June 28th, 2012

New museum exhibits Philippines’s maritime history

Manila, Philippines - The Philippines has been known to be the home to millions of seafarers currently sailing around the world which inspired the city of Pasay to open a new museum that showcases the rich maritime history of the country over the past decades.

The new museum, which is called Museo Maritimo, is located at the sixth floor of the Asian Institute of Maritime Studies building in Roxas Boulevard, Manila. The said establishment is the country’s first museum to chronicle in detail their maritime history of the Philippines.

Antonio Araneta, the museum’s lead researcher, said that the project was long overdue considering that the Philippines provide a significant number of seafarers for today’s global shipping industry.

“Some 1.3 million overseas Filipino workers are seafarers, and our history is basically determined by maritime events. We thought that if we are going to understand our history better, we have to understand how maritime trade brought about the country that we call the Philippines,” explained Araneta.

One of the highlights of the museum chronicles the life of a Filipino named Enrique de Malacca who is believed to be the first man to circumnavigate the globe ahead of any westerner. Also on display are detailed models of Spanish galleons that plied the Manila-Acapulco trade route, along with reproductions of navigation maps that cover the Philippines during the era while another section shows ancient ship artifacts like binoculars, beacons and sextants.

“He is not only the first to circumnavigate the globe but he also could be the first overseas Filipino worker. He could have returned to Spain and enjoyed an inheritance from Magellan but he decided to work for the benefit of his fellow Filipinos,” expounded Araneta.

“I hope this story and this museum will put us in the right perspective globally,” Araneta conclude Araneta.