8 Hot tips to snipe one illegal recruiter



Did you know that 75% of problems some Filipinos faced overseas were caused by illegal recruiters? It’s the bad news which Merliza M. Makinano, Director of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) International Labour Service, affirmed during her visit in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and as per an online report posted by Gulf News General.

To eliminate illegal recruitment and/or prevent further damage, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration(POEA), as the Official Gazette of the Philippines writes online, warns Filipino workers against accepting offers of employment without proper work documents or using the “the easy way out” via the “no tourist visa” arrangement with ASEAN member states such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, and Thailand.

It’s also my advocacy to fight illegal recruitment hence, I’ll be giving you here some hot tips how to identify and avoid badass illegal recruiters!

Here’s how.

1. He asks you to post an immediate placement fee. If paid, he doesn’t issue any official receipt.
2. He promises a swift departure.
3. He required you to undertake any medical examination and/or training even without properly disclosing an applicable employment contract and/or a trusted employer.
4. He invited you to deal with him inside a mall, restaurant and any other public place and not inside a licensed recruitment agency’s office.
5. You may see him doing house-to-house recruitment in the community and when asked about the job offer, he has likely little or no concrete idea about it.
6. He represents himself as one agent of a direct-hiring employer. For such reason, he tells you that the job offer doesn’t need to pass by POEA’s scrutiny.
7. He tells you that he came from a licensed recruitment agency but he has no Identification Card (ID) to show.
8. He encourages you to help him look for other work-abroad aspirants like you. If you happen to cooperate, he would expedite your flight abroad, even saying you can leave the country without a valid employment contract or a working visa.


Peepz, illegal recruiters are likely afraid of educated men!
Don’t forget to share this blog post to other people through your social media accounts and let me know your thoughts by writing a comment below.

Categories: Overseas Filipino Workers Advisories | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments




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One proud women seafarers advocate


She’s Fairer as a Seafarer (#SFAS) is our worldwide campaign which started in 2013 and fosters the welfare of women serving the maritime industry, particularly in a male-dominated profession called seafaring.

Folks, these bold women have been sailing the high seas, fight boredom, homesickness, isolation and even sexism on-board but no storm has sunken their dreams to go great lengths.

Below blog posts talk about their compelling stories:
1. Jasmin Labarda: Philippine’s first Filipina Ship Captain
2. 13 Reasons Why Che Javellana is ‘Beauty and the Best’ Ship Captain
3. Nina da Silva: Philippine’s pioneering Marine Chief Engineer
4. Engr. Maike Ligan’s tips to shatter stress
5. Prey Ponceja: The seawoman who took social media by storm


Wonderful lessons Sushmita Sen, Taylor Swift and Sisa can teach women seafarers

ITF Women seafarers’ rights

10 Stunning ‘Wonderman’ seafarers

Women migrant workers

Help us promote women empowerment by sharing this post on your social media accounts! If you know one woman seafarer we can include in our list of inspiring seawomen, please feel free to comment below.

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2 Simple and proven ways to prevent HIV/AIDS


Practice safe sex and avoid contact with a HIV/AIDS infected blood – these are highly recommended prevention measures to observe if you want to live a healthy and longer life.

Probably because of poor attitude towards living a healthy lifestyle and lack of knowledge about the disease, HIV/AIDS infection became rampant among Overseas Filipino Workers, particularly seafarers. In a blogpost I wrote entitled ‘5 well-grounded reasons why seafarers get HIV/AIDS’ we can infer than due to the nature of our occupation, seafarers likely acquire the deadly malady.

If you are a seafarer, when was the last time you engaged in an unprotected sex? Of course, it’s your personal secret and you don’t need to tell us. But I wonder if have you got yourself tested recently? If you have second thoughts about your HIV/AIDS status, go to your local health department, community clinic, private doctor or family planning clinics now, and get yourself screened!

“Mahalagang malaman ang iyong HIV status. Huwag Matakot, Huwag Mahiya. Narito ang DOH para sa inyo. Pumunta na sa pinakamalapit na testing Centers. Libre po ito.” ex-secretary Janet Garin, Department of Health (DOH) Press Release/May 6, 2015.

For more information about HIV/AIDS from DOH, read this.

