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Naga fetes Phil-Spanish Friendship Day

BICOL HERITAGE. A marker on the surviving historical arch which stands within the perimeter of the RAD Building along Panganiban Drive, corner Blumentritt Street, Naga City, was unveiled on June 30 in celebration of the 2019 Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. The arch is the only remnant of an old building that served as an outpost by the Japanese soldiers who soon retreated during the battle for the liberation of Naga by local guerilla forces.JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur

NAGA CITY --- Reinforcing the relationship between two nations that share history, values and culture, the city government of Naga thru the Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement, Inc. (NCHMI) spearheaded the celebration of the 2019 Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day in the city last Sunday, June 30.

This year’s theme: Formentar y Desarollar -“Hispanic Initiatives and Contributions to Kabikolan’s Development,” the one-day activity featured a series of events staged by NCHMI together with Sumaro Bikolnon, Centro Naga Business Club, Phil Wiki and Kintab Artist Group.

The event started with the unveiling of the Historical Marker at the RAD Building located at Panganiban Drive, corner Blumentritt Street in the morning.

The area along the Naga River on which the arch stands used to be the site of historic mansion of Don Mariano Abella, a member of the Propaganda movement and provincial governor during the early years of the American Regime.

This site is part of the township referred to in early Spanish documents as Pueblocillo de Naga, one of the two affluent settlements founded by the Spaniards upon their arrival in the Bicol River District.

At 4:00 PM, guests and visitors witnessed the opening of the KATOOD Art Exhibit featuring different Bicolano Artists at the Avenue Square, along Magsaysay Avenue. This was followed by Tertulia y Historia - Dinner and Historical Lecture by Dr. Danilo Madrid Gerona, with cultural performances at 6:00 p.m. at the Avenue Plaza Hotel.

Gerona’s lecture dwelt on the Spanish colonial investments and their impact on Kabikolan’s Regional Economy from 1572-1898.

The celebration is pursuant to Republic Act 9187 (2003) declaring June 30 of every year as Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day to commemorate the cultural and historical ties, friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Spain.

June 30 is also the day when President Emilio Aguinaldo commended the besieged Spanish soldiers in the Church of Baler for their loyalty and gallantry. Such act of benevolence paved the way in bridging better relations between the Philippines and Spain.

The City Government of Naga has strongly endorsed this historic celebration with the issuance of its City Council Resolution No. 2014-121 for its citywide implementation.

For Leo Paulo Imperial, President of NCHMI, memories of three centuries of Spanish colonization have left indelible imprints on the political, social, economic, and religious lives of the people of Naga, which makes the celebration of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day more meaningful in Naga City.

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