Voyages In The Philippines: The Voyage Of The Galleon

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Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines, our ancestors had been trading with other countries such as China, Japan, India, Cambodia, Borneo and Moluccas. Products from these countries flowed into the Philippines easily. Manila became the center of commerce in the East.
The King of Spain issued a decree banning the importation of goods from China as they could be bought in the local market for competitively low prices. This, in turn, made it possible for European goods to be sold in the market for outrageously high prices. As a result, some restrictions were made regarding the prices of goods beginning in 1593. These trade restrictions led to the closure of Manila 's port to other countries. This gave rise to the monopoly
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III. The Voyage of the Galleon The voyage of a galleon was considered as a historic event. Some customs and rituals were followed before men embarked on their journey. For example, those who would be making the trip had to hear Mass. A galleon usually started its voyage in July or August. The trip was long and hazardous. Each journey from Manila took as long as 200 days or six and one-half months to reach Acapulco. The long trip cost many lives. Some died from hunger, disease or malnutrition, cold, bad weather and thirst. The return trip was normally shorter and more comfortable. It took only 90 days to return to Manila. It usually left Acapulco in February or March and sailed westward across the Pacific Ocean. It made a stopover in Guam for replenishment, then entered Manila by way of the San Bernardino Strait. As the galleon came to sight, a lighthouse would offer a signal as it would approach Manila Bay. Then the cathedral would play Te Deum as it docked on the port. This announcement made it known to everyone that the galleon had arrived and various traders and government officials would come out to receive it
Not all galleons which left Manila returned safely. Some sank in the sea due to typhoons, overloading or poor navigation. Others were even captured by
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V. Effects of the Galleon Trade The galleon trade had its positive and negative effects. One of its good effects was that it developed an interest in the cultures of the two countries. The galleons became the means by which Hispanic culture was brought into the Philippines. Even after Mexico gained independence, Mexico and the Philippines still interacted with one another. Thus, both countries have almost identical values, traditions and lifestyles. Manila became one of the world 's great ports, serving as a focus for trade between China and Europe. The galleon trade increased the government 's revenue. Plants and animals from the Americas were introduced in the Philippines. Since the Spaniards were too engrossed in the galleon trade, the country 's natural resources were conserved for future use. In the 200 hundred years that the galleon trade existed, the life of the average Filipino did not improve. In fact, Filipino laborers and seamen were often abused. Filipinos received less pay compared to their Spanish counterparts. The travel from Manila to Acapulco made the problems of health daunting. It was not unusual for more than 100 persons to die

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