A MILLION DOLLAR OPPORTUNITY: UK-based council offers staggering scholarship for young Filipinos who aspire to be future ship Captains/Chief Engineers


More than 10 years ago, the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), has started a particular cadet-training program that nurtures young Filipinos’ dream to become world-class ship officers.

According to a report posted on its website, over 600 cadets have successfully completed, with 480 more undergoing their Enhanced Cadet Training Program.

These cadet scholars enjoy free tuition, food, accommodation, uniform and first class trainings, among other perks, courtesy of IMEC shipping company member – sponsors. Take note as well that they are being honed in none other school but the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), a topnotch maritime institution of higher learning in the country.

Like the NSA Cadet Program, the scholars have to complete a 2-1-1 maritime education scheme. Means, the first two years are spent in school, and the third year is set at sea for apprenticeship. The latter provides best chances to learn how to live and earn $$$$$ at sea.

Finally, they return to MAAP, after more or less a year, to complete their college degree.

And what happens after school will perhaps stun you.

If other graduates of ‘nautical’ or ‘Mar-E’ have to find and kneel before shipping companies just to get an apprenticeship job, IMEC leveled-up cadets, on the other hand, swiftly return to their respective shipping companies either as junior officers or to be promoted as ships’ officers soon.

Lucky chosen few, right? 🙂

If you can hitch your wagon to a star and have dreamt of travelling the world while enjoying a hefty salary, apply for a scholarship grant today and join IMEC seafarers’ growing family.

Who are qualified to apply?

Anyone who wants to be a seafarer is invited to apply but IMEC has set the following requirements to be accepted in the program.


How to apply?

Fill-up this Application-form. Once completed, send a soft copy to  or hand-over/mail the paper to IMEC Manila with an office address of Unit D2, Garden Level, Corinthians Plaza, Paseo de Roxas, Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Once IMEC receives your application, they will contact and schedule you for further assessment and interview.

Nationwide selection

IMEC uploaded this photo on its official Facebook page last July 7 (which actually prompted me to write this blog post to help them spread the good news). The selection is still ongoing and they are even bringing the golden opportunity closer to you!

If you are nearby Iloilo, General Santos or Palawan, check these dates and venues:


Kudos in your application, future sassy sailor!

For further information, feel free to connect with the following:

Adam Lewis, IMEC Head of Training & Operations.


Dan Tolentino, Training Manager

Phone: 310 5211/ 310 5212


*Photos courtesy of IMEC UK & PHL

Stay tuned for posted opportunities!


Categories: Overseas Filipino Workers, SEAFARER EVENTS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Captain Phillips’ cruel pirate is seafarers’ new found Hollywood friend

Piracy is a very serious threat to seafarers.

To give you an idea how deadly it is when pirates attack a ship, here’s a case of piracy, Abduwali Muse & his cohorts did to the US containership Maersk Alabama.


In April 2009, Muse led his men to invade MV Maersk Alabama. Though he failed on his first attempt, he never stopped over 18 hours ‘till his group boarded the vessel sailing 235 miles off coast of Somalia.

I think it would be more interesting if we discuss Muse’s rudeness as shown in big screens. By far, the thriller/drama movie ‘Captain Phillips’ is real entertaining.

Select scenes from the epic movie show pirates act barbaric, the kind of people one should not play fire with.


First, while chasing the Maersk Alabama, Muse and his men open fired to its Captain and one crew whose peeping on the ship’s bridge wing at their boat. His group was trying to approach the ship closer that time.


Second, though Maersk Alabama took evasive maneuvers and had installed fire hoses around the ship to deter the boarding, the pirates unfortunately were able to trespass her. Muse, holding his high powered gun on this photo, was the first pirate to get onboard.



Third, his group eventually reached the bridge where Captain Phillips and two more crewmembers were stationed during the attack. On their first meeting, Muse calmly assured the captain that nobody gets hurt if given the ship’s money.

“Captain, relax, nobody gets hurt. We want the money, when we get paid, everything will be okay.” He reasoned-out.

But after some minutes, he grabbed the public address from the talking captain and announced that other hiding crewmembers should come-out and surrender or else, they kill at gunpoint their three hostage-crews.


