MANILA, Philippines - For 4 days, Pier 13 of the Manila South Harbor will be a melting pot of cultures as Filipinos and international guests come together for the Dia del Galeon, a festival that commemorates the galleon trade which established the Philippines as an Asian economic center in the past.
Throw in a beautiful replica of a 17th century galleon and one cannot help but imagine how it would be like to be one of our ancestors who traded wood for genuine silk from China, and spices for silver coming from Acapulco.
"Umagang Kay Ganda" hosts Atom Araullo and Donita Rose had the chance to relive history when they visited on Thursday the Galleon Andalucia, a replica of the very ship that succeeded in making the first complete circumnavigation of the world.
The 51-meter galleon replica was built by the Nao Victoria Foundation to serve as a travelling exhibit of Spanish civilization and culture. Before docking in Manila yesterday, the ship stopped by China for the 2010 World Expo.
Made of oak
Galleon Andalucia is mainly made of oak wood. It has 6 decks and 3 masts which support the maneuvering of its 7 sails. The ship relies heavily on wind power and ancient navigational techniques during its voyages.
|A crew member on board the Andalucia (right) takes Umagang Kay Ganda host Atom Araullo on board the galleon replica.
Ulises Custodio, a Spanish member of the crew, took "Umagang Kay Ganda" on a tour aboard the Andalucia.
On the the upper deck we found a pair of gigantic anchors perched on each side of the ship. Each anchor weighs a total of 1,450 kilograms.
Moving down to the main deck, Custodio introduced us to the main mast and the replica cannons located along the sides of the galleon.
The captain’s steering wheel and other navigational equipment such as the ship’s compass can be found on the upper navigational deck. During sailing, Galleon Andalucia can travel at the speed of 5 knots or about 10 kilometers per hour.
“It’s very hard to maneuver. You have to move the steering wheel all the time,” said Custodio.
|The sala on board the galleon Andalucia shows what a typical sala must have looked like in the 17th century.
Even the furniture and decors were specially designed to keep the 17th century feel of the ship.
The effort alone poured on the details of the Galleon Andalucia can rekindle a sense of wonder and amazement. More than this, it reminds one of the rich history and culture that the Philippines shared with other nations.
Galleon Andalucia is open to the public until October 9, 2010 at Pier 13 of the Manila South Harbor.
October 7 — 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
October 8 — 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
October 9 — 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Entrance is free.