Viva Mexico!

Manila Bulletin, September 14, 2009 | Go to article overview

Viva Mexico!


It's the 199th Anniversary of the independence of Mexico: It was on this day on September 16, 1810 when Mexicans revolted against Spain after 300 years of Spanish rule as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain.Today, despite its many problems, the country enjoys economic and democratic freedom for its proud and sturdy people and burgeoning population.After many years, I must say mention of Mexico never fails to evoke memories of my few years stay in that appealingly fascinating former Aztec empire.Part of those nostalgia in the 1990s were the times when the Filipino community from various parts of the country were preparing for the Philippine centennial celebrations in Mexico which, naturally, involved Mexican participation.The activities included a series of lectures and jornadas participated in by Mexican scholars and historians, spiced by frequent feasts and banquets hosted by Filipino insurance executive Eddie Justiniano, a long-time Mexico City resident and president of the Consejo Cultural Filipino-Mexicano.Also included in the two-year centennial observance were folkloric numbers performed by the acclaimed Philippine Ballet Theater dancers to the documented accounts of historians, thereby introducing Mexicans and foreign audiences to a new dimension of Philippine-Mexican history and civilization.Filipinos in Mexico who saw the series of performances at various cultural centers in the country explained to their Mexican friends the significance of the presentations being meant to arouse patriotic impulse, especially among Filipinos who had been away from home for a long time.One of the more prominent Filipinos in Mexico who has been away for some time is the celebrated artist Romeo Tabuena, who staged an art show as part of the centennial fair. Just recently, some of his selected art works were exhibited at the Ayala Museum in Makati. Romy, as he is called by his Filipino friends, lives in San Miguel de Allende, the colonial city known for its arts, that has been designated by the government as a national monument.In recounting Philippine-Mexican relations, easily the first link that comes to mind is the Galleontrade, described as “the only navigational line in world history to provide 250 years of uninterrupted services” between the two countries. …

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