The Galleon Trade, which saw large three-masted sailing ships travel back and forth between Manila, Philippines and Acapulco, Mexico, lasted from 1565 to 1815. A total of 110 galleons set sail during those 250 years of unprecedented prosperity. The enterprise is said to be the first instance of global trade: goods from China, India, and Southeast Asian realms (and other countries they traded with) were trans-shipped from the Philippines to Mexico, for further trans-shipment to Europe where consumers were hungry for imported goods.
On October 13, 2010, the province of Cebu in the Philippines welcomed the galleon “Andalucia.”
Over five days, more than 10,000 visitors toured the replica of the 17th-century Spanish galleon,
which traversed the Manila-Acapulco route a number of centuries ago.
The galleon served as the main attraction of the first-ever Dia del Galeon Festival. The festival’s aim was to focus attention on the Galleon Trade’s impact in the transmission of culture across the globe
The replica galleon sailed from Spain to Malta, then Israel, followed by Egypt and Oman,
and then through the Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka, then Singapore, and the Philippines.
It later proceeded to Shanghai, China. The ship was built by the Nao Victoria Foundation,
a non-profit entity which specializes in promoting historical events.
The ships carried spices as well as silk, porcelain, ivory, lacquerware, and many more. Such items were much in demand in European markets; the sales provided a lucrative business for Spaniards in the Philippines, in Mexico, as well as in Europe.
While buyers in Europe longed for Asian products, the Chinese were self-sufficient and wanted only the metal silver. Spaniards in Mexico obtained from these from local mines.
The back-and-forth sailings provided not only trade but also cultural exchange between Mexico and the Philippines. Along the way, vocabulary words were adopted on both sides of the Pacific. It’s interesting to note that some of words actually originated from the Aztec language called Nahuatl.
Our word TIANGGE is from the Mexican Spanish tianguis; root word is the Nahuatl tianquiztli, meaning market.
We have another Philippine word for market, PALENGKE. An internet search for this term yielded the following information: Palenque is the site of an ancient Mayan city in south Mexico, famous for its architectural ruins.
To me, Palenque as a place-name is quite specific, whereas the Philippine word palengke is a more general term. Not satisfied with the above information,
I looked further.
Further down, I came across this comment from Maggie ‘Strandiskov’ Kuusisto, who works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: “We lived in Merida and I remember it referring to some sort of fair or gathering to sell items.” Bingo!
Vocabulary word #2 for today is PITAKA. That’s where you stash your money, right? We derive it from the Spanish petaca, the root of which is petlacalli, Nahuatl for suitcase. I’ll buy that!
Our last word study today is TUKAYO… you know, someone who also goes by your name. The Spanish tocayo goes back to the Nahuatl toca-yo-tl, meaning namesake. Pretty straightforward, don’t you think?
I am intrigued by the tl endings in many Nahuatl words. Maybe someday I’ll go deeper into the linguistics aspect of study and share with you what I find out. Meanwhile, I’ll keep adding to our storehouse of Philippine words that came from the Mexican shores across the Pacific.