Happy Birthday, Our Lady Star of the Sea


Our Lady, Star of the Sea statue in Basilica of Our Lady (Maastricht), Netherlands. ©Wikipedia

Catholics all over the world are celebrating today the traditional birthday of none other than but Mama Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother.

Many Filipino seafarers, either working at sea or resting ashore, are devoted and thankful of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her role in humankind’s salvation is arguably substantial while at sea, the spiritual mother is particularly our guiding star.

Few weeks ago, I visited Antwerp’s Seaman’s Club – Stella Maris. I eventually got curios what ‘Stella Maris’ means so I asked Google. Finally, when the results were out, I had learned that Stella Maris is a Latin name which means Star of the Sea.

Our Lady, Star of the Sea is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s timeworn title. She’s the patron of The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), a global group of port chaplains and other volunteers which advocate seafarers’ rights and advance our welfare.

For example, the Antwerp Seamen’s Club – Stella Maris has provided a free bus service for seafarers who want to relax and explore the diamond capital of the world. This kind of support help seafarers save as much as 160 Euros on transportation cost!


©Stella Maris UK

Moreover, AOS offered 12 Stella Maris Masses this September. If you sailed in Nottingham, visit the Cathedral of St. Barnabas at 1300 hours Local Time, and join the Eucharistic celebration led by Bishop Patrick McKinney.

Aside from attending the mass, we can pray the Holy Rosary before the image of Christ’s Mother. I remember when I was still young, we gather in school and sincerely pray.

My own mother also used to remind me that I should grow kind and a loving person. According to her, these are the must-followed virtues and characters of Mama Mary.

I’m now 25, and I think I made my mama proud? ^^ Just kidding.

Nevertheless, our never ending thanks to our dear Stella Maris for her unconditional and motherly love!


Let’s stay connected.

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What are your memories celebrating Mama Mary’s birthday?

Shares your thoughts. Leave a feedback below, peepz!

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#Kalayaan2017 Cruise Celebrations






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How to be a Global ‘Bagong Bayani’?



Do you want to be hailed as a ‘Bagong Bayani’ (modern hero) of the Philippines?

I dream of becoming one in the future too! 

But the hero I mean here doesn’t need to clad a fantastic costume, or he can blow-away a devastating storm. While those wonder woman or superman-like super powers sound awesome, the Bagong Bayani Awards Foundation Incorporated (BBFI) is merely looking for true-blooded Overseas Filipinos who have the heart to lead, serve and build Filipino communities around the world.

If you’re one or if you know someone who would likely pass the benchmark of BBFI, submit a nomination today!



For years, the Bagong Bayani Award plaque is being handed-over to the awardees by no other than His Excellency, the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

In December 2016, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte graced the awarding ceremony. Here’s an online article about the said event.


What can you say about Bagong Bayani Awards? Share your thoughts by writing a comment below!

Categories: Events, Inspiring | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

‘Seafarers Matter’ revs DoS 2017, Free WiFi in ports urged in June 25


Every 25th of June, the world observes Day of Seafarer (DoS). An annual event officially born in Philippines, it aims to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers around the globe in helping to build world economies and civil societies in general.

Last year, I attended the IMO Day of Seafarer event at the SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia Complex, Manila. It was mainly organized by International Seafarers Welfare and Network (ISWAN) to mark the Day of the Seafarer and that particular day around 2,500 seafarers, maritime cadets and their families thronged the venue.

The spectators obviously enjoyed the on-stage entertainment, inspiring talks, family activities, health and well-being booths and free lunch! I was there and I felt lucky to see IMO Secretary- General Kitack Lim closely. He happened to pass in front of me merely a foot apart!


Moving on, ‘Seafarers Matter’ is the theme for this year’s Day of Seafarer. “The idea is to engage ports and seafarers centres to showcase best practices in seafarer support and welfare and organise special activities for seafarers on that day.” a statement written on ISWAN’s website says.

