The History Department of the College of Social Science and Philosophy spearheaded the 12th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day International Conference on 7-8 October 2014 at the Claro M. Recto Conference Hall, Faculty Center, UP Diliman, sponsored by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). The conference is an annual gathering of scholars from the Philippines and Spain, which aims to highlight the rich, shared historical and cultural encounters and experience between the two countries.
This year’s theme, ‘Explorations and Transformations: Creating Texts, Shaping Identities’, highlights the unprecedented production of texts and narratives to describe the encounter and exchange between two cultures, record their perception and actions, and in the process define the identities and roles of each in relation to the other. The resulting texts, written, visual and oral, produced by both the explorer and the explored, brought about the transformation that began to take place and the changing identities and relations of peoples in these societies. History Chairperson Prof. Maria Bernadette Abrera presented the two keynote speakers, Dr. Luis Alonso of the Universidad de Cordoba (please verify) and Dr. Paul Dumol of the University of Asia and the Pacific. A total of 30 paper presenters from 20 academic institutions, and 150 delegates from 40 colleges, universities, and secondary schools attended the conference. Topics ranging from exploration narratives, text production, and cultural and scientific encounters were presented.
The conference was capped by a tertulia performed during the dinner at the Executive House. It was attended by President and Mrs. Alfredo Pascual, Spanish Ambassador Luis Antonio Calvo, UP Vice President Gisella Concepcion, Chancellor Michael Tan, officials of the NHCP and the Spanish embassy, and faculty members of the History Department.
The conference was also the venue of the Manila launching of the book ‘El Galeon de Manila: Cruzando el Atlantico’ (The Manila Galleon: Crossing the Atlantic).
In pursuance of Republic Act 9187 or the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act of 2003, the UP History Department is mandated to lead the hosting of an annual history conference. Aside from the NHCP, the conference was also sponsored by the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, Instituto Cervantes Manila, and the Office of the UP President.