Manila South Harbor
07 October 2010
Galleons were huge sailing ships used for war and to transport goods from country to country. Having been under the Spaniards some centuries ago, Manila became the center of the galleon trade.
When we heard about the news of the Galeon Andalucia docking here in the Philippines, brother and I quickly planned to see it in person.
We knew the galleon will be open to public at 2pm - 4pm, so we went to eat lunch first, but when we got to the Manila South Harbor around 12:45pm, we were surprised to see a long line of people who wanted to see the galleon, too.
Inside the room, we were given color-coded stickers, for them to know which batch were we part of. As much as there were people who wanted to see the galleon, the staff gave priorities to groups of students who came, as this was part of their history lessons. Waiting for our turn wasn't boring at all; some history teachers shared their knowledge to the public, and I got to learn new things just by listening to what they shared.
Around 3pm, our batch was finally ushered to see the galleon. It was a long walk from the room where we got our stickers, but when we saw the galleon, the wait was so worth it.
Some details about Galeon Andalucia, taken from WikiPilipinas:
- The NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) described Galeon Andalucia as a 95 percent replica of the original galleons used during the Galleon Trade.
- Designed by Ignacio Fernandez Vial. It was built by the Nao Victoria Foundation out of Spanish, Finnish, African, and American pine and oak wood, unlike the original galleons, which were made of Philippine wood. Its sails, however, were made in the Ilocos region in the Philippines.
- Its length is 47 meters while its breadth is six meters, and it weighs 495 tons. Its maximum speed is 12.4 knots (23 kilometers per hour). It has four masts, seven sails and ten cannons.
- The flags of the Philippines, Spain and the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia, where the galleon was built, are hoisted on the galleon.
- Galeon Andalucia is primarily wind-powered, but has two built-in engines that are used when necessary. It has a 30-man draft composed of Spanish crewmen.
The laid out a route for guests to follow, and here were pictures I took outside the galleon:
Sails all rolled up; sky was a bit gloomy.
That's me; I asked brother to take a picture of me... I am not really into having my pictures taken while I am on the go, but this is certainly a once in a lifetime moment, so when I saw the wheel without any person touching it, I grabbed the chance to have my picture taken.
After a quick tour outside, we were ushered inside the galleon. Some pictures:
A look at their bedroom; there weren't much space as we weren't allowed to come inside.
Possibly the living area... they do have another room with a long table and several chairs, maybe used for meetings.
The mess hall.
A row of cannons, but for sure these are just for display.
VIPs arriving. While inside the galleon, the staffs asked us if we could hurry up because several VIPs were arriving and they wanted the galleon empty.
While on the grounds of the pier, people were allowed to stay for as long they wanted, so brother and I stayed for a while. We saw people dressed up in costumes, and we thought they would perform for the VIPs, but they didn't. Anyway, am not sure if the Galeon Andalucia will be back on Philippine shores, but when they do, I'd make sure I give it another visit.
This was 07 October, the galleon stayed in Manila until 11 October, then it sailed to Cebu and Bohol before it left the country on 25 October 2010.