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.
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 day before the celebration, we were treated to a Cultural Night filled with Filipino and Spanish cuisines, along with performances by the Ilongot Tribe, Fire Dancers…
The historic site serves as a backdrop to the Wreath laying Ceremony of the annual Philippine -Spanish friendship celebrations commemorating the rich history and deep bonds between two countries.
With the attendance from the members of the diplomatic corps, officials of the countries' cultural agencies and representatives of the business sector.
"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.
Baler stands as the birthplace of Philippine's First lady, Doña Aurora Aragon-Quezon. The house had undergone major restoration changes, but the original details and designs were not altered. It still retains in Bahay-Kubo features with fine wood and nipa (Palmer's grass) roof.
This car was specially built by general Motors of America for the late President Manuel L. Quezon. It was turned over to Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur who used it throughout his duty tour in the Philippines.
Doña Aurora House & Baler Museum
Address: Poblacion, Baler Aurora
Admission: P30 (Inclusive of Baler Museum, Baler Church, Doña Aurora Aragon House.)
Operating Hours: 8am-noon, 1pm -5pm
Baler was the Spaniards' last stand during the Philippine Revolution of 1898. Some Spanish troops held out in Baler Church during a year-long siege and refused to surrender, not knowing and believing that the war has ended.
The Spanish government hailed the soldiers as heroes while Philippine president Emilio Aguinaldo commended them for their valor and granted them safe passage to repatriate.
Fun Fact: The Original church was destroyed during the Japanese Occupation.
Address: Poblacion, Baler Aurora
Overall, we loved our stay in Baler. It was an honor to be part of the 13th Philippine- Spanish Friendship day, we hope this celebration will bring tighter bonds and investment opportunities between the two countries. Cheers to a successful event!
Besides the rich history, Baler is known as one of the "top surf spots" in the Philippines. The Nine-feet waves serve as its main tourist attraction, bringing in hundreds of surfers during the surfing season from September to February.
Live an Awesome Life,
Abi, Sean and Boom of Our Awesome Planet Team
Disclosure: We are media guests during the 13th Philippine-Sanish Friendship Day. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. We stayed at Costa Pacifica courtesy of the Provincial Government of Aurora, Municipal Government of Baler.
Check out the photo essay experience at Costa Pacifica:
BALER COSTA PACIFICA Series (2013):
- BALER: Costa Pacifica Halloween Night @CostaPacificaPH
- BALER: Costa Pacifica Mornings in Full Color and Surfer Chic Vibe! @CostaPacificaPH
- BALER: Dicasalarin Cove Experience @CostaPacificaPH
- BALER: Charlie Does Surf Indeed :) @CharlieDoesSurf
- BALER: Kusina Luntian by Kuya Biboy
080 Buton St., Sitio Labasin, Sabang Beach, Baler, Aurora, Philippines, 3200
Manila Office: +632 576 4555
Baler Office: +63917 853 6040
Facebook: Costa Pacifica Raintree