Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route
Recognizing the global significance of the first trans-Pacific maritime trade route, the Philippines and Mexico are working on the possible transnational nomination of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The trade route connected Mexico and the Philippines for some 250 years (from 1565 to 1815) giving rise to a wide range of exchanges between the continents, from material goods, agricultural practices, knowledge and belief systems, to traditions and cultural practices.
With support from the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Office of the Undersecretary for Policy, PH NatCom’s Culture Committee Commissioners Michael Manalo and Eric Zerrudo are leading this initiative, which began with meetings/visits with Mexico’s World Heritage Office Director, Dr. Francisco Javier Lopez Morales. Filipino and Mexican experts and scholars on the Galleon Trade will be invited in mid-2015 to an International Experts’ Meeting to select the possible sites for inclusion in the nomination, discuss the nomination strategy and the outline/draft of the Route’s nomination dossier.
In preparation for this international meeting and the nomination, PH NatCom is coordinating a Review of Related Literature and a Filipino Experts’ Meeting on the Galleon Trade Route. The Review of Related Literature has been assigned to Dr. Florina Capistrano-Baker who will prepare an annotated bibliography of the studies on the trans-Pacific route. This review is expected to identify the strengths and gaps in knowledge to support the nomination. Dr. Baker and other experts in history (Prof. Regalado Jose), anthropology (Dr. Fernando Zialcita), Turna Viaje or return route, Spanish fortifications (Fr. Rene Javellana S.J.), cuisine (Ms. Felice Sta. Maria), cartography (Dr. Leovino Garcia), and underwater archaeology (National Museum of the Philippines) have been commissioned to prepare papers for presentation at the Filipino Experts’ Meeting planned in April-May 2015, to assess the Philippines’ side of the nomination.