Press Release
July 1, 2011

On 9th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day

Baler, Aurora - On the celebration of the 9th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, Senator Edgardo J. Angara strongly pushed for academic exchanges and scholarships between the Philippines and Spain stressing that promoting academic collaboration will create mutual benefits.

"Through more academic exchanges and scholarships, both countries will gain better understanding of each other's unique culture and tradition. Moreover, Filipinos would gain entry into the international academic community," said Angara.

"Carrying on with the study of the Spanish language will strengthen the historical and cultural bonds that unite our two countries. In a more practical sense, it will also provide more opportunities for work and social interaction," he added.

Spanish is the second most-studied language in the world next to English. It occupies a decisive place in international communication, especially in business, education and tourism.

"Eight years after we passed the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act, we have developed deeper and stronger ties with our former colonizer, which we now interact with as a co-equal, independent state. We have achieved huge strides in the area of legislation, culture, education, language, and sports. "

Among these is the inclusion of Spanish language teaching in the country's secondary education. Furthermore, the Philippine Senate and Spanish Senate have signed a landmark cooperation agreement which will organize parliamentary encounters to discuss topics of mutual interest.

Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro was the guest of honor at the Phil-Span and Siege of Baler commemorative program on June 30. Gracing the occassion were Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq, 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, National Museum Director Jeremy Barns, Honorary Consul of Spain Jose Ignacio Bidon and film writer-director Jesus Valbuena Garcia.

Angara is the author of the law setting June 30 of every year as Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. His hometown of Baler has been the host of the nationwide celebrations since 2003. The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day is also celebrated Iloilo, Bulacan, Cavite, as well as in the Spanish locales of Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia, Almonte in Huelva, Sevilla and even Guadalajara.

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