Press Release
June 13, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government to forge stronger cultural ties with Spain, Mexico and other countries linked by the Galleon Trade from the 15th to 17th century.

He said it is an opportune time to do so following yesterday's Independence Day celebrations across the world, including in the Spanish capital of Madrid where he led the commemorative activities.

"We must prioritize the creation of a major gateway to Spain and Latin America because we share historical and cultural roots with these countries. Through the Galleon Trade, we were able to share traditions, indigenous products, and ideas especially on liberty and sociopolitical reforms," he added.

Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that the consular stations in Spanish-speaking countries, especially in Mexico, should be transformed into major diplomatic posts to promote cultural, educational and economic exchanges.

"Fostering a good working relationship with these countries would yield significant benefits and opportunities for economic and cultural growth," he said.

"A big part of these countries' foreign trade goes to Asia, but not to the Philippines. We must be more proactive in attracting trade, business and tourism from these countries to ours," Angara stressed.

The veteran legislator and current chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture is presently in Madrid, Spain where he led the grand opening of the first Sentro Rizal overseas.

Sentro Rizal was created under the National Heritage Act of 2009, authored by Angara and Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, to promote the country's rich cultural and historical heritage abroad. Sentro Rizal will be the Philippine equivalent of Spain's Instituto Cervantes which can be found in more than 20 countries.

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