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PIA Press Release

Lagdameo takes oath as new RP envoy to Spain

Manila (5 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administered the oath of office to Antonio Lagdameo, incoming Philippine ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Spain, in simple ceremonies at Malacaņang's Rizal Hall yesterday morning.

Lagdameo, who served as Philippine ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Mexico prior to his new posting, replaces Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Joseph Bernardo.

In an interview, Lagdameo said he would continue to work for the success of "all the projects" the Philippines has with Spain.

"I will continue to work on and expand the cultural and economic ties with Spain," Lagdameo said.

These projects include the preparation for the celebration of the 500th year birth anniversary of Fray Andres de Urdaneta and the Philippine visit of King Juan Carlos I next year.

Born in Guipozcoa, Ordizia, Spain, Urdaneta, an Augustinian friar, was part of the establishment of the first Spanish settlement in Asia in present-day downtown Cebu City in 1565.

Urdneta's vast knowledge in world travel, particularly his joining the expedition of Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and the voyages of Loaysa and Saavedra, provided him with the knowledge of the true route to and from Spain north of Westerlies.

Known as Tornavieaje or Urdaneta's route, this was the same route of the Manila-Acapulco trade for 250 years.

This route was used by traders to carry Asian goods and its culture to the Americas and the rest of the world.

Aside from his pioneering efforts to bring the people's of the world closer together, Fray Urdaneta was instrumental in the conversion of the natives to Christianity by enforcing the retention of native languages in worship and helped in the preservation of cultures in the islands.

He died in Mexico City in 1568.

In recognizing Urdaneta's contributions to the beginnings of Philippine society, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Presidential Proclamation No. 1423 on Nov. 29, 2007 for the proper commemoration of Urdaneta's 5th centennial birth celebration. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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