Does it mean there will be some meaningful social events in seafarer centres and ports will grant seafarers free WiFi access in June 25? I’m certain they’ll all beneficial to us, seafarers so let’s urge positively.

Meanwhile, I wrote the following blog posts to acknowledge the service, talents and unparalleled dedication of our fellow Filipino seafarers.

Read and feel free to share ‘em on social media.

It’s showtime! Pinoy cruisers show force in TV, united as one family

Confession of a Filipina Cruiser: It’s more fun in the river

13 Reasons Why Filipina Captain Che Javellana is ‘Beauty and Best’

Pinoy Seafarers: PH Mighty migrant workers

Happy Day of Seafarer, mates! Continue to sail safe, happy and free!


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From Cruise Ships With Love: Pinoy Cruisers cogently crusaded for the poor

It’s Mother’s Day but a group of people may treat their moms later today, probably right after a gift-giving activity which aims to benefit more or less a hundred poor people in Manila.


© Serlean Miranda

Buhay Sa Cruise Ship (BSCS) and Working Pinoy: Cruise Ships (WPCS), a circle of cruise ship workers and enthusiasts headed to Valley 2, Paranaque to distribute various goods the group had collected since the ‘Grand meet and Greet’ activity last April 22.


© Rinell Banda

“Napakasaya as in kasi hindi sila yung taong mapagsamantala.

“Tumutulong sila sa pagbubuhat sa mga gamit namin.

“And nagprepare sila ng pa-games pero hindi namin alam na para pala samin yun.

“Pokpok palayok and nag-enjoy ako ng sobra.

“Maraming bata, maraming ngiti at saya na makikita mo sa bawat mukha ng mga tao dun.

“Sobra nakaka-overwhelmed mga tao. Hindi na namin maramdaman yung pagod.” Serlean Miranda, a proud BSCS member and event volunteer said in an online interview.

Meanwhile, Vblogger and Admin Rinell Banda who had spearheaded the BSCS/WPCS gift-giving activity expressed his sincere gratitude, particularly to those who were deeply involved on their recent community outreach program.

In a Facebook post, Rinell stated:





© Rinell Banda

Were you inspired by what Pinoy cruisers community contribute for nation building?

Join Buhay sa Cruise Ship and Working Pinoy Cruise Ships Facebook groups today!


We want to hear from you!

Share your thoughts about this blogpost by writing a comment below.

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MAM AWARDS: A search for content creators who have big hearts for migrant workers



The Commission of Filipinos Overseas (CF0) and Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW) invite all creative content creators to join the 2017 Media Advocacy and Migration (MAM) Awards. The said award aims to recognize the efforts and time spent by Filipino bodies and individuals all around the globe to advocate the welfare of Overseas Filipinos, particularly migrant workers by being loud, proud, balanced and fearless contributors of media works that raises public’s awareness of the feat and plight of our modern heroes toiling overseas.


The MAM Awards has six major categories:

  1. Print Journalism Award
  • Best magazine / newspaper / newsletter
  • Best book
  1. Radio Journalism Award
  • Best regular radio program
  • Best radio program episode
  1. Television Journalism Award
  • Best regular TV Program
  • Best TV Program episode
  • Best TV Series
  1. Film Media Award
  • Best full-length film
  • Best documentary
  1. Interactive Media Award
  • Best website
  • Best blog
  1. Advertisement Award
  • Best print, radio or TV commercial


Dates to remember

  • Only entries released/published from January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 are accepted.
  • Complete nominations should be received by MAM Awards Committee on or before July 15, 2017.
  • The results will be released on or before November 30, 2017 and,
  • The awarding ceremony will be held on or before December 18, 2017.

