Today, like every week, went to have lunch with my good friend Minako, a nice girl I met almost by accident. I like to go out with her because, even if we don’t know each other that much, I think she is one of the persons I enjoy the most to talk to, we have so much questions to ask about the other’s culture and we do it without censoring ourselves.
So, today we ended up talking about… History… Indeed!
I can’t tell that much how we got to that point, but basically we were talking about her german friend, about how I found Berlin a super interesting and amazing city (against fairy-tale-cuckoo Munich), about all the mistery surronding the “scar” of the Berlin wall, about the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and… finally getting lost between Macao and Phillipines (well, that was me).
And I recalled that in Phillipines they speak some spanish because, if someone happened to ignore it, Phillipines was a spanish colony and… was colonized through Mexico. Amazing, uh?
The last time I went to Acapulco I found out this interesting chapter in the history of mankind. You wouldn’t believe that Acapulco, with its dynamic nightlife, super dense polluted beaches, boats and parachutes, would have something else to show… But it has.
During the spanish colony in Mexico (Mexico was called “Nueva España” until the Independence movement in 1810, which we are to celebrate in september), Acapulco was one of the most important harbours, because it connected to Asian harbours through the Pacific Ocean. In a way, it was kind of an experiment for the spanish government to explore to that side of the world and try to reach the Indias (which was the main purpose of Columbus’ journey). Eventually they got to Asia where one of the first stops was Phillipines. From there, they could trade a lot of goods from China, Japan, Indonesia and other asian ports. (Here is the part where we all say “wwwhhhooooaaaaaa!!”)
It was super impressive for me. And more, because, by this time, most of the seamen going to Phillipines where novohispanos, in other words, mexicans. So, Phillipines learnt spanish through Mexico, and also a lot of different uses, like the cult to the lady of Guadalupe and the use of our traditional ambulant marketplaces we call “tianguis”, from them we learnt to call them “parián” which also means fleamarket. (Wwwhoooaaa!!!)
From them, it is said, we got the tradition of piñatas and fireworks. And also, it is said, the figure of La China Poblana, a typical mexican garment for women. Also, the wood lacquer work and some traditions in textiles as well.
Next time you plan to visit Acapulco, I would strongly advise you to go to the San Diego Fortress museum, where you can see all of these things and maybe more that I can’t remember at this time. It is a small but well conserved building from the time of the colony, that has a very complete collection of pieces that were traded between Mexico and Phillipines. La Nao de China, the famous ship that sailed the Pacific taking and bringing goods between these lands, also gives its name to a multi-cultural festival that takes place in Acapulco every year.
Click here if you want to find out more about Museo Histórico de Acapulco, Fuerte de San Diego.
And, if you’d like to have more info about the Festival Internacional La Nao de China, you can watch the video below, which shows last year’s edition. I guess we still don’t have information about 2010, but pay attention from October. Of course, on youtube you can find from this point, a lot of videos taken from the events they have had in past editions.
So… anyone wants to invite me to Acapulco in November? (hahah)