Press Release
June 29, 2015


The 13th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, with the theme "Transitions, Trade and Transpacific Changes," celebrates the strong bilateral relations between the two countries as a result of the Philippines and Spain's deep historical and cultural ties.

"The bilateral trade between Philippines and Spain has been on the upswing over the years, and we are optimistic that this will continue to expand. Our deep-rooted ties with Spain gives us an enormous advantage over other countries in terms of potential trade and investment opportunities," Senator Sonny Angara said.

According to data, Spain ranks as the Philippines' 28th largest trading partner with total bilateral trade amounting to $329.6 million in 2011.

Spanish officials and business leaders have also recently reiterated their interest in increasing trade activities with the Philippines, and that their government is eyeing the country as its most important Southeast Asian partner.

The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act (Republic Act 9187) was authored by the younger Angara, then Aurora representative, and his father, former senator Edgardo Angara, to mark the act of benevolence which has paved the way in bridging better relations between Philippines and Spain.

The 13th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day also coincides with the 116th anniversary of the historic Siege of Baler, where Filipino and Spanish soldiers demonstrated their valor, nobility and shared humanity, even during conflict.

"The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day commemoration has opened up opportunities for cultural and economic agreements, billions worth of investments and grants, and numerous educational programs," Sen. Sonny Angara added.

Since 2003, Philippine-Spanish relations are celebrated on June 30 of every year through a series of activities especially in Baler and Spain.

Members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the business sector and officials from the country's cultural agencies are expected to arrive in Baler to witness and participate in the celebrations.

Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Adrian Cristobal and Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Antonio Calvo will be this year's guests of honor.

The night before the festivities will be marked by cultural performances featuring Spanish musicians, members of the Ilongot tribe, Belles of Baler and other local artists.

On the day of the celebration, the guests are invited to attend the commemorative program which will be held at the Municipal Plaza of Baler.

An eco-heritage tour will also take place at the Baler Museum, Baler Church, Doña Aurora Aragon House, Ermita Hill, Diguisit Rock Formation and Lukso Lukso Islet.

"Aurorans have always looked forward to this event which puts one in mind how the bilateral relations of the Philippines and Spain have shared the same vision for a brighter future," said former Senate President Edgardo Angara.

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