By Errah Jean H. Crusim
Mexican embassy opens “The Galleon: Manila-Acapulco Galleon Museum,” a replica of an 18th century galleon based on the original naval architectural plans, which is also open to the public. The museum situated at the SM Mall of Asia complex is a reminder of the important role of Mexico in the first global economy.
A vital part of Asia’s trade and commerce was carried on the Galleon, and Philippines was an opening access to the greatest maritime exchange.
The museum will serve as an important landmark in Asia and a fitting tribute to the several nations which participated in the grand venture. Surrounding the galleon replica will be various artifacts retrieved from shipwrecks in the Philippines, Mexico and in other countries that participated in the Galleon Trade and several other materials loaned from or donated by other museums.
A group of cultural leaders, historians and philanthropists formed the non-profit organization, Museo del Galeon, Inc. (MDGI) under the key founder Chairman Edgardo J. Angara, for the purpose of constructing the museum with the help of SM Prime Holdings, under the leadership of Hans Sy, who donated a prime location and the funds to start its acquisition program.
The museum showcases permanent exhibitions in the following galleries: The Circle, The Tornaviaje, The Zenith and The Fade-Out. This is to explain the progress of the Galleon Trade apart from featuring various objects traded between East and West. There will also be other areas for rolling or temporary exhibitions. For the first three years, The Galleon will be featuring rolling exhibits from the Franz Mayer Museum, Puebla Museum and the Naval Museum of Spain.
The Galleon will also house the Pacific Trade and Cultural Studies Center, an institution developed both by the Philippines and Mexico. The research center will support scholarly endeavors of the Manila-Acapulco Museum and will create research projects and programs dedicated to improving the knowledge regarding the social, cultural, and commercial development within and around the Pacific region.
With the efforts at collecting, preserving and protecting artifacts and documents regarding this period in history, the museum will encourage the continuation of what the Galleon Trade has started.
When asked about the importance of the museum Ambassador Julio Camarena Villasenior answered, “The Acapulco Galleon Museum is very important because it brings back our ties to the Philippines. Most of the Filipinos thought they were linked with the crown kingdom of Spain but NO. The linkage was with the vice kingdom of Spain and that is Mexico and The Galleon Museum is trying to show exactly that”.
The museum plays an important element of Philippines-Mexico history for 500 year in terms of influence in tradition, governance, religion, and culture. Through The Galleon, Mexico continues living the legacy of paying tribute to the individuals who made the Galleon Trade, and eventually the Philippines as an independent nation, a reality. (Eagle News Service)