Members of the local and foreign academe met for the First Philippine-Latin American Studies Conference held last December 15 to 16, 2008 at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) in Intramuros, Manila. The event concluded last December 17, 2008 at the National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development building of University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman, Quezon City.

Organized by the Philippine Academic Consortium for Latin American Studies (PACLAS), the First Philippine-Latin American Studies carried the theme, “The Philippines and Latin America: Past, Present and Future”. The conference sought to bring together scholars on Philippine and Latin American studies here and abroad and share vital knowledge and information in order to understand the connection between the two races.

During the event, numerous experts from academic institutions here and abroad shared their researches on “Philippines in the world of Latin America”, Philippine-Mexican connections, Galeon Trade implications, perspectives on politics and migration in Mexico, construction of the Trans-Pacific Trade and its effects, Philippine-Latin American relations, development of the country in a colonial and contemporary society, architecture and urban life, regional economic and security issues, representation and consumption, and interaction in the arts.

Some of the resource persons were from the University of the Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific, Ateneo De Manila University, De la Salle University-Dasmariñas, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and Intramuros Administration.

Foreign delegates came from the Universidad Iberoamericana (Ibero-American University) and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (Autonomous University of Puebla) in Mexico, Universidad EAFIT in Colombia, University of Vienna in Austria, Universidad de las Palmas de Gran Canaria (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) in Spain, National University of Ireland, Maynooth in Ireland Instituto Brasileiro de Relações Internacionais (Brazilian Institute of International Relations) in Brazil, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea, and Oberlin College and University of California-Berkeley in U.S.A.

PACLAS, founded in 2002 and initiated by the DFA, is a consortium of major Philippine universities seeking to promote academic and cultural exchange and to expand studies on Philippine-Latin American relations in collaboration with Latin American consular offices in Manila and counterpart academic institutions in Latin America.

The First Philippine-Latin American Studies Conference is co-sponsored by the City of Manila, Manila Historical and Heritage Commission, PLM, and the Office of the Chancellor of UP – Diliman.