Brief History of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid
Formal diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Spain was established on 27 September 1947. However, it was not until 6 March 1948 when the Philippines sent Mr. Manuel Escudero to head the Philippine Legation in Spain in his capacity as Minister Plenipotentiary. Aside from Mr. Escudero, the first Filipino diplomats assigned in the Philippine Legation in Madrid were Vice Consul Francisco Maraval and Finance Attaché Emilio Martinez.
In April 1951, the Philippines sent former Supreme Court Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran as its first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Spain. Up to this point, there have already been fifteen (15) Philippine Ambassadors to Spain. Click here for a listing of former Philippine Ambassadors to Spain.
The Philippine Embassy Chancery
The Philippine Legation was first located in Hotel Capitol along Gran Via. Shortly after, it was moved to a building located in Calle Velazquez.
In 1949, a more permanent location for a Chancery was established. The first Embassy Chancery was located in the first floor of a building along Plaza Alonso Martinez corner Calle Santa Engracia. The area in which the Chancery was located used to be a popular location for Embassies and Consulates. The area now is fast becoming a yuppie artist neighborhood filled with small shops, chic cafes, and modern art galleries.
The Chancery remained in this location until it was moved by then Ambassador Jose Manuel Stilianopolous to the prestigious Palacio de Santo Mauro in Calle Zurbano in 1975. The Palacio, which was then owned by the Duquesa de Santo Mauro, had five floors. One of these floors was the Ambassador´s residence. Up to now, Filipinos who remember the Palacio still comment about the grandiosity of the Embassy during this time. At present, the building now houses the Hotel AC Santo Mauro.
Due to the economic crisis brought about by the political unrest in the Philippines in the 1980s and the change in Administration, the Embassy Chancery was moved to Calle Claudio Coello in 1986 by Ambassador Juan Jose Rocha.
The Embassy remained in this location until a decision was finally made by the Philippine Government to purchase a 1,200 square meter property at Calle Eresma 2 corner Calle Guadalquivir in the prime residential district of El Viso, where other Embassies were also located, in 1997 under the guidance of Ambassador Isabel Caro Wilson. Originally, a fifty-year old two-story manor house used to sit on the property until it was demolished to make way for the construction of the new chancery and the Ambassador’s official residence.
After more than a year´s work, the new Embassy Chancery and the Ambassador´s official residence were inaugurated by then President Fidel V. Ramos in August 1998. The Chancery has two access gates – the Eresma gate leading to the first floor offices and the Guadalquivir gate leading to the Consular Office while the Ambassador´s official residence can only accessed through the Eresma gate.