The Director of Real Academia Española (Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, RAE) and Chairman of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, ASALE), Darío Villanueva, embarked on an official visit to Manila from July 4 to July 8 and met the members of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española (Philippine Academy of the Spanish Language) as well as took part in several academic and cultural events.
This official trip to the Philippines forms part of the regular visits that the Director of RAE makes to the different entities making up ASALE, currently composed of 23 academies of the Spanish Language. It is an effort to boost the exchange of information about the activities and projects of the members in order to achieve a better coordination within the said umbrella association.
During his visit to the country, Villanueva joined a working session of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española and held a forum with the public at the Instituto Cervantes de Manila in which he analyzed the present and the future of the Spanish Language along with academic authorities and professors of Spanish from different learning centers.
The Director of RAE likewise held a conference on July 6 at the Ateneo de Manila University and visited the University of the Philippines.
Villanueva also received the Philippine Ambassador to Spain, Philippe Lhuiller, last June 27 at the headquarters of RAE and shared with the Filipino envoy the preparations and objectives of his visit to Manila. The honorary director of the Academia Filipina de la Lengua Española, José Rodriguez, was also present during the meeting.
Villanueva is the 30th director of the RAE. Elected on December 11, 2014, he assumed his duties in the plenary on January 18, 2015. The RAE director is also the ex officio chairman of the ASALE.
Since January 30, 2015, being the director of RAE, he has been the chairman of Fundación del Español Urgente (Fundeu BBVA), a foundation promoting the correct use of Spanish in the mass media, and since February 12, he has been a member of the State Council.
Villanueva also has a degree in Philology of Romance Languages from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (USC) and a doctorate in Hispanic Philology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He is a full professor of theory of literature and comparative literature at the USC, where he was dean of the College of Philology from 1987 and 1990. He was dean of USC from 1994 to 2002.
He has been awarded honoris causa by eight universities in Argentina, Ecuador, Spain, USA, Peru, United Kingdom, Sweden and Nicaragua.
The Real Academia Española was founded in 1713 in Madrid for the main purpose of drawing up a dictionary of the Spanish language, a work that has had 23 editions since then.