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DEPUTY SPEAKER LEGARDA’s EMPHASIS ON ‘FILIPINO-CENTRIC’ VIEW OF MAGELLAN’S 1521 ARRIVAL IN THE PHILIPPINES SPARKS DISCUSSION AMONG GERMAN INTELLECTUALS

June 10, 2021

7 June 2021 – Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda served as the guest lecturer at an online lecture co-organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt, Ruhr University in Bochum (RUB) and the University of Cologne (UC).

The lecture, titled ‘Magellan and the Philippines: 500 Years Later,’ is among the activities under the Philippine Studies Agreement between the Consulate and RUB and forms part of the National Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines. The Philippine Studies Program in Ruhr University has been supported by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.

The event was moderated by RUB Professor Dr. Roger Friedlein and UC Professor Dr. Sarah Albiez-Wiek. Consul General Evelyn D. Austria-Garcia and the Consulate’s officers attended the discussion along with twenty-eight (28) professors, students, and researchers of the two universities, hailing from multidisciplinary disciplines, such as Hispanic Studies, Post-Colonial Studies and History.

In her presentation, Deputy Speaker Legarda discussed the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines and how Magellan has become the icon of Spanish colonization in the country.  She underscored the Philippine government’s efforts to change the narrative of the commemorations from a ‘Euro-centric’ branding during the 400th centenary in 1921 under the U.S. Insular Government of the Philippines to the current ‘Filipino-centric’’ perspective. She further emphasized that the post-colonial approach of the quincentennial commemorations should focus on the event rather than the personages. She also highlighted the active role of our ancestors in influencing the destiny and destination of the first circumnavigation of the world, as well as its outcome.

Dr. Friedlein expressed appreciation to Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda as her first-hand information and her contribution to the ‘Filipino-centric’ perspective of the encounter sparked intellectual interest among the German academics. He also noted that ‘the evolution of post-colonial discourse has led to enrich the variety of perspectives on the voyages of Magellan and that the quincentennial activities in the Philippines marks a milestone in the ever-developing interpretation of the historical encounter of East and West.”