PHILIPPINE-SPANISH FRIENDSHIP DAY CELEBRATION

BY virtue of Republic Act 9187, the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act, enacted into law in 2003, the celebration of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day is held on June 30 every year to strengthen the historical and cultural ties, friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Spain. It commemorates the bravery of Spanish soldiers who survived the "Siege of Baler" and were commended by President Emilio F. Aguinaldo on June 30, 1899.

In the 10 years that Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day has been celebrated, nine bilateral economic and cultural agreements have been signed. There have been R9.2 billion worth of investments and grants in energy, information technology, agriculture and fisheries, as well as numerous educational opportunities.

Activities on June 30, 2012, are exhibits "Three Hundred Years of Philippine Maps from 1598 to 1898" at the Metropolitan Museum and "Landmarks of Liberty: From Cadiz to the Freedom Constitution" at the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum. There will be exhibitions at Museo de Baler: "Franciscano 1609-1890," a photo-poetry exhibit "Meridian World," and "44 Filipino Filmmakers: Portraits." A book, "Komedya de Baler," will be launched. A cultural night and commemorative program will be held in Baler, Aurora, on June 29-30, 2012. The two countries have maintained the bond of friendship and support since they signed their first treaty on September 2, 1947. They have formed agreements in the areas of culture, transportation, tourism, investments, social security, finance, political and technical cooperation. Public school teachers have had Spanish language training following the reintroduction of the Spanish language as an elective in high school in 2009.

We greet the Philippines led by H.E., President Benigno S. Aquino III, and Vice President Jejomar C. Binay, and Spain headed by Chief of State His Majesty, King Juan Carlos de Borbon y Borbon, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey, and Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria on the occasion of the Philippine-Spanish Day. The Manila Bulletin, led by its Chairman of the Board Dr. Emilio T. Yap, President and Publisher Atty. Hermogenes P. Pobre, Executive Vice President Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Cris J. Icban Jr., Business Editor Loreto D. Cabañes, and Officers, wish them the best and success in all their endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS!

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