Press Release
August 5, 2011


The University of the Philippines and three partner institutions from Mexico are finalizing a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for a research exchange program that would enable two distinguished researchers from the UP Department of History to leave for a study grant this year.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, former UP president and current member of the UP Board of Regents, spearheaded the effort when he visited Mexico earlier this year. UP President Alfredo Pascual signed the MOA as the counterpart in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Aboitiz Jebsen Company, led by its President Endika Aboitiz, readily committed to support the effort by shouldering the transportation costs and allowance of the two scholars.

During his trip to Mexico, Angara sought mutual assistance between Philippine and Mexican universities and other institutions of higher learning, primarily through the exchange of scholars who will conduct research in the areas of History, International Studies and Southeast Asian Studies.

The Mexican institutions that signed up for this pioneering effort are El Colegio de Mexico, El Colegio de San Luis and the Mexican National Archives.

Kristyl Obispado and Kristoffer Esquejo, instructors and researchers from the UP History Department, will be the pilot batch for the scholarship.

Obispado and Esquejo will undertake research on the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, which holds great cultural value for both countries.

The Galleon Trade put the Philippines and Mexico at the center of global commerce beginning in the 16th century. It also facilitated enormous cultural and political exchange whose resulting institutions still exist in both countries to this day.

"This area of research is hardly touched by Filipino scholars," said Angara. "But now we are providing them the means to explore a subject that is extremely significant to our country's history."

He continued, "Mexico has a wealth of materials on the subject ripe for study. All that the Filipino scholars need is opportunity to access it. This is truly a groundbreaking research endeavor made possible through the cooperation of UP and its counterparts in Mexico, and especially through the philanthropy of Aboitiz Jebsen."

Angara, UP and Aboitiz hope that the project will create a precedent and encourage greater cooperation among other universities in the country and abroad.

"We hope this first batch will be followed by more in the future, not just in History, but also in technical fields and even in sports," he said.

Aboitiz Jebsen is a Filipino leader in maritime services. It was established in 1982 between two pioneers in the transport business, the hundred-year-old Aboitiz Group of the Philippines and the Jebsens Group of Norway.

News Latest News Feed