MANILA, Philippines – Queen Sofia of Spain visited the province of Albay on Wednesday, making her the second foreign dignitary to visit the province since Pope John Paul II in 1981.
She arrived at the province at 8:45 a.m. onboard the presidential plane and was welcomed by the local government of Legaspi and Albay.
From the airport, the queen went directly to the Peñaranda Park to attend the unveiling of the life-size statue of Jose Maria Peñaranda, the first Spanish official to sit as governor of Albay.
She then visited Spanish-funded projects in Albay, including an evacuation center in Camalig, Albay; Josefina Duran Memorial Hospital; and the Climate Change Academy in Bicol University.
According to some Spanish officials who accompanied the Queen, the visit was not only to check on the funded projects but also to renew its partnership with the province of Albay.
Since 2008, Spain has funded nearly half a billion pesos worth of projects.
The residents of Albay, meanwhile, said it is an honor to be visited by one of the most influential people in Spain. -- Report from Eric Baldo, ABS-CBN News Legaspi