Press Release
November 1, 2010


MADRID, Spain -- Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who is currently in Spain to accept the Casa Asia award, called for initiatives to revive the successful exchange between the Philippines, Spain and other Hispanic countries akin to the time of the Galleon Trade.

Ten jury members from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affair's cultural branch chose Angara to be the recipient of the 2010 Premio Casa Asia, for his exceptional efforts to encourage understanding and strengthen relations between Spain and the Philippines through various programs and projects.

He authored Republic Act No. 1987, proclaiming June 30th as the official Philippine-Spain Friendship Day, further demonstrating his dedication to this cause.

"Spain and the Philippines are natural partners. Foreign relations between the Philippines and Spain has been reawakened since the first celebration of the first Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day was celebrated in 2003. Eight years later, we have achieved huge strides in the area of legislation, culture, education, language, and sports through this interaction," said Angara.

Angara, with the help of the Spanish and Mexican Embassies, also spearheaded the recent celebration of the Dia del Galeon, which commemorated the historic and cultural ties forged during glory days of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade.

"We should resurrect our long and fruitful ties created during the 16th century. Back then, this association brought trade, investment, agriculture and the enrichment of our culture and language. In modern times, more dynamic trade between Spain and the Philippines would mean a great deal of shared knowledge in a wide range of categories: from historical preservation to research and technology," he stressed.

According to Angara, the shared history between the two countries formed a strong bond and a willingness to work together despite major differences.

"Our common culture, religion and centuries-long history make it natural for a special affinity to exist, irrespective of changing political circumstances or separate development paths. This is why I am hopeful that my stay here in Spain would bring about more efforts to facilitate this exchange of ideas" he said.

Angara is set to receive the Premio Casa Asia, which consists of a monetary prize and a commemorative trophy, on November 2 in Madrid.

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