Children delighted with HMCS Regina tour

HMCS Regina Philippines visit

Lt(N) Chris Horsman demonstrates how to use fire fighting hose pipe. Filipino children took part in a tour of HMCS Regina as part of the ship’s outreach initiative in the community of Helping Land during a port visit to Manila, Philippines, on Feb. 2.

The busy seaport of Manila, Philippines, was HMCS Regina’s third port of call during its Operation Artemis deployment; the city provided a welcome five-day break from operations at sea.

While on shore leave, a number of Regina sailors participated in community outreach activities in Manila.

Members of Regina’s crew accompanied Irene Hansen-Reeder, wife of the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, and Project Pearl (a non-profit organization focused on ending child poverty) outreach workers during a guided tour of Helping Land and a community school in the area.

Helping Land is located on the outskirts of Manila and is home to hundreds of people who earn a living by recycling and re-purposing garbage from the city’s landfills. Manila is one of the most densely populated cities in the world with approximately 12 million people inhabiting an area roughly the size of Edmonton, AB, which in comparison, has less than one million inhabitants.

Following the sailors’ tour of Helping Land, children from the community were bussed back to Regina, given a tour of the ship, and enjoyed lunch in the crew café.

“It was obvious from their smiling faces they had a wonderful experience, and if the kids had half as much fun as we did then the day was a huge success,” said CPO1 Janet Graham-Smith, Regina’s Coxswain. “This day would not have happened without the outstanding efforts of the ship’s company who put their hearts and souls into this initiative.”

The outreach activities continued until the end of the port visit when Regina’s Padre, Capt Moley Mangana, encouraged the crew to donate unspent Philippine Pesos to charity. A total of 9,100 Pesos ($200 U.S.) was gathered by the ship’s company and distributed to a local medical centre.

“I would like to express my thanks to the ship’s company for their generosity . . . we made the lives of these people a little bit brighter,” said Capt Mangana.

-Lt(N) Mark Fifield, Op Artemis PAO

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