On the other hand, one helpful ITF publication states verbatim;
The best way for sexually active people to protect themselves from HIV is to have safe sex, using a condom every time they have sexual intercourse.

In addition, we can learn how to avoid infected blood from it.
• Do not share razor blades or syringes (injections) with anyone.
• Ensure that body piercing and tattooing equipment is sterilised
• Do not let blood from a cut on someone else get into any cut on your own skin. Lastly,
• if there is an accident at work or on the road, follow the correct safety procedures, known as universal precautions.

There is still no cure for HIV/AIDS. It is only by keen prevention that one can stop the virus to break inside the borders of his own body.


To request assistance on this online project, fill-up and submit this form.



Categories: Health & Safety | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Next NBA Superstar Stephen Curry hails from the sea




If you’re a die-hard fan of Cavaliers, I think you’ll have second thoughts to read this blog post. Hey, I myself is a fan of LeBron James! (Sorry the title wasn’t the one you expect it to be. I just like the rhyme of words ‘Curry’ and ‘sea’.)

But if you’re a Golden State Warrior warrior or GSWw (pun intended), Common’ you hang-around with me here for whether you root for James or Curry, I would like you to know that one day their predecessors might come from the sea!

So, playball, basketball!…shall we?


©Mark Palestra

Mark Palestra, a Second Officer of Stolt Tankers, shared to me some photos of their basketball tournament held onboard. In addition, he cited some benefits seafarers get when playing basketball. “This kind of activity onboard helps us to fight boredom at sea. It also fosters camaraderie among actively participating crew,” the 26 year-old navigator said.

On how challenging it is to live and work in an ocean-going ship, he attested, “Life onboard is not easy. In order to have a bigger salary, we should be away from our families. We need to leave the comfort of our homes, change our lifestyle, and maybe worst of all, you seldom see and guide your growing children,”

To ease the difficulties seafarers like him endure at sea, the crews’ welfare is being fostered. On his ship for example, the management upholds a kind of lifestyle comfortable to the group. “In order for us not to get bored easily, the officers, especially the SMT bring the comfort of our homes onboard. It may not be exactly like what we used to have on land but it’s better than having nothing at all.”



Columnist Joaquin M. Henson of Philstar says that to Filipinos, basketball is a way of life.

READ: Pinoy seafarers bring more fun at work through basketball

And did you know that Filipinos ranked next to the Americans and Chinese as the largest market of giant sports apparel Nike? Yes, we are!


©Mark Palestra

The interest of seafarers to play basketball is quite remarkable. Hence, let’s not be surprised that one day, some sailors dribble their career to NBA and are taking big shots, perhaps bigger than what our idols LeBron James and Stephen Curry have had ever achieved!


I would like to hear from you! Share your thoughts about Filipino people’s love for basketball by writing a comment below!?

Categories: Inspiring, Overseas Filipino Workers | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Socially Yours


Spearheaded by yours truly, the ‘seaambassadors’ have been actively advocating positive change that benefits both local and global Filipino communities.

I am humbled to enumerate a dozen of accomplishment:

Recipient of OBRA’s Outstanding OFW Blog Award in 2014, The Seaambassadors’ Republic (ex EXPAT-ON-THE-SPOT) Blog promotes the welfare of Filipino people.

On how this blog aims to be a significant catalyst for positive change, read this post.
On what compelled me to start blogging, here are few lines from my acceptance speech during the OBRA’s awarding ceremony held in Manila.

“I started writing a blog not just for fun but primarily for the purpose of becoming a Pinoy sea ambassador. Marami po kasi sa atin ang hindi alam kung what it’s really like to be a seafarer or kahit pa ang mga kasamahan natin sa industriya, kulang ang kaalaman with regards to the things which make us proud to be seafarers… Read more

APOY Award is a special recognition personally crafted by yours truly to recognize humans’ souls on fire. Every year, a high school student is given the distinction. Read more

SFAS is an original concept and my personal initiative to pay tribute to our Filipina seafarers. They are arguably significant for a more diverse and dynamic maritime industry. Hence, I conduct personal interview, thorough research, write blogs and proudly speak about their well-being in public. I truly look forward to write an inspirational book about their feat soon.

Dubbed as the digital ‘cure’ for boredom and isolation at sea, I conceptualized the RASToday project to foster stronger family relationships. Read more

A creative health & nutrition awareness activity, children enjoyed this event. See the photos here.

