The origin of this project is the special historic and legal juncture existing between Spain and the Philippines. The Spanish Law influence has been kept in the Philippines until current days: For instance, the Philippine Civil Code is based on the Spanish Civil Code. The Penal Code is basically still the same as it was prior to independence from Spain. In fact, the Philippines was a former colony of Spain for 367 years and the bulk of its private law comes from the civil law tradition through Spain. Consequently, in the past, , the law school faculty members could easily study the laws, cases and commentaries of Spain and a large number of Philippine professors defended their doctoral thesis in Spain until the 70’s. However, this language facility has now disappeared in favour of English. Thus, the Philippines has been cut off from the roots and trunk of the civil law tradition.
Precisely, the recovery of this legal bridge former existing between the two legal communities of both countries is the reason of the contact initiated by UMA with the Philippines Universities. In fact, ten years ago started the project to teach different subjects in English at the School of Law of UMA. Soon was noticed that in the Philippines had been kept the Spanish legal tradition, but being now the legal language English. Therefore, the idea of contacting our Philippines colleagues emerged. Initially we organized two online International Congress on Private Law inviting Philippine Professors, that took place in years 2013 and 2014. It was of crucial importance the participation of Professor Ruben F. Balane in the second one. After inviting the Ambassador of the Philippines in Malaga in 2014 we organized the first Private Law of the Philippines and Spain International Scientific Congress at the School of Law at the UMA in 2015. A large delegation of Philippine Professors arrived in Malaga, among which the Deans of the School of Law of the University Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines. This was the moment when we realized that this was only a first step, and a large way was waiting us to walk together. The following year took place the second Congress in the School of Law or the University Ateneo de Manila. In 2017, back in Malaga was hold the third Congress. And in 2018, back in Manila the fourth one. (Link with all the information of the Conventions: https://www.uma.es/spanish-philippine-law-archive/info/112672/meetings-held/. From 2016 Deusto has also participated and organized the 5th Spanish-Philippine Legal Congress that took place in Bilbao on 17 and 18 of June of 2019.
In parallel, UMA has developed different agreements with Ateneo and UP. In 2016 signed a frame agreement with Ateneo and in 2017 with UP. In 2016 signed a agreement for students exchanges with Ateneo and in 2017 with UP. Finally, in 2017 an agreement for the co-tutelage of doctoral thesis was signed. Therefore, from 2017 9 UMA students has studied a Semester in Ateneo, 4 Ateneo and 4 UP students had studied a Semester in UMA. Currently 1 UP scholar and 1 Ateneo scholar are studying the doctoral courses and preparing their doctoral thesis at UMA.
Finally, we have completed the consortium with San Agustin from the Visayas and Ateneo de Zamboanga from Mindanao. In this way we extend the project throughout the geography of the Philippines and we reach two areas that are very significant for this project: An area of special strength as is the city of Iloilo with strong links to Europe, and especially the city of Malaga; and the capital of the Latins of Asia, Zamboanga, where a Spanish Creole called Chabacano is still spoken.