Simple Rites Mark 19th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day

Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day
Baler Municipal Tourism Office/Facebook

This article is available in Spanish.

MANILA, Philippines — The 19th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day and the 122nd anniversary of the Siege of Baler were observed Wednesday, June 30.

At the San Luis de Tolosa Church in Baler, Aurora, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the municipal government of Baler held a commemorative program in which wreaths of the Philippines and Spain were laid in rites.

Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Moragas Sanchez, in his speech, reminded the audience how the humanity of the Filipinos saved Spain not only in Baler but in numerous times in history, according to the National Quincentennial Committee.

Meanwhile, a virtual symposium was prepared by the Department of Education to commemorate the said occasion.

The Siege of Baler is considered to be an important event in Philippine history; it cemented the friendship between the Philippines and Spain. On June 2, 1899, the last Spanish soldiers, led by Martín Cerezo, surrendered to the Filipinos at the San Luis de Tolosa Church. On June 30 of that year, Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree considering the Spanish soldiers as friends and not enemies.

On June 30, 2003, the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day was declared under Republic Act No. 9187 to “commemorate the cultural and historical ties, friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Spain.”

Arvyn Cerézo
Arvyn Cerézo is an arts and culture writer/reporter with bylines in Book Riot, Publishers Weekly, South China Morning Post, PhilSTAR Life, the Asian Review of Books, and other publications. You can find him on and @ArvynCerezo on Twitter.

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