Monday, July 27, 2009


Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

In cooperation with the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Mt Everest Expedition team formally launches the Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation project dubbed as “The Voyage of the Balangay”. This event, held at the CCP Grounds on June 27, 2009, officially marks the start of the maiden voyage of the modern Balangay as it circumnavigates the globe. Former DOTC USEC Art Valdez leads the opening ceremonies of this event.

This voyage retraces the migration of our ancestors from mainland Asia to the Philippines using the native Balangay. Furthermore, the Balangay’s voyage reactivates the Filipino’s seafaring nature and rouses the people’s minds of rich heritage as a maritime nation. Aside from these goals, the Balangay and its crew will also visit 67 ports in the country to conduct coastal clean-ups, historical presentations, interact with local communities to foster unity and promote tourism around the country.

The crew, comprised of Philippine Mount Everest Team members Leo Oracion, Edwin Emata, Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon, Janet Belarmino-Sardena, Dr. Ted Esguerra, Fred Jamili and Dr. Voltaire Velasco, is joined by two enlisted personnel of the Naval Special Operations Group. Aside from providing crew members, the Navy also transported 220 different kinds and sizes of lumber that was used in the construction of the Balangay.

The Balangay sets sail within Philippine waters this year on a tentative seven-leg journey that will take it to various ports around the world through celestial navigation methods. These methods include the use of heavenly bodies such as the sun, stars, cloud formations, wind, birds and wave patterns. Phase 1 of the journey will cover 2,108 nautical miles or 3,908 km. The projected timetable of the expedition will cover the Southeast Asian region by 2010, Micronesia and Madagascar by 2011, and navigate across the Pacific toward the Atlantic all the way around the world by 2012, and return to the Philippines in 2013.


Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

The Philippine Navy, through the Naval Forces Northern Luzon, holds a Maritime Training Activity (MTA) with the Royal Malaysian Navy in what is dubbed as the MALPHI-LAUT 09 on June 15 to 23.This Maritime Training Activity greatly enhances interoperability between the two navies as they conduct various exercises ashore and afloat in San Fernando, La Union, Subic, Zambales and the Luzon Sea.

The first phase of this MTA on 15 – 17 June, comprises the arrival of RMN ships at Headquarters Naval Forces Northern Luzon in San Fernando, La Union and the opening of the MALPHI Cup and Sports competition. Afterwards, the second phase on 18 – 21 June, involves the training of the two navies in naval surface firing, basic tactical evolutions, seamanship and vessel boarding among other exercises. Lastly, MALPHI-LAUT concludes at Subic, Zambales on 22 – 23 June 2009 with its third phase that involves post training activities for both parties.

In addition to these exercises with the Royal Malaysian Navy, the Philippine Navy also tests its newly-acquired vessel tracking system and an upgraded Naval Air Group Islander with Radar and Global Positioning System capabilities. This new technology help boost the capability of the Philippine Navy as a vital partner of our maritime nation in attaining lasting peace, progress and development.

Philippine Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy annually hosts MALPHI-LAUT ’09 to focus both navies in navigation and naval operations. These exercises improve mutual cooperation between the two navies and develop combined operation doctrines, practices and naval tactics to complement each other’s operational capabilities at sea. Furthermore, the MALPHI-LAUT 09 provides basis for future working relationships between the Philippine Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy.


Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

The Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Alberto Navarette (PG-394) skippered by CDR RAMIL ROBERTO B ENRIQUEZ PN rescued a motor yacht along the coastal waters of Bacnotan, La Union Wednesday June 10, 2009. The yacht of Australian registry identified as M/Y Shadow of Lorelei gave out a distress signal after it suffered difficulty in the steering mechanism and its main propulsion engine conked out while underway in the waters of San Juan, also of La Union.

The Navy vessel immediately responded to the distress signal of M/Y Shadow of Lorelei while it was moored at San Fernando City Pier and immediately sped to the radioed location. Upon arrival at the rescue area, PG-394 gave away its towing line to the distressed ship. The crew of the yacht secured the line and was towed until they both reached San Fernando City Pier at 12:33 p.m. Upon arrival at San Fernando City, medical tests were conducted to the crew for the mandatory A(H1N1) check and related symptoms.

The yacht had on board, Mr. Mauro Migliorelli and Ms. Pauline Wilkinson. The vessel was headed to its homeport in Brisbane, Australia from Taiwan.


Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

Officers and men of the Philippine Navy shared a part of their lives to save other’s. Around 150 officers and men of the Philippine Fleet took part in a blood-letting drive at the Fleet Multi-Purpose Hall in Sangley Pt., Cavite City on June 10, 2009.

Dubbed as “Dugo Alay sa Puso”, the activity was held as part of the Philippine Fleet’s 49th Founding Anniversary in cooperation with the Rotary International District of Quezon City. It generated 150 bags of blood which will be donated to children-patients at the Philippine Heart Center.

In his speech during the Anniversary, Philippine Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Geronimo R. Defensor stressed the importance of the activity as it “serves to reiterate our role as protector, defender, and even savior of the people’s lives”. Admiral Defensor added: “In the same way, we promote our commitment to other local government agencies and institutions in their respective drives and mandates in supporting the preservation of other lives”.

Maj. Luis Carlo Aquino, Fleet Medical Officer who supervised the pre-screening of donors, said that by donating blood the donee and the donor both benefit in the process. “Whenever a person donates blood, the body will be triggered to produce new blood cells. It is a natural regeneration,” he added.

Last month, the Philippine Fleet participated in a blood-letting activity where it generated 80 bags. Navy personnel assigned in its various units in the operational areas participate in blood-letting activities every year. The gesture manifests the relevance of the Navy in all facets of people’s lives not only in internal security operations but in contributing its share in civil affairs.


Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

The Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) conducted Medical, Dental, Operation Tuli, and Free Legal Services in Santiago Island, Pangasinan last May 9, 2009. The series of civic action projects were part of the relief and rehabilitation efforts after the devastation wrought by typhoon “Emong” in the island.

The Medical and Dental Teams gave assistance to 530 patients and 100 patients, respectively. A total of 36 individuals, mostly children availed of Operation Tuli while 4 individuals sought free legal advice from the Command Judge Advocate General.

A Civic Action Team from San Fernando City, La Union joined the Navy team spearheaded by Commodore Jose Luis M. Alano, NFNL Commander. Representatives from the DOH, Philippine Air Force, PNP, Philippine National Red Cross, and the NFNL Ladies Association assisted the Navy in distributing school supplies to 556 pupils of Lucero Elementary School. The schoolchildren also received relief clothing.

Aside from the civic action projects, the Navy also conducted clearing operations at the Salud Elementary School as contribution to DepEd’s “Brigada Eskwela”. The Navy also repaired destroyed rooftops of the school buildings.

Before the start of the civic action activities, Cpt. Sherwin S. Monteron officiated a mass followed by a program attended by Commo Alano and local officials led by Bolinao Mayor Alfonso Celeste.

Santiago Island is part of the municipality of Bolinao with seven barangays.