The Galeón: a New Museum to rise in Manila

The SM Group of Companies in collaboration with Museo Del Galeón, Inc. held today the ground-breaking ceremony for The Galeon, envisioned to be a worthy addition to the community of museums, to open in late 2015.

The Manila – Acapulco Galleon Museum will be a cultural facility with an 8,000 sqm. Total exhibition space, featuring a full-scale reproduction of a magnificent galleon. Unlike all other galleon reproductions attempted before in the Philippines, the new museum bases its reproduction on a very precise set of naval architectural plan published in 18th century Manila.

“What was then just an idea is now fast becoming a reality,” said Hans T. Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.  When briefed on the project, Hans T. Sy graciously offered a beachfront location in the Mall of Asia complex as the site for the museum.  The support given is towards facilitating the circulation of vital knowledge of the first globalization of trade and commerce, in which the Philippines and Mexico were polar points of activity.

The Galeón will convey accurate, exciting information that will throw light on the roots of today’s banking, shipping, commerce, and cultural exchange in the Pacific region. Silver, gold, and potatoes from the Americas and wine, tools, and furniture from Europe were traded for Asian silk, spices, and ceramics in global circuits that are still used today by more than 40 modern nations.

The 300 year exchange produced extraordinary cultural change on both sides of the Pacific. Notably, the thousand year old tradition of boat-building in the Philippine archipelago transitioned into ship-building according to European design.

When Madame Margarita Zavala, spouse of former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, visited the Philippines in 2011, she enthusiastically endorsed the plan to build a galleon museum in Manila.

His Excellency Ambassador Julio Camarena of Mexico and Hans T. Sy initiated the ground-breaking ceremony at the Mall of Asia. Also present was Pasay City Mayor, the Honorable Antonio G. Calixto. The program featured Ms. Marian Roces, Lead Curator of TAO Inc. as the keynote speaker, and Senator Edgardo J. Angara who is also a member of Museo Del Galeón, Inc.

Upon completion, The GALEÓN will command magnificent views of the glittering Manila Bay. Construction will begin November 2014 with completion expected on the last quarter of 2015.

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