The Apo (1921–1932)

 

The Apo was a steam yacht built in Kinghorn, Scotland, in 1898. It was initially called the Cem but was later on renamed to The Amelia III after it was acquired by King Carlos of Portugal. In 1906, it was purchased by Henry Clay Pierce, and the name was changed to the Yacona.

It was acquired by the United States Navy and commissioned in 1917. After it was decommissioned at Engineer Island, Manila, in 1921, it was transferred to the Insular Government of the Philippine Islands and renamed Apo.

Designated as the official yacht of the Governor-General, it was used for inspection voyages by Leonard Wood, Henry Stimson, Dwight Davis, and Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

In 1932, it was returned to the United States Federal Government.

The Casiana/Banahaw (1936–1941)

The Cassandra, an oil-burning yacht, was built in 1908. It was acquired by oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny and renamed the Casiana, after his first major oil well in Mexico.

In 1936, the Commonwealth government acquired it for $50,000, and the ship arrived in Manila on November 25 of the same year. The name was changed to Banahaw, and it was made part of the Coast Guard service, although, primarily, it was reserved for use of the President and his family.

On December 29, 1941, it sunk off Fort Mills wharf, Corregidor, by Japanese bombing.

The Orchid (1946–1948)

The Orchid (WAGL-240) was a 190-foot Manzanita Class vessel built in New Jersey. Its keel was laid on October 1907; it was launched on May 1908, and was commissioned on August 1908 to the United States Lighthouse Service, which was merged with the Coast Guard in 1939. It was called the Orchid in line with the Lighthouse Service’s tradition of using flora as names for certain vessels (tenders, in particular), which was continued by the Coast Guard.

With its sister ships, the Anemone, Sequoia, and the Tulip, the Orchid was transferred to the Philippines when it was decommissioned on December 1945. It was used by President Manuel Roxas.

The Apo/Pagasa/Santa Maria (1948–1959)

The second Apo was an Admirable-class minesweeper laid down on November 24, 1943 by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation in Alabama. On March 16, 1944, it was launched, and on October 25, 1944, was commissioned as the USS Quest (AM 281). She received two battle stars during World War II. It was decommissioned on May 2, 1946 and struck from the Navy register on September 29, 1947.

It was renamed Dalisay when it was transferred to the Republic of the Philippines on July 2, 1948. It was then renamed Pagasa, by President Ramon Magsaysay, and again to Santa Maria by President Carlos P. Garcia, after his hometown.

In 1959, it was replaced by the new presidential yacht, the Lapu-Lapu, but continued to serve as the alternate yacht.

With the designation TK-21, it was renamed three times by President Diosdado Macapagal as the Corregidor (1963), Pagasa (1964), and Incorruptible (1965). However, the name was reverted to Pag-Asa (1966) and finally changed to Mount Samat by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1967.

The ship was decommissioned on September 21, 1993 and sunk off Sangley Point.

The Lapu-Lapu/Roxas/The President/Pag-Asa/Ang Pangulo (1959– )

What is now known as the BRP Ang Pangulo was obtained during the administration of Carlos P. Garcia as part of the war reparations given to the Philippines by Japan. It was built at the Ishikawajima dry-docks in Tokyo, and was known then as Bow No. 77.

On July 16, 1958, its keel was laid at the Harume Yard, and the ship was launched on October 16 of the same year. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Manuel Mandapat, its first commanding officer, sea trials were conducted on February 9 and 10, 1959. President Carlos P. Garcia designated it as the flagship of the Philippine Navy on February 14, 1959 and brought it to the Philippines on February 28, 1959. It was first named the RPS Lapu-Lapu, commissioned on on March 7, 1959. The ship joined the Philippine Fleet in Manila on April 2, 1959.

It saw its first presidential engagement on April 7, 1959 and was sent on its first mission on April 19, 1959. It successfully completed a trade and cultural exposition at the ports of Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan on June 4, 1959. Since then, the ship was mainly used for relief, emergency search and rescue, patrol, auxiliary transport, and command-vessel purposes, above its duties to the president and his government.

President Macapagal, on December 31, 1961, removed it as the flagship of the Philippine Navy. On October 9, 1962, the ship was renamed RPS Roxas, the first ship to be named in honor of a Philippine president. In trying to stay true to his platform of simplicity, President Macapagal never sailed on the ship and used a different ship for his sea-bound missions.

The ship was again renamed during the Marcos administration as RPS The President. It saw the most number of engagements during this administration. Reportedly the site of many lavish parties of the Marcos family, it served as a venue for entertaining VIP guests. Among the notable guests that the Marcoses entertained in the ship were British ballerina Margot Fonteyn, actress Brooke Shields, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, concert pianist Van Cliburn, and Cristina Ford, former wife of Henry Ford II, who was once chairman of Ford Motor Co. On January 11, 1967, President Marcos again renamed the ship, now christening it as the BRP Ang Pangulo. The Marcos administration also created a seal for the presidential yacht.

 

After the 1986 EDSA Revolution, President Cory Aquino tried to do away with all the lavishness and extravagance of the previous administration. The ship was also costing the government P400,000 a month simply to maintain it. On September of 1986, the President put the ship up for sale for $5.5 million, but it was not sold. President Fidel V. Ramos, during his term, entertained Chinese President Jiang Zeminin on this yacht.

When President Joseph Estrada took office, he had the yacht extensively refurbished. The ship served as a venue for presidential events and as a mobile office for the president. On trips to Mindanao, President Estrada would sail using the yacht, functioning as a mobile Malacañang in the south.

In 2006, the presidential yacht caught on fire while it was undergoing repairs in a Batangas port. The ship reportedly incurred only minor damage. After refurbishing and repair, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, on March 6, 2009, again changed the name of the yacht to the BRP Pag-Asa.

Today, President Benigno S. Aquino III rechristened the presidential yacht with its old name, the BRP Ang Pangulo. The yacht is set to join the Philippine Fleet, which includes the newly refurbished Hamilton-class Cutter named the BRP Gregorio del Pilar. In his speech during the christening, the president said this ship would augment the capabilities of the Philippine Navy.

On December 7, 2011, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, in enforcing its mandate to ensure consistency in the implementation of the corporate identity of the Executive Department, submitted to the Presidential Museum and Library, which has curatorial control of the presidential yacht by virtue of Executive Order No. 880, s. 2010, a new design of the seal of the BRP Ang Pangulo.

 

Specifications:

Name: Ang Pangulo
Type: Motor Yacht
Model: Custom
Builder: IHI Group
Year: 1959
Flag: Philippines
Dimensions
Length Overall: 77.33 m
Beam: 13 M
Draft (max): 6.40 m
Gross Tonnage: 2200 tons
Accommodations
Guests: 44
Crew: 81
Construction
Hull Configuration: Displacement
Hull Material: Steel
Superstructure: Steel
Engine
Quantity: 2
Manufacturer: Mitsui B&W
Model: DE642/VBF75
Power: 2,500 hp/1,840 kW
Total Power: 5,000 hp/3,680 kW
Propulsion: Twin Screw
Performance and Capabilities
Max Speed: 18.0 kts
Cruising Speed: 15.0 kts
Range: 6,900 nm at 15 kts
Fuel Capacity: 372,000 L/81,828.53 USG