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Galeon Andalucia — More than Impressive

“Impressive” is the reply I relayed when one of the crew of Galleon Andalucia, named Jose, asked me about the mid-sized but still mammoth buoyant structure that docked in Cebu, eclipsing the harbour side of Malacañang sa Sugbu for seven days.  This was on October 16, 2010, a Saturday night where we were invited for a tour with the crew of the galleon through RAFI.

Despite the impending drizzle and chilly sea breeze on that night, the spectacle and the buffet never failed to feature the ship in which its ancestors once sailed and landed on the shores of Cebu almost five hundred years ago.

The galleon, which unofficially symbolizes Spain’s might on the sea during its colonial years and centuries, is not just a floating structure that moves when its sails set (this time, the galleon is engine-powered). It has become a floating museum; much like a memorabilia of what it once was before the steel-fabricated naval machine became the prototype of the modern ship known and frequently seen in these contemporary times.

Culturally, Galeon Andalucia is indeed a museum, a floating one that integrates antiquity and modernity in design and structure. Apart from it, it is a sea carrier conveying Spain’s cultural richness. For me, I consider it a symbol of Spain’s might. Its voyage around the world could somehow be taken as a sign of Iberian country’s attempt to showcase its cultural pride to reminisce (and flaunt) its navigational power.

Nevertheless, with the tour from the deck to the inside of the galleon, the ship includes friendship and education on its cultural display.

Galleon Andalucia is more than impressive. Yes, I made a mistake when I told Jose of that word for that definition is an understatement.   If I could take that back, maybe the term “Awesome” would be the best reply.

Marvelous. Mighty. Beautiful. Those words are other descriptions I can best say about the colonial ship Spain has built for centuries.

It is really a great experience to see a ship of that size and beauty.

Although the tour inside the ship could take less than an hour, picture takings and an interview with the crew plus the real canons and chitchats on the galleon’s deck prolonged our time to wander, venture and scrutinize almost every detail of the ship (save for the crew’s cabins, which I failed to take a peek).

The Galleon Andalucia provides cultural education between Spain and the Philippines. Since this is the first time, perhaps the coming years will yield more improvement in educating us Filipinos, something that is part of our history. We will not only learn of how sea voyage was done and like during those times but also retrace our economic historical footprint of our exported goods at the time as well. Truly exciting!

Write up by: Bjorn Bernales. More about Bjorn in BjornCebuano.



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