Philippine Television Show Features Essex
Story Number: NNS061106-17
By Mass Communication 3rd Class Jhoan M. Montolio, USS Essex Public Affairs
SUBIC BAY, Philippines (NNS) -- USS Essex (LHD 2) welcomed aboard the hosts and crew of the Philippines’ GMA 7 Network’s “Lovely Day” children’s show to produce an episode centered on Essex, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, while the ship was pierside here Nov. 2.
GMA 7’s representative Sam Briones said the concept of the show is to feature Essex as an ‘educational tour’ in a way that is similar to the “Discovery Channel.” The unique aspect of the kid-oriented show is that it is hosted by kids. Two of the hosts welcomed by Essex were under 10 and the third was 15.
Essex’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Brian T. Donegan, spent nearly four hours escorting the three young “Lovely Day” hosts, Beanca Binene, 8, Gabriel Roxas, 7, and Jacob Raterta, 15, all over the ship from the well deck to the bridge.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to connect with the people of the Philippines and to lay a lasting foundation of friendship and goodwill,” said Donegan.
The kid hosts were amazed by what Essex had to offer.
“I love the biggest helicopter and I am amazed. It is my first time to see a ship with a helicopter inside," said Roxas, the youngest of the trio.
Binene agreed, saying she was impressed.
“This amazing ship seems like a small community. Everything you need is on the ship,” Binene said.
Raterta, the oldest, said kids around his age could really relate to the ship.
“Kids my age are really interested in warships,” said Raterta. “I also love the mini-restaurant [mess decks] because if I were living here, I would never starve. If I could, I would live here for a long, long time."
The show’s executive producer, Cresta Amor, was pleased that Essex was able to welcome aboard the show. She said that the contents of the show will be well received by Filipino viewers.
“We were really happy to have this rare chance to show the people of the Philippines about your ship and your visit here,” said Amor. “I believe doing a show like this will help everyone who sees the show to have a new understanding about your ship and what you do.”
Donegan also said the visit was important because of what it meant to both countries.
“By making the visit a pleasant and enjoyable experience for the three young hosts and by extension their young audience, we are able to reinforce the future of a strong relationship between our two countries,” Donegan said. “Just as important, we help keep that relationship strong today by also reaching the parents who will enjoy watching this program with their children.”
Essex, with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked, has been in the Philippines conducting exercises with the armed forces of the Philippines (AFP) from Oct. 16-28. The ship was in Subic Bay Oct. 31-Nov. 3 to backload the remaining members of the 31st MEU following the exercises, Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) FY 07.
Essex is the flagship for the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and is the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship. It serves under Commander, Task Force (CTF) 76, which is the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.
For related news, visit the Commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. 7th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/ctf76/.