SPANISH means business and economic opportunities. The International Container Terminal Services, Inc., a global port management corporation based here in Manila, operates port in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, whose Latin culture the Philippines shares, aside from occasional boxing matches (Pacquiao vs. Larios).

Meanwhile, Spanish and Latin American businessmen are investing in the Philippines. Spain, Europe’s fastest growing economy, has invested heavily in hotel, tourism, and banking in the Philippines.

The Philippines has always maintained close ties with Spain. It has in fact declared June 30 as the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day through Republic Act 9187. In her recent two-day visit of Madrid, President Macapagal-Arroyo said that the Philippines is at the top of Spain’s economic thrust. Spain has been helping non-government organizations in the country provide. The Philippines in fact is the second biggest recipient of Spanish aid in the world.

Spanish is the second largest European language in the world after English, spoken by 700 million people. Linguists say it is more beautiful than English. It is the language of Garcia Marquez, Borges, Neruda, Cervantes, Rizal, not to say Antonio Banderas, Jennifer Lopez, and Ricky Martin. Filipino ultra-nationalists hate Spain and the Spaniards, but could read Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, the first Filipino nationalist novels, only in translation.

Filipinos already know Spanish and can easily master the language because of their Hispanic legacy. So why not build from there? M. J. Bantog

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Tatak P-Noy

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