To check if you are eligible to participate, kindly fill-up and submit the form below. I’ll email you the complete MAM Awards primer with nomination form attached. 🙂

Categories: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinoy Cruisers ‘Grand Fusion’ to happen in Manila on April 22


©Rinell Banda

Proud members of the Working Pinoy: Cruise Ship (WPCS) Facebook group, cruise job applicants, and general seafarers, with or without experience sailing, are all invited to attend the WPCS Grand Meet and Greet 2017, a special event organized by no other than Pinoy Cruise Vblogger & WPCS Admin Rinell Banda on April 22, 2017 in Paranaque City, Manila.


©Rinell Banda

Related Reading: Ten life-changing experiences you can learn from the luckiest Pinoy cruiser alive.

On a Facebook post, Rinell stated in vernacular the purpose of the said event –

Para makilala ang mga miyembro [ng WPCS] in person at maging magkakaibigan.

Para magkaroon ng kaalaman tungkol sa pagbabarko lalo na sa mga first timers.

Para naman sa mga nagbabarko, makapagbigay po kayo ng impormasyon, agabay, payo,inspirasyon at motibasyon para sa mga baguhang aplikante at..

Para mamahagi ng blessings sa [pamamagitan ng] pagbigay o pagdonate ng konting tulong para sa mga street children, nasunugan, etc.)

Therefore, participants are encouraged to bring with them the following:

– Sets of Resumes or CVs. (Some major recruitment agency’s personnel will be present on the event and will eventually collect your CVs.)

– Donation in cash or kind (i.e., used clothing, books, groceries and the likes)

Moreover, the PATTS College of Aeronautics at Lombos St, Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines was selected as the event’s venue.


©Rinell Banda


Please be reminded of the following schedules:

Registration: 1230H-1330H

Main event: 1300H-1600H

Gate closes at exactly 1330H

For more information, follow this event created on Facebook.

Share us your thoughts about the WPCS Grand Meet and Greet. Leave a comment below!


Categories: Events, Overseas Filipino Workers Advisories, Working Pinoy on Cruise Ships | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The MV Stellar Tragedy: Survivors’ heart-breaking confessions



On board Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) ship Stellar Daisy 16 Filipinos toil to provide their loved ones a more comfortable life and a brighter future.1

On March 31, 2017 late Friday (South Korean time) however, the ill-fated ship broke in two and buried itself quickly in deep water. MV Stellar Daisy eventually became the potential graveyard of her some missing crew.

On the positive side, two Pinoy seafarers had been very lucky to be found adrift and rescued a day after the ship sunk. Jose Marie Cadrahan & Renato Daymiel were Able bodied Seaman (AB) and Oiler on board Stellar Daisy respectively. A merchant ship named ‘EL NIDA’ saw them fraught by danger aboard a liferaft. 2


“Thankfully these occurrences are rare; but when they do happen, they serve to remind everyone that the seafarers, on whom we all depend, do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job; and that those of us responsible for making the industry safer can never stop striving for improvements.” – IMO Secretary Kitack Lim, Maritime Executive report.

Seaman’s Loved Ones, a page dedicated to seafarers and their loved ones, first posted the survivors’ written testimonies on Facebook.

Here’s what Jose Marie Cadrahan and Renato Daymiel had revealed:




Based on above statements written in vernacular, here’s what we can infer from the recent ship disaster.

  1. Cadrahan & Daymiel survived the tragedy by a hair’s breadth.
  2. Before the last part of Stellar Daisy was lost in sight, survivors jump into the water and hang on for dear life.
  3. Lastly, the ‘explosions’ heard imply that Stellar Daisy has sailed close to the wind.

Highly hoping

We thank God Almighty for saving Jose Marie and Renato’s lives and we pray that these crewmembers who were reported missing up to date will be in safe hands, and that their loved ones will stay strong to surpass such life’s big storm.

