Press Release for the Philippine Experts Roundtable Meeting

Manila, Philippines – An Experts’ Roundtable Meeting was held at the University of Santo Tomas on 23 April 2015 as part of the preparation of the Philippines for the possible transnational nomination of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route to the World Heritage List jointly with Mexico.

The following are the experts and the topics they discussed during the roundtable meeting: Dr. Celestina Boncan, Tornaviaje; Dr. Mary Jane A. Bolunia, Shipyards in the Bicol Region; Mr. Sheldon Clyde Jago-on, Bobby Orillaneda, and Ligaya Lacsina, Underwater Archaeology; Dr. Leovino Garcia, Maps and Cartography; Fr. Rene Javellana S.J, Fortifications in the Philippines; Felice Sta. Maria, Food; Dr. Fernando Zialcita, Textile; and Regalado Trato Jose, Historical Dimension.  The papers presented and discussed during the roundtable meeting will be synthesized into a working document to establish the route’s Outstanding Universal Value.

The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade bears its remarkable significance for linking four continents and two oceans, contributing to the development of trade in Asia, Europe, North and South America. The Galleon Trade paved the way for the widest possible exchange of material goods, cultural traditions and practices, knowledge and belief systems and peoples. It established the formidable link between the East and the West that would span for some 250 years which can be considered as the first manifestation of globalization, influencing politics and philosophy, commerce and the development of trade in almost all if not most parts of the globe. Through the Galleon Trade, Manila became the largest center of Trade in the Orient, soldering its historical links with neighboring countries. The Route becomes symbolic of UNESCO and the World Heritage Convention’s aims and objectives in establishing peace across nations through shared heritage and culture of understanding.

The roundtable meeting and the nomination of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route to the World Heritage List are initiatives of the Philippines National Commission for UNESCO and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Following the roundtable discussion of the Philippine experts, a series of meetings will be convened for its launch in the international community.

Photo Caption: The panel of experts (from L-R: Bobby Orillaneda, Dr. Mary Jane Louise Bolunia, Dr. Celestina Boncan, Felice Sta. Maria, Dr. Fernando Zialcita and  Regalado Trato Jose) during the roundtable meeting at the University of Santo Tomas together with Philippines National Commission for UNESCO Culture Commissioners, Eric Zerrudo (second from left) and Archt. Michael Manalo (rightmost)