Memoirs of a Navy Brat


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Naval Station Sangley

The upper part of the northernmost portion of Cavite City is where the Naval Station Sangley is presently situated. It has an Air Force tenant unit which occupies the airstrip area and its surroundings. It was formerly known as the US Naval Station Sangley.

Naval Base Cavite

The lower part of the northernmost part of Cavite City used to be the site of the Cavite US Navy Yard. It was named as the Cavite Naval Base after it was turned over to the Philippine Navy. In the 1970's, it was renamed as Naval Base Cavite.

It was in the vicinity of Sangley Point where the American Expeditionary Force engaged the Spanish flotilla in what is known as the Battle of Manila Bay. The defeat of the Spaniards effectively ended 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, when they ceded the Philippines to the United States, who became our colonial masters for the next 40 years or so.

US Naval Station Sangley and Cavite US Navy Yard were heavily bombed by the Japanese when they assaulted it during WWII. The American liberating forces returned the compliment to the Japanese Imperial Forces when they came back to retake the country.

The sunken pontoon barges which littered the Bacoor Bay side of the base, including the three at the back of our quarters, were solemn testaments to these bombings.

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Cavite Naval Base

This was the base, as it was known then,  where I spent almost 2 decades of my growing up years. The name doesn't exist anymore except in the minds of base old-timers. City residents would refer to it as PN (Philippine Navy). 

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Plaza Militar 

Plaza Militar (enclosed in blue lines) was a housing compound for Navy officers and their families. It is bounded by Pedro Gil on the North, Quintos on the South, M.H. del Pilar on the West, and Mabini on the East.

Plaza Militar is now the site of Hyatt Hotel and Landbank Plaza. On the next block to the North along M.H. del Pilar was the Gaiety Theater were we used to see movies. All these years, I can't forget one particular movie that I saw there, the tear-jerker "All Mine To Give." I was only 8 or 9 years old then, but it created such an impact that I can not forget it until now.

View Manila Naval Station (MNS) in a larger map

Manila Naval Station (MNS) 

The Manila Naval Station (enclosed in blue lines) used to occupy a block of land bounded by Quirino on the North, Vito Cruz (now Pablo Ocampo Sr.) on the South, Roxas Blvd on the West, and Mabini on the East.  The area is presently the site of the Department of Finance, Central Bank of the Philippines, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Ospital ng Maynila. The naval station was transferred to a bigger space in Fort Bonifacio and became known as the Bonifacio Naval Station (BNS).



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