JOIN OUR TRADE MISSION TO THE PHILIPPINES! October 12-21, 2022 Visit www.fpacctrademission2022.com for more information. Mabuhay!
It’s an opportunity and an experience of a lifetime. What you’ll see and hear and experience will somehow change you and your perspectives and how you see our country. How I wish every Filipino who’s outside the Philippines can experience this!
Also as an added highlight — we will have a wreath-laying ceremony at the historical marker of the Manila Acapulco Galleon Trade to celebrate its 457th year anniversary. If plans push through, a marker will be installed in Cavite City where the galleons were repaired and refurbished before they set sail. Loloy Reyes, our Head of Mission, was in the Philippines a few weeks ago to work on logistics for our trade mission and went to Cavite City for a meeting with the new Mayor— Denver Chua— and the members of the Cavite Historical Society headed by former Prime Minister Cesar Virata.
To our fellow cavitenos, you may also want to join the 457th year commemoration of the Manila Acapulco Galleon Trade in Barra Navidad, Jalisco, Mexico in November. This is the “sister city” of Cavite City. Porta Vaga/Cavite Puerto figured in the expansion of trade to the West. This is our legacy and Cavite’s place in history. I went to Jalisco last summer for a business summit and learned from authorities that the University of Guadalajara has 250years worth of archived materials about the galleon trade. I have been invited to join a committee to look into these historical documents. And yes, Cavite Puerto is being mentioned repeatedly.
Call it fate. Call it serendipity. Call it anything you want but my life as a Caviteno and as a Filipino is coming full circle. In hindsight, we learn how things that happen in our lives create a story that’s meant to be. It’s like the universe conspires to put pieces together.
When I was a junior at CNHS, Dr. Ike Escalante (my teacher in Journalism) inducted me to the Cavite Historical Society. That’s when I became interested in Cavite’s role in our almost forgotten past. Fast forward—- I took a sidestep in my career path to escape boredom. I dabbled in business for no reason. Little did I realize that down the line it will open doors for me and get me to where I am now. As president of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston - F A C C G H and the National Secretary of the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC), I am now able to see how the jigsaw pieces of my life fit with one another. The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade revolutionized trade and commerce between the east and the west. Cavite City played a very important role. The Spanish shipyard where the galleons were repaired became the Sangley Naval Base of the US Navy (now it’s under the Philippine Navy). Most cavitenos became US navy personnel or shipyard workers because of this industry. A lot of our contemporaries (vocational students) received their training in the docks. This is part of our history. And I cannot begin to appreciate being a part of what’s happening. I know that y’all understand what I am trying to say. I am excited and very, very proud. Thank u for your indulgence.
"The galleon trade was assaulted by the world's mightiest navies and undermined by the misdeeds of the knaves and fools who clutter its annals. But despite loss and adversity the ships sailed on year after year, for the trade was not merely a commercial or economic institution but a multifaceted historical phenomenon that surmounted its handicaps and had pervasive and enduring effects. When the last galleon, named the Magallanes after the explorer who first claimed the Philippines for Spain, left Mexico in 1815, it sailed west, literally into the sunset." (Benito J. Legarda)