Armada Española ship back in Manila first time since ‘Battle of Manila Bay’

Spanish Navy (Armada Española) ship Méndez Núñez (F-104) arrived at Pier 15 here today for an unprecedented goodwill visit to the Philippines, marking the first time that a Spanish Navy ship has once again traversed the waters off Cavite and Manila after the post-independence period.

The customary practice that the Philippine Navy (PN) renders to all visiting navies began with a designated PN vessel meeting F-104 at the vicinity of Corregidor Island and subsequently escorted it to the berthing area. PN delegates headed by the representative of the Navy Chief, Cmdr. Kenneth Lozañes, then accorded the visiting navy a welcome ceremony followed by a port briefing related to security health aboard the Spanish vessel.

In line with this, F-104’s commanding officer and his party are scheduled to have a courtesy call to the Flag Officer in Command, PN, Vice Adm. Robert A. Empedrad at the PN headquarters in Roxas Blvd., Manila.

This goodwill visit will also involve series of confidence building engagements between PN and Spanish Navy personnel such as shipboard tour, reciprocal receptions and friendly games. A send-off ceremony with customary Passing Exercise (PASSEX) will cap off said visit.

F-104 is an Alvaro de Bazan-class frigate manned by more than 200 sailors and commanded by Cmdr. Antonio Gonzalez del Tanago de la Lastra.

Their interaction with the PN will conclude Saturday, September 07 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 in the Philippines.

This goodwill visit aims to develop and enhance the PN’s cooperation with Spanish Navy geared toward capability development. It further celebrates two countries’ deep historical ties and reaffirm diplomatic relations established in September 1947 which have opened opportunities for economic, cultural and educational agreements. NAVY.MIL.PH