Aboard a Naval Ship on my Birthday

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It’s not everyday that a US naval ship docks in Manila to be open for visit and tours from outsiders. But on the 20th of March (which coincidentally is my birthday!), it did! And my Uncle Al is on it! He invited the family to have a tour inside. 🙂 Awesome 🙂

We had lunch first at the Mall of Asia and from there, it was a 20 minute drive to the South Harbor where the ship was docked. From the car, we walked our way towards that gigantic metal floating there at the waters of the Manila Bay.

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A long ramp stood in between the cemented end of the walkable Manila pier and the wooden platform of the naval ship. Walking over the ramp made me excited for what I was about to discover inside the ship.

Two military staff guards the entrance by the deck, a male and a female. The woman looked very pretty it’s so admirable seeing her in a US military uniform. They registered our names and gave us our visitor’s passes saying “ESCORTED”. Haha, taray lang.

We then started our tour inside, with uncle Al guiding us in every turn.

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It was like a maze inside. The hallways were narrow, enough as a one-way pathway for a large-built military officer. As a flagship of the 7th fleet, there were no ruffles inside. There were lots of metal, iron, and wood. The wooden parts of the ship add a certain charm and sophistication.

If the ship would be a person, I see it as a large military officer in uniform, sitting crosslegged in a high chair with a glass of champagne on his hand, built with seriousness and class.

“Pride Lives Here”

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My uncle, as an officer in the ship, guided us through the rooms and the decks inside. He also lead us to his office where we were greeted by his comrades. He explained how he works there and what he handles at work, and I felt the pride in me as his niece grow bigger than ever.

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The canteen was huge and it looks very simple. But the dining area for the officers looked classier with its wooden stuff and the tardis navy blue cloth. Also, the photos, symbols and the ornaments on the wall and on the shelf made their dining area seemed like a VIP room.

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They even have their own mugs with their names written on it. It was really nice, it makes you think for a moment about how awesome it must be to be part of something like what they have in the navy.

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Uncle then lead us the shop. Yes, they have a convenient store inside, and yes it was run by another military officer in uniform.

There was also a barbershop inside.

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We proceed to the upper deck where the Manila bay looked very pleasant seen from the ship. It was a nice afternoon and the sun wasn’t too painful on the skin. There were officers with their guns and armalites standing by their post. Also at the upper deck there were helicopters.

With my family enjoying being there, we took touristy photos from the upper deck.

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We took more time exploring what’s left to explore and it felt awesome. We’ve had good bonding moments with uncle and it’s nice to have chit chats with him.

Going down from the ship, we saw the Philippine Navy officers registering by the entrance.

Before we went home, we spent a couple of hours more in Sofitel where we enjoyed the relaxing ambiance by the sea and more conversations.

I learned and a lot and I’ve seen a lot but what made the day really awesome and lovely is the whole family reuniting with my uncle. It’s been so many years since we last saw each other and we’ve only been hearing from him and from Aunt and their boys through the internet.

It was really good to see him once again and to share stories and laughter. I don’t know, but I really enjoy chit chats with relatives. Even when I was in the province, I love sharing conversations with my uncles, aunts, and cousins.

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I thank God for a loving family and I pray with all my heart for them to be safe and healthy.

Capping the day, we went to the church to pray.

It was one of the best birthdays I’ve had.

 

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