Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Julio Camarena highlighted the cultural relationships between his country and the Philippines by donating a book entitled “El Galleon de Manila” or Manila Galleon to the Malagos Chocolate Museum on Tuesday.
The book about the Galleon Trade which brought cacao beans to the Philippines now serves as one of the highlights of the museum located in Malagos Garden Resort, Davao City. The first chocolate museum in the country is owned and operated by the Puentespina family.
“The Malagos Chocolate farm represents the friendship that has existed between Mexico and the Philippines. It really represents our old ties,” the ambassador said in an interview.
Camarena traced the countries’ connection 500 years ago when Philippines was under the Spanish rule and Mexico was once the vice kingdom of Spain which prompted the operation of Galleon Trade also known as Manila-Acapulco Trade.
“Many of the products that came through the Galleon are the products today of the Philippines and you keep the Aztec name starting with the chocolate… in Aztecs they call it “xocolatl”. It was produced by the Aztecs, in fact the cocoa bean was the currency of the Aztecs,” explained the ambassador.
Other products from Mexico which came to the Philippines, he added, retained their Aztec name such as “maize” (mais or corn), tomato, “kalabasa” (squash), “chayote” (sayote or chayote), “achiote” (achuete), “chico”, “guyubano”, among others.
Aside from agri-products, Camarena cited the traditions being observed by the Philippines with Mexican influence such as the Semana Santa or the observance of the Holy Week, misa de gallo, Noche Buena, and fiesta.
Meanwhile, guesting during Wednesday’s Habi at Kape media forum at Abreeza Ayala Mall Davao City, Honorary Consul of Mexico to the Davao City Dr. Maria Lourdes Garcia-Monteverde gave importance to the efforts exerted by the Mexican ambassador to “reconnect the cultural roots of Davao City to that of Mexico”.
“What the ambassador did was something beyond ordinary compared to other countries that have been to Davao because he is reconnecting the roots of our ties and that is through our agricultural products,” she said.
The book donation was one of the side events of the ambassador in Davao City. Aside from that, he bared he has conducted a consultation with the city government, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) to explore for additional areas of opportunity for investment.
In 2013 to 2014, Mexico was the top investor of the Philippines with a total foreign direct investment (FDI) of $6.8billion. At present, Mexico remains to be one of the biggest foreign investors in the country alongside United States, Japan, United Kingdom, among others.