The Philippine Navy (PN) commemorated its 122nd year of unfaltering service to our maritime nation in a distinctively simple and solemn way as compared to previous celebrations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to grapple the country.
The ceremony held at the PN headquarters here today, May 20, 2020, led by the flag officer in command, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, commenced with a flag-raising ceremony with the flag flown at half-mast simultaneously observed in all PN units across the country followed by a prayer, one-minute of silence and synchronized blowing of ships’ horns/sirens. All of these were to pay tribute to all medical workers and other frontline personnel tackling the coronavirus disease, especially those we have lost along the way including the longtime member of the PN board of advisers, Dr. Aileen Baviera and Navy reservist Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) Simplicio Dasargo.
Vice Admiral Bacordo in his remarks pointed out that the PN as a “learning organization,” should take advantage of the lessons from COVID-19 pandemic “to sense the relevance and urgency of making our Navy a better, more responsive, more credible and efficient protector of our Filipino people. With the unique opportunity to revisit our systems and procedures as we face this crisis, I encourage you, our navy personnel, our maritime stakeholders, our government leaders, the Filipino people, to support the Navy’s effort to achieve our vision.”
This activity attended by a few select PN personnel strictly observing physical distancing was the focal ceremony shown through Facebook Live and witnessed by different PN units via live video conferencing.
Outstanding units and personnel were also feted during the ceremony headlined by the Philippine Fleet as the Type Command of the Year; Naval Forces Western Mindanao as the Operating Forces of the Year; Naval Reserve Command as the Support Command of the Year; and Naval Intelligence Security Force as the Support Unit of the Year.
In the midst of this pandemic, the PN does not waver in transforming the vision of becoming a strong and credible Navy set in this banner year of 2020 into a reality by being a constant and dependable partner of the government, other agencies, and stakeholders in providing much-needed services to the Filipino people. True to its anniversary theme “Sailing these turbulent times towards our Maritime Nation’s Defense and Development,” the deployment of our sailors, marines, and reservists, and utilization of sea, air and land assets have helped the nation cope up with the current ordeals and provided an enduring hope for all to heal as one.