MANILA, Republic of the Philippines - Five Filipino-American Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) took advantage of a port visit in Manila, Republic of the Philippines to reenlist in their birth country.
The Sailors who reenlisted include Chief Personnel Specialist Achilles Amante, Chief Boatswain's Mate Bryan Barcena, Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Michel Tolentino, and brothers, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jefferson Angcanan and Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Jerickson Angcanan.
The Angcanan brothers reenlisted March 8, while Amante, Barcena and Tolentino reenlisted March 10. Both ceremonies took place on the flight deck aboard Blue Ridge accompanied by their familiy, friends and colleagues.
Barcena, originally from Davao City, Republic of the Philippines, joined the Navy 16 years ago. He reenlisted for his final six years.
"It's amazing to have this opportunity," said Barcena. "I can't think of a better place to do it than here."
Amante, originally from Tondo, a district in Manila, Republic of the Philippines, reenlisted on the 15th anniversary he joined the Navy. He was accompanied by his father, Achilles Amante, and his sister, Chief Personnel Specialist Aurora Caasi, who also serves on Blue Ridge
"I'm very honored to reenlist in the Navy, and I can't believe that I was able to do it here in the Philippines," said Amante. "I've always been very proud of my Philippine heritage, and it's a great honor to be here today."
Jefferson and Jerickson Angcanan are originally from Cavit, Republic of the Philippines. They went to basic training together and have been stationed at the same first two commands.
"I'm proud to serve in the U.S. Navy and I know my brother is, too," said Jerickson Angcanan. "My family appreciates us for serving in the Navy and that helps make it all worth it."
The reenlisting officer for Amante, Barcena, and Tolentino was Blue Ridge Administration Officer Lt. Cmdr. Wilfredo Eslao. Eslao is also Filipino-American and spent 14 years as an enlisted Sailor before becoming an officer.
"I've never experienced a reenlistment like this in my career. These Sailors were able to have their ceremony with their friends and loved ones in a country they called home and left behind so many years ago," said Eslao. "I'm deeply honored to have been asked to administer the Oath of Reenlistment to these Filipino-American Sailors."