Press Release
October 31, 2010


MADRID, Spain -- Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who is set to receive the Premio Casa Asia, today expressed his intent to seek Spain's help in our country's continuing heritage conservation efforts, inspired by Spain's success in preserving their cultural treasures.

Casa Asia, a cultural arm of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is awarding Angara for his exceptional efforts in reawakening the Philippine-Spanish relations. He is cited for the creation of RA 9187 which declares June 30 as the Philippine-Spain Friendship Day.

Angara, who will accept the award on the 2nd of November, says that he plans to draw the attention of the Casa Asia members towards one of his main advocacies--the ongoing preservation and rehabilitation of the Philippine historical sites.

"We must learn from the Spanish, millions of people visit their country because of their well-preserved historical places. The Philippines, meanwhile, is an immensely beautiful country, with great potentials for tourism. We want to tap this tourism know-how which Spain has put to use so effectively," Angara said.

"In addition to promoting potential tourist attractions--the people of Spain can teach us so much in terms of hotel construction, training manpower, networking with tourism organizations and building a strategic tourism plan," he explained.

According to Angara, these initiatives would benefit not just the tourism industry, but would also provide a great boost to our economy through the creation of more jobs.

"If done properly, we can tap new markets and create opportunities that would generate income and employment for our people," he explained.

Angara further called attention to the many historical and anthropological documents on colonial Philippines are stored in Spain's archives and libraries. Meanwhile, irreplaceable Spanish colonial documents can be found in the country, which could prove invaluable for historians from both countries.

"However, some of these documents are poorly stored in our museums, so we need Spain's expertise in archival preservation and digitization. Also, these documents remain out of reach to most local historians fewer Filipinos can speak Spanish," he lamented.

Angara authored the National Cultural Heritage Act, passed earlier this year in the 14th Congress. This law provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for the identification, preservation and restoration of old documents and artifacts, as well as monuments, old buildings, shrines, landmarks and other sites and items of historical value in the Philippines.

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