efe-epaManila

ARM Cuauhtemoc, a Brick Barc sailing ship of the Mexican Navy, docked Friday in Manila for a historic five-day visit to pay homage to a sea route that connected the two countries for 250 years during the Spanish colonial era.

The 90.5 meters long ship, that is propelled by a diesel motor and 23 sails, was received with a welcoming ceremony at the port, where it will remain open to the public until Tuesday.

The Philippine navy in a statement called it a goodwill visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties.

Commanded by Captain Rafael Lagunes Arteaga and with 43 cadets from the Heroic Naval-Military School on board - since the ship is used to train future naval officers - ARM Cuauhtemoc is the first ship from the Mexican navy to visit the Philippines.

The visit also seeks to commemorate "the historical voyage by the Manila-Acapulco Galleon for almost 250 years", the Mexican embassy in Manila said in a statement.

The Manila-Acapulco ship, operational until 1815, was key to trade exchanges between Manila and Acapulco (Mexico), that began in 1565, a year after Miguel Lopez de Legazpi left Mexico to incorporate the Philippines into the Spanish empire.