Press Release
November 29, 2012


As the official representative of President Benigno Aquino III, Senator Edgardo J. Angara will visit Mexico and witness the inauguration of President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto of the United Mexican States.

Peña Nieto, a former governor of the State of Mexico, will take the presidential seat on December 1, 2012 to succeed President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

"It is a great honor to represent President Aquino and the country during the inauguration of the new leader of a nation that is becoming a global force," said Angara, noting that Mexico is currently the world's 13th largest economy and ranked 53rd in the 2012 Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, is at the forefront of re-establishing historical and cultural ties with Mexico, Spain and other Ibero-American nations, having authored the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act (RA 9187).

He explained, "The Philippines and the United Mexican States share a common heritage, born out of the two and a half centuries of Galleon Trade between Manila and Acapulco. As a precursor to globalization, these relations brought not only trade and agriculture to our country. It was also the vehicle for new ideas and attitudes to eventually enrich our own culture."

From the 16th to the 18th century, the Galleon Trade connected Europe, the Americas and Asia. Aside from the Philippines and Mexico, thirty-six countries--including Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom--participated in trade one way or another.

Last year, Angara hosted the visit of Madame Margarita Zavala, spouse of outgoing Mexican President Calderon. There, Madame Zavala expressed her support for Angara's proposal to build a galleon museum in the Philippines that would serve as an intercultural research center.

Recently, Angara launched a coffee table book entitled Galleon De Manila, which he authored with the late Sonia P. Ner in commemoration of the longest running shipping route that established Manila as the bridge between Asia and the New World.

The former UP President concluded, "The Galleon Trade is a part of global history that we must revisit, now that the Pacific Ocean is reemerging as the main hub for global trade. We see this in the vigorous pursuit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the continuing global political influence of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the East Asia Summit. The Philippines and Mexico definitely share a common future."

In 2010, Angara was awarded Spain's Premio Casa Asia, making him the first Southeast Asian to win Spain's highest foreign policy prize. He was also inducted as a Corresponding Academic Member of the prestigious Real Academia Hispano Americana De Ciencias, Artes Y Letras (Royal Hispano-American Academy of Science, Arts and Letters), becoming the first Asian and first non-Spanish speaker to be elected in the global network of scholars.

News Latest News Feed