The first of three (3) Hamilton-class frigate of the Philippine Navy, BRP Gregorio del Pilar (FF15) made a port-of-call at Changi Naval Base in Singapore to take part in the international maritime review held on the occasion of the Republic of Singapore Navy 50th anniversary (RSN50) on 15 May 2017. The Philippine Navy ship joined some 50 vessels from 21 foreign navies during the occasion. On 17 May 2017, Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy, hosted a cocktail reception for other naval officers and diplomats in Singapore. The gala night was highlighted by a non-stop performance of the ship’s in-house band and a showcase of Filipino food specialties including the popular “balut”. Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales and personnel of the Philippine Embassy were on hand to join the Philippine contingent. Early on, Ambassador Morales boarded the ship of the Japanese Maritime Self-defence Force “Izumo” and later the Vietnamese Navy frigate Dinh Tien Hoang. On Thursday, 18 May 2017, Ambassador Morales and his team from the Philippine Embassy joined leaders of the Filipino community in Singapore at the open-ship of BRP Gregorio del Pilar. The ship’s officials dutifully entertained the Filipino guests with a guided tour around the ship’s facilities. BRP Gregorio del Pilar left port on 19 May 2017.
From top clockwise: Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, FOIC Philippine Navy, hands over a token to Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio A. Morales during the on-board cocktail reception at BRP Gregorio del Pilar on 17 May 2017; Ambassador Morales delivers his message during the open-ship aboard BRP Gregorio del Pilar on 18 May 2017; The ‘must-do’ group photo of leaders of the Filipino community and officials of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore at the end of the open-ship.