Press Release
June 30, 2011


Baler, Aurora - The 9th annual celebration of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day culminated in the hometown of Senator Edgardo J. Angara today with the full support of the diplomatic community.

Central to this year's celebrations are the majestic years of the Galleon Trade during the 16th century. Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro, the guest of honor, and Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq joined Angara for the series of events staged in the historic town of Baler.

"These celebrations further cement the cultural and historical connection between Spain and the Philippines. This is the time to look back and relive the grandeur of the Galleon era, when our country was at the center of global commerce and trade," said Angara, author of the bill that dedicates June 30 of every for Phil-Span.

Diplomats and officials who graced the festivities were Ambassador Manuel Perez Iturbe of Venezuela, Ambassador Roberto Mayorga Lorca of Chile, Ambassador Malayvieng Sakonhninhom of Laos, Ambassador Malai Hallmah Yussof of Brunei, Mexico's Second Secretary Christian Clat Mendoza, Instituto Cervantes Director Jose Rodriguez, Kim Jinoh, country representative of Korea International Cooperation Agency, and National Museum Director Jeremy Barns.

Jose Ignacio Bidon, Honorary Consul of Spain and film writer-director Jesus Valbuena Garcia were also present. Both are descendants of Spanish soldiers who took part and eventually survived the Siege of Baler from 1898-1899.

Aurora Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and Mayor Arturo Angara of Baler also took part in the celebrations, which included a cultural night and the 112th anniversary of the historic Siege of Baler.

Performers for the cultural night included the Halili-Cruz Dance Company, Philippine Normal University Chorale, University of Santo Tomas Singers and the Performance Laboratory Theater Group from Bacolod.

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