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by Florencio P. Narito, Manila Standard Today
Queen Sofia of Spain will arrive in the Philippines early next month and proceed to this city to unveil the life-size statue of Jose Maria Peñaranda, who was Spanish Governor of Albay from 1834 to 1843, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said on Tuesday.
He said the queen will visit the projects financed by the Agencia Española del Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarrollo and meet local officials to discuss cultural and other issues on the country’s Spanish heritage.
“The unveiling of the statue of the last Spanish governor of Albay will be held at the Peñaranda Park in front of the Provincial Capitol,” Salceda said.
The Philippines was a Spanish colony for almost 400 years. The king of Spain governed the Philippines through his sole representative, the governor-general.
It will be the first time that the Spanish queen will visit Albay. From Legazpi, Queen Sofia will fly to Zamboanga City.
The inscription on the Peñaranda statue reads: “A distinguished military engineer, he strengthened the province’s forts and offshore defenses against pirate raids, built roads and bridges, helped construct the Provincial Capitol and the Cathedral of San Gregorio Magno, promoted agriculture and industry, and distinctly showed excellent gubernatorial administration that transformed the Province of Albay into a modern and progressive community.”