Press Release
October 7, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara is pushing to have October 8 of every year declared a national special working holiday to commemorate the "Dia del Galeon" (Day of the Galleon), in keeping with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution passed during the General Conference in Paris in 2009.

Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, has filed Senate Resolution No. 12 in this regard. The Committee has recommended the approval of the resolution per Committee Report No. 60.

"The Galleon Trade was one of the most important phenomena in our national history, and the history of the 35 other nations that took part in it," explained Angara. "Manila was the hub of this global trade--and it was through this that we first came into contact with many of the ideas, institutions and even recipes established in our society today."

He continued, "The institution of the Dia del Galeon recognizes the role of the Galleon Trade in aiding commerce and facilitating the exchange of culture, information and knowledge. By commemorating it, we also seek to revive our ties with the Ibero-American nations and find new ways to promote our relations with them."

The Dia del Galeon festival is currently being celebrated in Spain, Mexico and the Philippines. A three-day Galleon forum organized by the Department of History of the University of Philippines (UP) is ongoing in the University of San Carlos, Cebu City. Two scholars from the UP History Department are also set to leave for Mexico to study the Galleon Trade as part of a research exchange program.

In October 8, 1565, Basque explorer Fray Andres de Urdaneta discovered a return route from the Philippines to the Americas while aboard the San Pedro galleon--proving that the world could be navigated in two directions. This discovery heralded the establishment of a new trade route, which linked the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe, and set a record of 250 years, unmatched by any shipping line to date. (30)

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