upcoming Dia del Galeon Festival. The press conference held at the Marble Hall of the National Museum was attended by representatives from the National Commission on Culture and the Arts, the Spanish Embassy, heads of the National Museum and the Fundacion Nao Victoria, as well as guests from the academe and the media.

A lively dialogue between the members of the press, academe, and the panelists followed the initial speeches. Most of the questions were directed at Angara, including one about the implementation of the National Cultural Heritage Act which he authored.

Angara addressed a journalist's concern about how this act might end up hindering the undersea explorations for historical artifacts if the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) were not executed properly.

"I am happy that you are bringing these problems to public attention. You see, the IRR of this act still needs to be ironed out, and we need that kind of input from experts such as those experienced technical divers so that we may be able to put together a comprehensive set of rules," he answered.

Angara gladly replied to another question from the press about how the Galleon Trade is still relevant today, explaining that we should look back to this important time in our history so that we may appreciate how it shaped our modern-day culture.

"If the Manila-Acapulco Trade launched exchange of goods between Mexico and Manila, between Europe and Asia, now, the same exchange is taking place, but probably in different forms. But the Manila-Acapulco trade showed that countries and peoples must be connected. And that connectivity between countries, continents and peoples continued as a result of the example set by the Galleon Trade.

"The Galleon Trade is I think pivotal in that sense because it--the Manila-Acapulco trade route--touched the continents of Asia, of China, of Africa, the Americas and Europe. Talagang it was the beginning of exchange of goods. But beyond the physical, this exchange introduced us to each other. Our cultures and our history really became diversified, which is a source of pride to us.

"So we want to hark back to those centuries to remind ourselves we were not alone in our history. It's pretty good that we have connectedness, that's what we are commemorating and this is what this event is all about.

"At ang isa pang magandang ibinigay sa atin ng Spain, is our skillfull use of words. Masyado tayong mahabang mag-explain tulad ng ginagawa ko," he quipped.

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