Press Release
October 9, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, author of the law that sets October 8 of every year as Dia del Galeon, expressed his delight over the success of the

Dia del Galeon, or the international Day of the Galeon, which was celebrated yesterday. A special program called the Reunion was held at the Department of Tourism, including the launching of the 2010 Dia del Galeon Commemorative stamps by the Philippine Post.

October 8 is the day to commemorate the unique role of the Manila galleons in maritime history: advancing trade and inter-cultural exchange between Europe and Asia during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Dia del Galeon is part of a month-long festival, filled with seminars, workshops and exhibits.

One of the other highlights of the celebration spearheaded by Angara -- who chairs the Dia del Galeon Steering Committee together with the Embassy of Mexico, Embassy of Spain and other Latin American and Asian embassies -- is the arrival of the Galeon Andalucia. This majestic replica of the Spanish galleons is currently docked in Manila, open to the public for viewing until it leaves later today for the Viaje del Galeon to Cebu.

"I am really proud to have taken part in such a fulfilling project. The people's response to the entire Dia del Galeon festival is overwhelming--especially the tens of thousands of visitors who patiently waited in line to go aboard the Galeon Andalucia," he said.

Angara, board member of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), says that we must hark back to those centuries to remind ourselves we were not alone in our history.

"This celebration lets us understand the great impact of the Philippines in international trade and commercial globalization. But more importantly, our country had a great role in the introduction of bio-cultural diversity. This connectivity between countries, continents and peoples which resulted from the Galleon Trade is still present today," explained Angara.

According to Angara, who also heads the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and the Arts, we must treasure this opportunity to renew our international relations.

"It seems like my hopes for this festival have already come true: that Filipinos may be able to join the international pool of artists, educators, cultural workers and leaders, and take part in an exchange of ideas on governance, heritage and history," he said.

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