Fourth, ten million not thirty thousand US dollars ransom money, people. Capt. Phillips asked fellow hostage-crew Kenny of the thirty (30) thousand dollars ship’s money kept on the safe. The latter affirmed. He then quickly offered it all to Muse.

“We got uh..we got 30 thousand dollars on the safe.. Yeah, yeah as what I said we got thirty thousand dollars…It’s all yours.” He said in a shaky voice.

“30 thousand dollars? What do am I? Do I look like a beggar?” Muse, clad in a grungy fisherman’s dress, retorted with a trying hard American accent.


Lastly, Muse gave Captain Phillips a pseudonym of Irish, and he showed him appalling authority.

“Hey, look at me! I’m the captain now!” he shouted Captain Phillips when the latter resisted to obey

More pirates’ brutality were shown in the film, and it’s really disturbing to note that they prey on seafarers, the men who transport valuable goods and commodities from coasts to coasts and keep the world’s economy afloat in general. I stayed almost half a year in West Africa, and intelligence reports we received from time to time show that pirates’ fangs are for real.

Muse, the sole survivor of four pirate hijackers, has the desire to live a better life in America [reason why thirty thousand US dollars wasn’t enough?). On the film, his admiration for Starbucks, Uber, Coca-cola, Trump and other American stuff was perhaps summed by his short dialogue, “I love America!”

Fortunate enough to reach USA alive, he was charged however with five criminal counts after US SEALs and NAVY forces nabbed him aboard destroyer USS Baindbridge. Jessica Hatcher of Newsweek writes verbatim about his arrest; He languished in a US prison cell, making history as the first person charged with piracy in an American court in over a century.

Justice for perplexed Maersk Alabama crew was served, finally.

A-Muse-ing pirate

On the other hand, did you know that the convincing portrayal of Abduwali Muse in the movie Captain Phillips has catapulted Somali-American Barkhad Abdi to Hollywood?

The worldwide search for the lead antagonist role, which was reportedly participated by more than 700 people in Minneapolis, was bagged by Abdi. Since his debut in the silver screen, he snatched the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a supporting role, Black Reel Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Black Reel Award for Best Breakthrough Performance- Male, Capri Breakout Actor Award and London Film Critics’ Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year. Not to mention that he had been nominated for the Academy, Golden Globe and other prestigious awards, all for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture category.

Now tell me, who wouldn’t want to rub elbows with Barkhad Abdi, like as close as this?

Filipino seafarers Mark Revilla Carillo and friends had showed us recently how to befriend an award winning ‘pirate’. And guess what, Abdi was even shooting his new film, ‘The extraordinary journey of the Fakir’ aboard their ship, MV Peak Bilbao!

Mark is working as third officer and they are currently in Belgium. Late night in June 29, I asked him how he finds ‘that familiar pirate face who tortured and scared Captain Phillips to run for his life’.

“Mr. Barkhad is very opposite on his character at Captain Phillips the movie, He is very friendly, really.” Mark replied to my message with a grinning emoticon.

“I’m calling him idol. Hahaha then he smiled. Actually he always smile.” he added.

Asked if Barkhad Abdi has any thoughts of sailors, particularly Filipinos seafarers, Mark said,

“May sinabi siya kanina sir na mahirap pala maging seaman based from his last movie sa Captain Phillips. Hanga daw siya sa mga Pinoy Seaman,”

(He said earlier sir that to be a seafarer is difficult, based on what he experienced in his last movie the Captain Phillips. He admire Filipino seafarers, too.)

Mark then sent a fresh selfie, noting that Adbi was concerned of their rest periods.


“Eto ngayon sir, hahaha. Parang tropa lang si idol.

“ Nagtanong siya samin kung antok na daw kami. “

(Here we are now, sir. Hahaha. He [Abdi] seemed to be our old friend. He asked us if we’re sleepy.)

I continued interrogating Mark and yours truly later found out that when a film shooting is set on a ship, the ships’ crew are deeply involved.

“Work kami from morning to afternoon. Tapos at night sila mag-shoot. Yun lang puyatan din mga ship’s crew kasi assist sa kanila. Gwardyahan sir.”

