Press Release
August 27, 2011


The Aboitiz Foundation formally presented today a grant worth more than half a million pesos for two scholars from the University of the Philippines who are bound for Mexico to undertake research on the Galleon Trade papers and documents in the National Archives of Mexico.

Professor Kristoffer Esquejo and Professor Kristyl Obispado, both from the History Department of UP Diliman, will do work at the El Colegio de Mexico, El Colegio de San Luis and the National Archives under this pioneering exchange program initiated by Senator Edgardo J. Angara and the government of Mexico.

Aboitiz Foundation's sponsorship will help fund the studies of the UP scholars for one year. The grant was presented by Endika Aboitiz, Erramon Aboitiz, Sabin Aboitiz, Susan Policarpio and Unionbank President Victor Valdepeñas.

Mexican Ambassador Tomas Calvillo witnessed the ceremony, together with UP Presdient Alfredo Pascual, UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma and UP Diliman History Department Chair Ma. Luisa Bolinao.

Ambassador Calvillo welcomed the two UP historians, who will be the first Filipino scholars to gain access to a rich depository of historical documents on the Galleon Trade.

The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade was one of the most important trade routes in world maritime history. It linked the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe in commerce and intercultural exchange for 250 years, and facilitated trade, commerce, knowledge transmission and cultural exchange.

"There is a rich trove of Filipiniana materials in Mexico which until now is unmined, unexplored and unrevealed," said Senator Edgardo J. Angara. "This research exchange will shed light on our colonial history--even on our pre-colonial past."

UP President Pascual, Angara and the Aboitiz Foundation are optimistic that this pioneering exchange program will set the example of similar socio-cultural cooperations between the academe and the private sector.

"Our cultural heritage is a large part of our Filipino identity," said Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, Culture and the Arts. "It is only fitting that our best scholars take the time to study and write about it for our enlightenment and for future generations as well."

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