MANILA -- The Philippine Navy (PN) contingent to this year's "Rim of the Pacific" (RIMPAC) naval exercise played host to the Filipino community in Hawaii for their annual 4th of July celebrations.
In a statement over the weekend, PN spokesperson Cmdr. Jonathan Zata said the hosting took place at the helideck of strategic sealift vessel BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) against the backdrop of the Hawaiian sunset.
The ship's commanding officer, Capt. Richard David, welcomed the estimated 400 guests in a remark followed by the introduction of the main coordinator for the event.
While US Navy retired Chief Warrant Officer Alfonso Bituin and PN Naval Task Force 86 commander, Capt. Ernesto Baldovino, also addressed the guests and underscored the historical significance of this RIMPAC mission.
Zata said the program continued with a cultural presentation of Filipino music and dance performed by Naval Officer Basic Course (NOBC) students aboard BRP Davao Del Sur.
One of the guests in the occasion was US Pacific Command liaison officer Col. Joseph Archog.
This was followed by a dinner which consisted of some Filipino and American dishes while PN Seabees band provided musical entertainment throughout the evening.
"At 9 p.m. the much anticipated 4th of July fireworks started and lasted for about 15 minutes. The biggest fireworks display today in Hawaii happened here inside the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and the event guests aboard LD-602 were treated to a spectacular firework display from the helideck of a PN ship," Zata said.
He added the PN's participation in naval exercise with such magnitude gave opportunity to Filipino sailors and marines to exchange best practices with and learn from the best navies in the world aside from showcasing the country's rich cultural heritage with other participants and touch base with the large Filipino community in Hawaii. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency