For the first time in more than a century, a Spanish warship has docked in the Philippines.
The air defense frigate Méndez Núñez of the Armada Española arrived in Pier 15 of the Manila South Harbor today (Thursday, September 5) for a goodwill visit to the country.
Lieutenant Commander Maria Christina Roxas, Philippine Navy spokesman, said the frigate was provided with the “customary meeting point procedure” off Corregidor Island and was later escorted to its berthing area.
This marks the first time a Spanish Navy warship has sailed off Cavite and Manila after the post-independence period.
The Méndez Núñez is an Alvaro de Bazan-class frigate, crewed by more than 200 sailors and led by Commander Antonio Gonzalez del Tanago de la Lastra.
The Philippine Navy delegates, headed by the Navy Chief’s representative Commander Kenneth Lozañes, then hosted a welcome ceremony, followed by a port briefing.
Lt. Cdr. Roxas said the Méndez Núñez’s commanding officer and his party are scheduled to call on the Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Robert A Empedrad, at the Navy headquarters along Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
This goodwill visit will also involve confidence-building engagements between Philippine and Spanish navy personnel, such as a shipboard tour, reciprocal receptions and friendly games.
A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise will cap off the visit. Their interaction with the Philippine Navy will conclude on September 7 and they will proceed to Baler Bay in Quezon Province for the V Centenary commemoration of the first circumnavigation of the globe by Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano and the arrival of Spain to the Philippines.
This goodwill visit aims to develop and enhance the Philippine Navy’s cooperation with the Spanish Navy geared toward capability development.
It further celebrates the two countries’ deep historical ties and reaffirms diplomatic relations established in September 1947, which opened opportunities for economic, cultural and educational agreements.