XVI Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day
Celebration of the 16th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day takes place in Baler (Aurora Province, Luzon) on June 30 along with commemoration of the 119th anniversary of the decree issued by the President of the First Philippine Republic, General Emilio Aguinaldo, which not only praised the Spanish soldiers, who in 1899 entrenched themselves in the local church believing the war was not over yet, but also ordered that they be treated as friends and be given the necessary help for them to return to Spain.
The guests of honor this time are Philippine Tourism Secretary, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and former President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, José Bono Martínez, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and as adopted son of Baler, an honor bestowed on him in 2005.  Also participating in the celebrations are the Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Dr. Rene Escalante, and former Philippine Prime Minister, Cesar E.A. Virata, among others.
The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, established by virtue of Republic Act No. 9187 of June 22, 2002, is celebrated the 30th of June each year to commemorate Aguinaldo´s benevolent gesture towards the Spanish soldiers in 1899.  The said law is the result of the initiative of the late Senator Edgardo Javier Angara, to whom all Philippine-Spanish Friendship day celebrations shall pay tribute during the year of his demise.  On the other hand, in 2011 José Bono, as then President of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, urged the Spanish Congress to recognize Aguinaldo´s decree, which was approved on June 30, 2011.  This institutional declaration demonstrates the Spanish Congress wants to show its appreciation of the said Philippine Law promoted by Senator Angara for the establishment of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day.


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