By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines and Mexico have jointly commemorated the 453rd anniversary of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade – the first-ever globalized trade network in history.
Philippine Ambassador to Mexico Demetrio Tuason was the guest of honor at the commemoration rites held in Acapulco early this month with Mexican Cultural Secretary Mauricio Leyva Castrejon of the State of Guerrero as host.
Acapulco is a major seaport located in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, some 380 kilometers south of the capital, Mexico City.
The commemorative event included a floral offering at the Plaza del Tornaviaje de Andres Urdaneta and the unveiling of the bust of Alejandro Malaspina at the Plaza Mexico-Filipinas in Acapulco.
Malaspina, an Italian explorer who spent most of his life as a Spanish naval officer, conducted a scientific voyage in 1786 to 1794 that brought him to the west coast of the Americas, Gulf of Alaska, Guam and to the Philippines, which at that time, was under Spanish rule.
Tuazon’s delegation also visited the bust of Jose Rizal at the Plaza Mexico-Filipinas. In the evening, the Philippine delegation participated in an academic forum and a gastronomic event featuring Filipino food first introduced to Mexico during the time of the galleon trade.
Accompanied by Philippine Honorary Consul to Acapulco Mario de la O Almazan, the Filipino diplomat also paid courtesy calls on the governor of the State of Guerrero and the newly elected mayor of Acapulco.
In his remarks, Tuason highlighted the galleon trade as the bedrock of long-standing relations between Mexico and the Philippines and conveyed the embassy’s full support in further enhancing the ties between the Philippines and Acapulco.
One of the most important highlights of the historic trade was the “tornaviaje” route or the return trip from Manila to Acapulco, which was established in 1565 by Spanish navigator Andres de Urdaneta.
The tornaviaje ushered the beginning of 250 years of uninterrupted trade between Asia and the Americas.