Legarda Looks Forward to Stronger PH-Spain PartnershipJune 30, 2018
Senator Loren Legarda said that the Philippines can look forward to stronger cooperation in more areas of development with Spain as the two nations commemorate today the Philippines-Spanish Friendship Day.
“Spain has been our staunch ally in various cultural, social, and humanitarian projects. Seventy-one (71) years of diplomatic relations augur well for an unwavering partnership that can even be stronger in the areas of economic cooperation, environmental conservation, and renewable energy development,” Legarda said.
Aside from more than seven decades of diplomatic relations, the Philippines and Spain also have more than 300 years of shared history, thus allowing both countries to share a distinct cultural affinity.
“Taking into consideration the years of colonization, we can say that the Philippines and Spain possess this distinct cultural affinity. Many of our cultural traits and behavior are influenced by Spain, like celebration of fiestas, religious beliefs and practices, and even our language and dialects, among others,” Legarda said.
“Although not all of the memories of our colonial past was good, we must still acknowledge that Spanish influence contributed greatly to who we are today as Filipinos. May we make use of this cultural affinity to further strengthen our ties and continue to work together to renew this friendship to come up with more relevant projects and opportunities for cooperation for the benefit of both countries,”Legarda added.
Meanwhile, Legarda also noted that there is quite a number of Filipino immigrants and overseas workers in Spain. The Senate, in 2012, ratified the Convention on Social Security between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain, which Legarda sponsored as the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations.
“There is a significant number of Filipinos in Spain and, with this, the government should continue working closely with the Spanish government in the field of social security for the welfare of OFWs. But we must not stop here. We must actively pursue similar efforts to make sure that both our peoples benefit from our policies, programs and processes,” Legarda said.
Moreover, as part of her cultural crusade, Legarda recalled the Hibla ng Lahing Filipino Travelling Exhibitionwhich was held in Madrid, Spain in May 2018, which was titled, “Piña-Seda: Pineapple and Silk Cloth from the Tropics.” The exhibit was organized by the National Museum of the Philippines, the Senator’s Office, the Local Governments of Kalibo, Aklan and Lumban, Laguna, in partnership with the Philippine Embassy in Madrid, Spain and the Real Fabrica de Tapices.
“The relationship between Spain and the Philippines is a friendship borne of hundreds of years of shared history. Th exhibition hopefully allowed the Spanish people to explore the similarity and diversity of our traditional textiles. There is so much to show the world about the indigenous artistry of Filipinos through traditional textiles and Hiblawas an attempt to bring the challenge of nurturing our weaving traditions into the global scene, to a wider audience. We hope to stage Hibla again in other cities in Spain in the future,” Legarda concluded.
The Philippines-Spanish Friendship Day marks the great friendship between both countries and is being celebrated to commemorate the day when General Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the First Republic of the Philippines, issued a decree granting the survivors of the Siege of Baler safe passage to Manila, en route to their return to Spain, as a tribute to the loyalty and gallantry they had displayed.