February 13, 2012
2012 PHILIPPINE-SPANISH FRIENSDHIP DAY 'BIGGER THAN EVER'
The first decade of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day will be celebrated in a big way across the country, said Senator Edgardo J. Angara following the first meeting of the event's technical working group held at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Republic Act 9187, authored by Angara, recognizes June 30th of every year as the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, which was first held in 2003 in commemoration of the strong historical and cultural links between the two nations.
"This yearly event has brought the two countries closer and we have the Embassy of Spain and the Instituto Cervantes to thank for their tireless efforts. Since we are celebrating this event's 10th anniversary, we must pull out all the stops to make it a grand experience for both nations," said Angara.
In addition to the commemorative program to be held in the Senator's hometown of Baler, Aurora, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the members of the UP Faculty also proposed educational and cultural events to be held throughout the country as part of the week-long celebration.
The first is a conference on Spain's Cadiz Constitution of 1812 to coincide with its 200th anniversary on March 19th. The Cadiz Constitution is recognized as a big influence on the other constitutions of Latin America as well as the Philippines' Malolos Constitution. Two professors from Spain and two Filipino historians are expected to conduct the lectures.
The UP Vargas Museum will also hold an exhibit featuring copies of the 1812 Cadiz Constitution signed by Filipino delegates. Don Ventura de los Reyes, a wealthy merchant from Vigan and a member of the Royal Corps of Artillery of Manila, signed the constitution as the Filipino delegate.
Various versions of the Philippine Constitution will also be on display, showing the evolution of our country's laws.
"The 1812 Constitution embodied the liberal ideals that were spreading across Europe after the French Revolution. It upheld equality before the law, which in due course gave the impetus for the intellectual leaders of the Philippines, and Spanish colonies in the Americas, to agitate for independence," Angara explained.
"This is a momentous event in the history of Spain and her former colonies as it is from the same well that our collective thoughts and notions of liberty, social justice and civil rights sprung," he added.