P-Noy sees greater prosperity in Philippine-Mexican ties
Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said a broader cooperation between the country and Mexico could lead to greater prosperity.
“It is about time for us to expand our ties beyond the realm of history,” Aquino said of recognizing the enduring friendship of the two countries.
“The extent of what binds us may well be immeasurable, and we are pleased to welcome you here to the Philippines. After all, the last State Visit by a Mexican head of state was 37 years ago, and I believe we can both agree that given our shared past, our cultural affinity, and our shared commitment to growth that can be felt by all, our partnership can help pave the way for greater prosperity for our nations and our peoples,” the President said in his toast during the state dinner in honor of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday in Malacañang Palace.
“Indeed, it is high time for us to expand our ties further beyond the realm of history, and give rise to an even broader partnership between our nations—one that can truly honor the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade. I assure you: We Filipinos are eager to work with you and write the next chapters of the history that we share,” he said.
The president also mentioned that the Philippines and Mexico both fought for freedom.
“For nearly half a millennium, the history and the culture of Mexico and the Philippines have been deeply intertwined. Both our countries have fought for our freedom, and have thus truly learned to value and protect it over the years. The Philippines had our centuries-long colonial period, as well as the Martial Law era; while Mexico had the period of Maximilian and Carlota, as well as your long revolution that laid the foundations of your democracy. Our shared struggle, however, also had the result of connecting our nations,” President Aquino said.
“Beginning in the 16th century, the generations that preceded us witnessed the galleons sailing back and forth between Manila and Acapulco, and, to this day, the effects of our historic exchange are undeniable. In fact, in the region of my forefathers alone, there is already strong evidence of our connection. In Pampanga, which is a province north of Manila, there is actually a municipality named Mexico, famous for its churches built during the Spanish colonization. There is also a town called Macabebe in the same province, whose inhabitants trace their ancestry directly to Mexican Indians,” the President said.
President Aquino likewise mentioned some Filipino words derived from the Spanish language.
“You can also look at our language. It is unsurprising that many of the words we have come to adopt from Nahuatl are somewhat related to trade. We have not one but two words for market that have Nahuatl roots, ‘tiangge’ derived from ‘tiangui’, and ‘palengke’ derived from ‘palenque’ also. There are also words for plants and vegetables: ‘Sayote’ from ‘Chayote’; ‘Camote’ from ‘Camotli’; ‘Sili’ from ‘Chilli’; ‘Singkamas’ from ‘Xicamatl’, among many, many others. I also remember that, back when I was in university—which was a time when we were all required to take Spanish classes—we had to practice dialogues in Spanish, and for the most part they were always in a Mexican setting,” the President further said.
P-Noy noted the Filipinos’ contribution to Mexican life.
“I am told that Filipinos have had their own, major contributions to Mexican life, and this is the Filipino version of the story. Apparently, the process of distilling agave came partly from the adaptation of Philippine techniques in distilling spirits derived (from) coconuts. It was also the Philippines that introduced mangoes to Mexico, allegedly, and perhaps proof of this is how we can still find Mexican mangoes labeled ‘Manila Mangoes’,” the President said. (PNA)