May 07, 2019

La Camara Celebrates 120th Anniversary Through A Time Traveling Journey

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  • The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (Cámara Oficial Española de Comercio Industria y Navegación en Filipinas, Inc.), also known as La Camara, celebrated their 120th year in the Philippines last May 4, 2019, at the Jardin Padre Blanco in Intramuros, Manila.

    The event was attended by the Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Moragas Sánchez, La Camara Board of Directors, and chamber members all dressed in Filipinianas and Barong Tagalog to commemorate the beautiful tradition of this country. 

    Ambassador HE Jorge Moragas giving opening remarks for the celebration of La Camara’s 120 years in the country

    La Camara was established in the country on July 16, 1899, as one of the pioneers of commercial chambers established in the Philippines. Even now, the chamber continues to expand business opportunities to its members and to perpetuate the commercial or economic bond between the Philippines and Spain.

    Also read: Inside Intramuros: A Tour in Manila’s Walled City 

    The exhibit at the Instituto Cervantes, Intramuros included old documents such as the minutes of the very first meeting of La Camara in the Philippines.

    The gala dinner was also a time-traveling journey starting with an exhibit of the history of La Camara at the Instituto Cervantes, Intramuros. The exhibit featured documents and artifacts used since the establishment of the chamber as well a textile display of the works of Patis Tesoro.

    Iconic works of Filipiniana textile artist Patis Pamintuan-Tesoro are featured including silk from pineapple fibers, a culture shared with the Spanish. The works presented during the gala included Tatak Galleon, hand-painted silk with symbols from a journal of the Galleon Trade during the Spanish conquest.

    Guests were then invited to take a short ride to the dinner venue using the calesa, a horse-drawn carriage used as a mode of transportation in the 18th century the Spanish era. The dinner and program were held at the Jardin Padre Blanco of San Agustin.

    Calesas are available as a mode of transportation in historic sites in the Philippines including Intramuros in Manila and Calle Crisologo in Vigan.

    The dinner was at Jardin Padre Blanco of the San Agustin Church where guests were treated with cocktails and special Spanish culinary by Chef Nicolas Diaz-Jogeix

    During the dinner, recognition and awards were given to former presidents of the Spanish Chamber and to companies that have had an outstanding performance in the Philippines this year.

    Past Presidents of the Chamber who were given certificates are the following:

    • Pedro Picornell, 1988-1991 (received by his son, Pedro Picornell)
    • Enrique Zóbel, 1932-1937(received by Alejandro Padilla Zobel)
    • Ramón Balaguer, 1992-1994
    • Pablo García-Morera, 1995-1996
    • Javier Escat Jiménez-Alfaro, 1998-2002
    • José Romero-Salas, 2003-2008 (received by his brother, Miguel Romero-Salas)
    • Alfredo Roca, 2009-2011 (received by Jose Fons)
    • Miguel Romero-Salas, 2011-2012
    • José Manuel Izquierdo, 2015- 2016
    • Tomás Ibáñez, 2018- 2019

    The past presidents of La Camara were given recognition by the current president, John Peter Hager (far left) during the program

    The companies awarded during the night were the following:

    • INDRA for Best Use of Technology – awarded to an individual/company that has maximized the use of technology to produce
      innovative projects and improve overall office efficiency and effectiveness.
    • Fundacion Santiago for Most Creative Corporate Social Responsibility Program – awarded to a company or foundation of a company focuses on improving the socio-economic development of Filipino citizens by tackling poverty, hunger, education, health, etc.
    • CEMEX for Most Innovative Marketing and Advertising Communications – awarded to a company that has established effective marketing strategies and execution which has resulted in exemplary growth to the company’s production, sales and customer’s satisfaction.
    • ESPA-FIL IMPORT AND EXPORT for Business Excellence Award – awarded to a company that has fostered remarkable business growth, innovation, community service and excellence in its specific sector.
    • MR. PABLO GARCIA-MORERA, owner of Espafil La Molinera for the Entrepreneur Award – awarded to an individual who demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial vision and leadership in establishing a business in the Philippines.
    • ACCIONA INFRAESTRUCTURAS S.A for Biggest Project Award – awarded to a Spanish company that has implemented the biggest project in the Philippines.

    The special performance by the Grupo Nuevo Flamenco shows that Spanish arts are well alive in the Philippines

    The gala celebrated the bridging of two countries who have been trading with one another since the 19th century when the first Spanish galleon reached Philippine shores. 

    La Camara office is at Unit 18-A, Chatham House, 116 Valero st., corner V.A. Rufino, Salcedo Village, Makati City. You may contact them through 02-886-7643 or through their e-mail,

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