(We work from morning to afternoon. They shoot at night time. Hence, ship’s crew has to stay awake, man their posts and assist them [Abdi’s team] when required.)



What can you say about Barkhad Abdi’s success? Or do you have any message for our seafarers who might be poor victims of piracy like the crewmembers of MV Maersk Alabama? Whatever your thoughts are, please share by writing a comment below! 🙂


Photos of Barkhad Abdi & Tom Hanks, of Captain Phillips movie, courtesy: Sony Pictures/Columbia Entertainment.







Categories: Inspiring, SEAFARER EVENTS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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!


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

SeafarerHelp helps problematic seafarers for FREE

Depression, bullying, harassment and unpaid wages, among others, are common issues seafarers and their immediate family members commonly encounter.

If you’re likely having a heavy heart now and you have no one’s shoulder to cry on, don’t worry my friend for SeafarerHelp, a special program of International Seafarers Welfare and Network (ISWAN), can lift your sinking spirit.

I mean, it may not be the total solution you’re looking for but at least, you have someone trusted to talk your problem(s) with.

The support you can get from SeafarerHelp is confidential, multi-lingual, unlimited, 24/7 and most of all, everything’s FREE!



I personally availed SeafarerHelp once when I felt lonely and isolated while sailing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (and to test if it’s truly effective before writing this blogpost). I must say then that it’s the kind of support every aggrieved seafarer and his family members need.

I used Skype and the person on the other end of the line was well trained to counsel. He even gave me an option that time if I would like to talk to a Kabayan (a fellow Filipino who will converse in purely Tagalog) but since I understand and speak English well, I preferred to continue with my first choice. To make the long story short, my one-on-one online counselling was salutary!

When your life is being stormed by problems, summon for immediate help and save yourself from drowning.

Using your mobile phones and computer devices connected to the internet, reach out for SeafarerHelp today.





Skype: SeafarerHelp Skype

Facebook: SeafarerHelp Facebook Page

Callback: Seafarer Help Callback


Have you tried to contact SeafarerHelp recently?

Share us your thoughts about their service by writing a comment below.

Categories: SEAFARER EVENTS, Working Pinoy on Cruise Ships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LOOK: Sailors’ Summer Pool Paradise

Aside from physically demanding jobs due to frequent conduct of ship-to-ship operations, the hot weather here in offshore Lome is one of the major difficulties to endure.

In months of March and April, the average maximum temperatures were 32 and 31 degrees Celsius respectively. Good thing, it toppled more to 30 degrees Celsius this May!

Outwardly, it’s summer season and to beat the heat, we go swimming!

However, neither beach nor open-sea swimming is permitted. Hence, we put-up this mini-swimming pool on port bridge wing of the ship, and played like kids day or night!




What can you say about how we enjoy our kind of summer at sea?

Share us your thoughts by writing a comment below.

Categories: Overseas Filipino Woker, SEAFARER EVENTS | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE Simulator Trainer and Assessor Course (IMO MC 6.10) for Filipino Seafarers

Post Updated: 18 July 2017


In reference to STCW Advisory No. 2017-09, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) have joined force to train more experts in simulator related maritime training, assessment and development.


Read: The Modern Filipino Seafarer

A Filipino seafarer who has completed IMO Model Courses 6.09 (Instructor’s Course) is qualified to avail the said opportunity without paying the full training cost.

The participant just pay, however, a minimal fee of Php 1,800.00 for his secured lodging and meals served inside the premises of MAAP during training.


For the record, the IMO MC 6.10 training costs more or less Php 13-15,000.00, mainly depending on which training provider one selects.


Since the training is scheduled once per month and applicants are being screened, you should connect with MARINA in advance to reserve a slot.

Here are the training schedules for this year:

March 14-17, 2017

April 4-7, 2017

May 9-12, 2017

June 6-9, 2017

July 11-14, 2017

August 15-18, 2017

September 12-16, 2017

October 24-27, 2017

November 14-17, 2017

December 12-15, 2017

For training slot reservation and any inquiry or concern, please be advised that you may email directly to




Are you interested to attend the training?

Let us know your thoughts by writing a comment below!