  • John Rey Baring
  • Joselito Cesa
  • Marino Alcantara
  • Wendell Muzares
  • Jefferson Casais
  • Joker Ynno Cabarron
  • Joshua Estenzo
  • Wilfredo Tolentino
  • Rodel Oblipias
  • Ardiezer Torno
  • Gabriel Refugio Jr.
  • Billy Jason Abeledo
  • Edmundo Agregado Jr.
  • Neil Winston Espineli

Related Reading: Grieving girlfriend to missing seafarer beau: My heart will go on loving you

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  1. 16 Pinoys on missing Korean ship | Inquirer News , 2 April 2017
  2. Hope fades in search mission for missing Stellar Daisy crew │ SPLASH 24/7, 2 April 2017
Categories: Events, Overseas Filipino Woker, Overseas Filipino Workers Advisories, Safety Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hail, Women Migrant Workers!


Today, March 8, we celebrate the International Women’s Day.

Hats off to all strong women, particularly Overseas Filipinos, who used to be our fantastic mothers, sisters, and friends! You girls rock and run the world!


Committed to promote ‘Pink Power’, did you know that our Sailing Republic Blog has been instrumental to feature these inspiring ladies?

Related Reading : What our women seafarers can learn from Sen, Swift and Sisa

Let’s read their remarkable stories.
1. JASMIN LABARDA – She’s the pioneering Filipina Ship Captain.
Read More


© Globe

2. PREY PONCEJA – A pretty seawoman who once trended as ‘Darling of Internet’.
Read More


© Prey Ponceja

3. NINA DA SILVA – Pioneering Filipina Marine Chief Engineer. Read More


© Humans At Sea

4. REBECCA BUSTAMANTE – Former Domestic Helper in Hong Kong who became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a multinational company. Read More


© Rebecca Bustamante

5. MARIA LUNINGNING BEBIT – A ‘rockstar’ OFW in Saudi Arabia who made us all proud. Her motherly love elicited during her term as nanny was so heartwarming. Read More



I’m sure my list is not complete. If you have someone in mind who was bold to make a change, please feel free to share her story on the comment section below!

Categories: Events, Inspiring | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

International Day of Seafarer celebration in SMX MOA offers FREE ENTRANCE & LUNCH!


The Day of the Seafarer is an annual international observance day being held every 25th of June. It aims to promote seafaring, seafarers’ welfare, seafarers’ contribution to the global economy and hopefully, inspire the general public to consider a lucrative yet challenging career at sea.

To know more details about this special event, read my other post entitled

What, Why and How We Celebrate the Seafarers Day

Since I started sailing, this year’s celebration is the grandest and biggest ever with international bodies led by International Maritime Organization (IMO) and  International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), organizing the said event. On June 25, 2016, expect around two thousand seafarers and their family members to swarm at SMX MOA Convention Centre in Pasay City, Manila. They will join the party with other maritime associates and will eventually feel relish for the day will be fun-filled with games, music, talks and various entertainment shows.


In line with the theme “At Sea for All”, ISWAN and The Seaambassadors’ Republic Blog invites you to attend the festive gathering.

Here are the great reasons why you should not miss it!

  • Free entrance for seafarers and their family.
  • Free health checks and health information dissemination from Health and Wellbeing zone..
  • Bond artistically with your family on Children/Family Zone. There would be face-painting, bouncing castle and Master Art both.
  • Enjoy performance and stage shows which include 4 cultural shows, zumba fitness and films.
  • Free lunch
  • Tons of prizes and freebies to be given away all day
  • Selfie, selfie on the wall with selfie wall!
  • Rub elbows and listen to IMO Secretary General Mr. Kitack Lim. He is the event’s Guest of Honor.
  • And a lot more gigs and gifts from various exhibitors!




The event sponsors are the ITF, Wrist Ship Supply, AMOSUP, UK P&I, Inmarsat, ICS, IMEC, PSU, GASFI and Seafarer Asia.

Please be informed however that slots are limited so you should preregister online to avoid disappointment.

To register, visit now!


*Photos were screenshots from ISWAN’s website


Categories: Events, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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