By Roy Mabasa
The 7th Fleet Band of the United States Navy is currently in the Philippines to hold several public concerts, the U.S. Embassy in Manila said in a statement.
The band and the USS Blue Ridge are on a goodwill mission in the country from March 13-19, 2019.
Consisting of the Far East Edition, Far East Edition Trio, and Shiokaze Winds, the US Navy band is expected to play and sing a diverse range of American music, including Pop, R&B, Country, and Rock-and-Roll.
The US Navy’s premier band will be holding two separate concerts on Saturday, March 16, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at SM City San Lazaro and 6:00 p.m. at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.
The USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Manila on Wednesday for the ship’s first port visit to the Philippines since 2016.
The Blue Ridge and the 7th Fleet team have longstanding ties with the Philippines and this port visit offers opportunities to reconnect after several years of being away.
The crew will continue the tradition of participating in community service and cultural exchange events ashore, including multiple 7th Fleet band engagements and community relations events.
“Our nations are longstanding allies and our navies have worked together for generations,” said Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. “Our visit to Manila strengthens the bonds between our navies and our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
During the visit, Blue Ridge commanding officer Capt. Eric Anduze will meet with Philippine Navy officials and distinguished visitors for a tour of the flagship to explain the ship’s mission and goals.
“We are very proud to be back in Manila after a long absence,” Anduze said. “The Philippines has been an ally of our country for many years, and being able to show our appreciation for that friendship is something we always look forward to. Continuing to foster and maintain our deep relationships here is paramount to what we do in 7th Fleet.”
A number of Filipino-American sailors onboard the ship will have a chance to reconnect with their heritage during the port visit. One of these sailors, Seaman Charmaine Dalusung, will see the country she was born in for the first time since she was a child.
“I am very excited to come back to my first home,” said Dalusung. “It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen the friends and family I grew up with, so I’m extremely grateful to the Navy for giving me the opportunity to reconnect with my roots and culture.”