Manila-Acapulco Galleon Memorial Maestranza Park in Intramuros, Manila | Photo by Judgefloro by Wikimedia Commons
Part I of Reinventing Mexican-Filipino Relations
This OFWriter has penned many articles about Mexican-Philippine Relations. Here is one of them.
This is a new series about Mexicans and their “first cousins” — the Filipinos — and their 458 years of historical friendship. The series will predict that in due time, there will be not only a “Filipino Exodus” but also a migration of marginalized people from the United States, Canada, Central, and South America, and even from Europe and other poor countries to Mexico. Because to fulfill its goal of becoming the world’s fifth-biggest economic power, Mexico will require financial and human contributions from overseas workers like the Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) from the Philippines and other nations in the Third World.
On December 9, 2020, this column discussed: “POTUS Biden, Americans, and Canadians Must Help in Turning Mexico Into an Economic Power.”
The column article said: “On April 2, 2014, I had the honor of meeting with former President Vicente Fox of Mexico in an event sponsored by the Milken Foundation in Santa Monica, CA. Mr. Fox, the guest of honor, said in his speech that Mexico would become the fifth-biggest economy in the world by 2050.
“I was the first in line in asking the former Mexican President to sign his new book, Revolution of Hope. When I informed him that I was a Filipino, his eyes brightened, and he said that Filipinos are some of the closest people to Mexicans. I said, ‘Yes, Mr. President, Filipinos are like the first cousins of your people.’ And I also remarked that the nearly four-million Americans of Filipino descent and Overseas Filipinos would help his country become an economic powerhouse even earlier than 2050.
“Here is the beginning of the Filipino-Mexican friendship: On Nov.19-20, 1564, a third Spanish expedition of 500 men led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi departed Barra de Navidad, in the State of Jalisco in present-day Mexico, for the Filipino archipelago. The islands were earlier named Filipinas in 1543 by the Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, who commanded the second expedition. It arrived in Cebu on February 13, 1565, and annexing it with hardly any local opposition. My educated guess is that more than half of the 500-man crew was Mexican. And when some of the galleons returned to Mexico, some of the Mexican crew members were replaced by Asian-Indio (aka Filipino) sailors and carpenters that volunteered for the new jobs. Spain needed the Mexicans to maintain its governance in the Filipino archipelago. And the Filipino sailors on the Spanish galleons were the first Overseas-Filipino workers (OFW).”
Interested readers may further browse the December 9, 2020, article at this link,
In Part II of this series, we will discuss the progress of the “Pueblo Filipino” project of Numeriano Bouffard and his associates. He is the president of the FPACC Foundation, Inc. and the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida. Both entities are based in Orlando, Florida. The FPACC is the acronym of the Federation of Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce. Both entities are helping the “Pueblo Filipino” become world-class retirement, cultural, sporting, and entertainment venues.
The Pueblo Filipino project in Manzanillo City, Colima State of Mexico, can initiate the push of more Filipino participation in Mexico and North America, Yes, as spearheaded by Filipino Americans led by Mr. Bouffard, his fellow FPACC leaders and their partners in Mexico.
Perhaps a Mexican-Filipino partnership can usher in a modern version of a socioeconomic renaissance. The 16-million solid OFWs and Overseas Filipinos (spread in more than 100 countries) can help their Mexican “cousins” create one of the leading economies of the modern world in due time. The partnership can start the formation of multilateral consortia that will engage in agricultural, industrial, and commercial ventures.
The Philippines can attract the support and participation of the other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to which it belongs. The ASEAN countries have more than half a billion consumers. And the success of Mexico will help the Filipino economy. And invest, and work too, in Mexican multilateral ventures — so that their own respective economies will prosper and thrive.
Eventually, the history of the Galleon Trade between Mexico and the Philippines will have its own renaissance. The galleons carried primarily the exports and imports of the Far East with the New World of North America. Just as it did in the past for nearly 225 years. Yes, history repeats itself.