The First Día Del Galeón Opens in Manila
After two centuries of almost left in the oblivion of time, the journey of thousands of miles that initiated the modern trans-Pacific trade, has been celebrated. Manila, the first ASEAN cultural capital, opened the 1st Día Del Galeón Festival (Day of the Galleon) on 24th of September, 2010. The said festival will go on all the way to the 8th of October, 2010 with the theme “Connecting Continents.” With cultural presentations, academic conferences and the revisiting of a replica of the Spanish galleon, the event was organized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Instituto Cervantes, the Embassies of Spain and Mexico, and all other non-government organizations, and members of the academe and the Philippine government—rekindling the once (almost) lost connection between Philippines, Mexico, Spain and the rest of Asia in two centuries of treacherous journeys across the Pacific, that changed the course of world history.
Held at the Museum of the Filipino People at Manila, the opening ceremonies were attended by heritage and history advocates, diplomats from some Latin American countries, Spain, India and Japan, the NCCA, Senator Edgardo Angara (one of the prime movers of the said event), NCCA chair Cecile Guidote Alvarez, artists, students and more. Initiated with some performers from Artes Talleres and the UST choir, they featured the cultural aspects of the Philippines. Dances such as the flamenco and also an interpretative dance from famed Japanese acteur/danceur Jun “Nishio” Amanto was also featured.
From September 20th to October 8th, the Artes Talleres will hold an international workshop, while on October 5 and 6 will be the PACLAS Latin American Studies Conference, which will discuss the independence of the Latin American countries and the parallelisms in the Philippines. Another event would be the Espectáculos, which would include the performance of Juana Loca by Mexican playwright Miguel Sabido.
The event continues all the way to the sea, as Viaje Del Galeón, four-day educational field trip, takes a cruise from Manila to Cebú, with participants learning about the influences of the galleon trade in the Philippines and visiting these two great cities that influenced the said tornaviaje.
However, the people may be drawn by curiosity and amazement as Nao Victoria, a replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon, docks at Manila starting October 5 to 9. Admission is free. So, rather than just watching Pirates of the Caribbean, go with the real stuff of legends!
The rest of the country will also celebrate Dia del Galeon with their local commemorative events.
Most of us thought that the Philippines was directly ruled by Spain—yet it wasn’t for more than 200 years. Most of us use these terms everyday: sayote, zapote, palengke, tsokolate, kakawati, abokado, kalachuchi and so much more—but these came from the language of the great Aztecs of Mexico—Nahuatl. A lot of us thought that the only time you’ll see Philippines and Mexico in one scene would be screaming your hearts out of Thalia or telenovelas, or when Manny Pacquiao or any of our boxers get to rumble against the Mexican luchadores. A lot of these we took for granted, however our “Hispanic” roots are not just tied with Spain, but also with Mexico…and a lot of us don’t know that we have been influenced, in one way or another, so much with the Mexican-Spanish culture—all because of the galleons that once ruled Pacific Ocean’s trade.