Categories: SEAFARER EVENTS, training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Good news, seafarers! No need to wait and fall in-line, seaman’s book application is available online


Walk-in application of Seafarers Identification and Record Book (SIRB) or what is commonly called ‘seaman’s book’ by many seafarers is conventional but a bit tedious. Since the application is by ‘first come, first serve’ basis, one has to wake up early in the morning, beat the traffic and quickly join the line to get a queue number.

If it’s your first time to process in Manila, I recommend that you get an online appointment first before heading to Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), the assigned issuing body of seaman’s book.

Here’s how.



1.Go to Marina appointment website.

2.Select SIRB in the type of document to be applied for, and choose your preferred appointment DATE and TIME.

3.Fill up the online application form correctly.

4.Once your appointment is confirmed, download and print the application form with the appointment control number, and scheduled date and time. You’ll bring this paper (along with other required documents) with you when you report to MARINA office as per appointment schedule. Please be reminded that only CONFIRMED appointment will be accomodated by MARINA.

5. Arive thirty (30) minutes in MARINA since it enforces strict rules for personal appearance. You must appear physically in MARINA SCDD Office located at 5th Level SM City Manila, Concepcion St. corner Arroceros St., Manila on the specified date and time (check your appointment form) for image capturing. Early/Late comers will be ignored.



Categories: SEAFARER EVENTS, Working Pinoy on Cruise Ships | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Five reminders new WALK-IN APPLICANTS of seaman’s book should not ignore


Before you can work in any 350 Gross Tonnage & above foreign-flagged ship or a Philippine-registered ship, you need a Seafarers Identification and Record Book (SIRB) or what is commonly known to many seafarers as ‘seaman’s book’.

Since it’s your first time to apply, take note of the following:


For new applicants, bring the ORIGINAL COPY and ONE (1) PHOTOCOPY of these documents:

  • Birth Certificate on Security Paper (SECPA) or Passport
  • Valid NBI Clearance
  • Valid Basic Safety Training (BST) or Basic Training (BT) Certificate; and
  • Official Receipt of Basic Safety Training (BST) or Basic Training (BT) Course

Meanwhile, if you are a cadet and you would like to wear your shoulder board on, submit a Transcript of Records (TOR). If not available however, a certification duly sined by the college’s Registar may suffice. This will be your proof that you have been enrolled in a maritime course.


A regular processing costs Php 800.00 only but if you needed it ASAP apply for an expedite processing of your seamans book. It’s faster but will costs you Php 1,500.00.

3.Entitlement – If your regular application is successful, you can claim your first seaman’s book the next working day but within 4 hours only if you choosed expedite processing.

4.Office hours – Your nearest MARINA Office is open daily, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM without noon break (Monday to Friday only).

5.Exemptions – If you plan to work onboard warships/naval vessels/naval auxiliaries or fishing vessels regardless of tonnage engaged in domestic fishing operation, you are not required to possess a SIRB.

All set to apply? Walk-in to the MARINA Main office located at 984 Parkview Plaza, Taft Avenue corner Kalaw Street Manila, Philippines or a MARINA regional office nearest to you today!

Ooops.. wait! I think if getting an online appointment first will make your seaman’s book application more convenient. Check this blogpost.




Categories: Overseas Filipino Woker, SEAFARER EVENTS | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

What, Why and How We Celebrate the Seafarers Day

Day of the seafarer

What is the Day of the Seafarer?

• An official United Nations international observance day

• Every year on 25th day of June

• Organized by the International Maritime Organization

• Reaches millions of people worldwide

Aims of Day of the Seafarer 2015: #CareerAtSea

• Engage seafarers themselves to tell us about (and share photos of) their life at sea and be ambassadors for their own industry

• Promoting the materials gathered from seafarers with the aim of reaching the general global population and inspiring them to consider a career at sea

• Raising awareness of seafarers and their importance to the global economy to the general public

Message of the IMO head, Promotion of #CareerAtSea and Dancing Filipino Seafarers Videos

(Click to see the video in YouTube)




Source: International Maritime Organization , Dancing seafarers

To all seafarers out there, thank you for all your undying service to the world. Continue to be true sea ambassadors and keep safe always both at sea and ashore. CHEERS!


Categories: SEAFARER EVENTS | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Powered by