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Brief highlights of the Mexican-Philippine Historical Relations Seminar

New York City- June 21, 1997.
panel headed by Gemma Guerrero Cruz (Miss International 68), MA , Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, and the Philippines Centennial Commission Representative in Mexico.

1. Manila Galleon Trade connection and the cultural by-product. The seeds of Filipinos grew throughout the coast of Mexico when the Filipinos crew stayed in Acapulco for three months prior they returned to Manila. The sailors kept families in both cities.

2. Summary of her position paper. A notable development of the Galleon Trade was the cultural interchange between the two colonies. What Filipinos today regard as a Spanish influence in food, language, and customs, may in fact be Mexican in origin. The Tagalog word palengke, for example, may have originated from the Mexican palenque. The Philippines also adopted the Mexican monetary standard, the peso. In exchange, Mexico got the Philippine mango and Chinese silk, a highly prized commodity in Mexico in the 18 & 19th centuries. Lace-making was a skill that traversed the Pacific from Asia and is an industry today in Olinalia, Mexico.

3. Aculturation gave rise to many cultural elements such as the nahuatlismos in Philippine speech, the "TUBA" drink or the devotion to the Santo Nino de Sibuu (Cebu). Filipinos introduced the art of making the coconut wine as well . Words of Nahuati origin were assimilated in the Filipino language. These include achuete, atole, avocado, balsa, bangueta, cacahuete, cacao, caimito, calabaza, camachile, camote, calachuche, chico,. chocolate, coyote, nana(y), tata(y), tiangui, tocayo, zacate, and zapote.

4. The Philippine revolution or the Anti-colonial revolution (the name Gemma prefers) that lead to the June 12 1898. After that she challenged the Fil-am audience to study the period 1899 and beyond since the American involvement started. It started with the coming of the American forces composed of volunteers from various states in the United States. This explained the names of the various streets crossing the avenues in Malate district like North Dakota, Tennesse. Colorado, etc. All these streets were renamed after the independence date was moved to June 12.

5. One of the Mexican panel members, Cutberto Hernandez Legorreta states in his position abstract, " Very significant to us is the slave, baptized Enrique, who had been recruited somewhere in the Moluccas, bought by Magellan, taken to Lisbon, then to South America, and finally to the Marianas. He was the First man who circumnavigated the earth. He was helped by the Ladron islanders. (Marianas Islander or Chamorros) in the course of the well-known circumnavigation. Later, Enrique came in handy in Cebu for the Spaniards as he was likewise conversant with the Philippine Islanders. It would seem that this might be the first notice on record linking the Chamorros with the Malayan Filipinos. It was later observed the Chamorros, like the Philippine natives, were rice grower, while other Micronesians were not."

6. Kind of funny at times those two cultures dominated by Spanish language were communicating in a third language.

7. The story of TUBA brings me memories of my growing years in the Philippines. On my third drink of "tuba" I like to tell the world that the most beautiful woman came from the Philippines, Gemma and other Filipinas who won international beauty pageants proved that long time ago. After I lost count of my "Tuba" drinks, I would ask the moon if she saw my great-great-grandfather "Enrique" going around the planet in 1521. The panel showed slide of composite picture of Enrique and he looks like us because he is of our kind.

8. Memorial names of street, buildings, and squares change as interpretation of history are re-written. Plaza Bonifacio along the Metro Theatre and Post office building near City Hall used to be called Plaza Lawton. General Henry W Lawton who was credited for the capture of the great Apache Chief Geronimo. Like most of the American army officer who fought in the Indian pacification, Lawton was sent to the Philippines to fight the Spanish Military and the Filipino insurrection later. He was killed by the forces of a Filipino General named Geronimo. Insurrection or revolution, they were remnants of Katipunans founded by Andres Bonifacio.

Thanks to:

Lilia C & Leopoldo Clemente and other sponsors of the seminar.

 NESTOR PALUGOD ENRIQUEZ Nestor Palugod Enriquez