Seafarers are the group of Overseas Filipino Workers heavily affected by HIV/AIDS. Here’s how we spread awareness online to ease the devastating effects of the deadly disease.

To fight human trafficking earnestly I joined, and encourage others to be part of UNDRCC’s Blue Hearts Campaign. Read more

Managing human resource efficiently is necessary. The people are the organisation’s main engine. To set a benchmark, we conducted a study about one ideal Filipino Captain and his effective leadership style. Read more

The Philippine’s is a beautiful country. I write blogs, engage in forums and speak in public of its stunning tourist spots and cool people. Read more

JuanVoice works like a safety net of migrant workers climbing the gangway of success. A digital accident/incident/non-conformity and positive comments reporting system, JuanVoice had been effective to share lesson-learning experiences and advisories to many Filipinos. Read more

I set-up a webinar in my blog. The ‘Safety At Sea: A webinar for rookies’ contains safety related topics which are helpful for seafarers or seafarer aspirants. They can easily view, read and/or download my lecture materials posted online.

The country’s cruise ships workers community deserves help and support. While I had worked on cargo ships since I started sailing, I extend my expertise to help cruise ship workers and cruise ship job applicants.

Through writing blogs, conduct of interviews, research and training development, I am positive that these cool people are not being ignored. Here’s a blog section dedicated to advance their interest.

Thanks to all benevolent people who helped us fulfil our positive roles.

It’s always our pleasure to lead and serve the community!


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Ten stunning ‘Wonder Woman’ seafarers who can teach us how to fight tooth and nail

Before my eyes, these girls are all Diana Prince.


According to Madame Eleanor Roosevelt however, they’re tea bags!?
Here’s why, “A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water!” the icon quoted. “Mom, bring me the water cooker, please?” Joke only. 🙂

Kidding aside, smooth seas don’t make skilful sailors. A stormy sea is literally boiling and well, a clay-hearted person would be likely imperilled, unless otherwise he becomes his own man of steel. If such kind of metamorphosis happens, hear Wonder Woman (when she ate ice cream for the first time, and loving the taste of it in the blockbuster movie) chiming in, “It’s wonderful, You should be very proud!”

She’s right, it’s really something to be proud of! But have you figured out how to become the better version of yourself yet? If you’re still looking for an inspiration, don’t stop reading.

On this point, let me present notable women who have ‘wonder’ attitude to survive the high seas, fight boredom, homesickness, isolation and even sexism at sea. Lucky enough, no storm has stopped them to go great lengths. Their hard-earned experiences both at sea and ashore are worth sharing hence, take time to read their compelling stories.

1. Jasmin Labarda
– A seafarer’s daughter who followed his father’s footsteps at sea and later became the first ever Filipina Ship Captain. An alumna of MAAP, Capt. Labarda reached the pinnacle of her career when she was just 27 years old. Read more.

2. Maria Kristina Javellana
– Filipina Master Mariner Maria Kristina Javellana is ‘Beauty and Best’ Captain. She said she aspired to be a Captain not just because it will be her status but rather, she wants to handle people and give them what is just and right. Read more.

3. Nina Sue da Silva
– Engr. Nina Sue da Silva is the pioneering licensed Filipina Marine Chief Engineer. On one Inquirer article, Engr. da Silva showed us how to boldly fight sexists at sea. Read more.

4. Rachelle Marie Alvariño
– Rachelle Marie Alvariño is now a third officer sailing with Teekay. While studying in college, she actively volunteered to do community services, peer facilitating and peer mentoring.

5. Jovelyn Sosa
– Third Officer Jovelyn Sosa is a classmate of Rachelle Alvariño. They both work in the same company. Jovelyn is an artist and enjoys serving the community too!

6. Lourdes Arce
– Third officer Lourdes Arce sailed with TSM before. A graduate of University of Cebu – LM campus, she happily married a fellow seafarer and now a proud mother to their son.

7. Maike Fritz Ligan
– Maike Fritz Ligan is one unrestrained beautiful soul. A Planned Maintenance System (PMS) engineer of Teekay, she boldly showed us jaw-dropping ways on how the sea can literally set someone free. Check her awesome adventures here.

8. Arlene Geli Chua
– Geli Chua is a versatile seawoman who serves the maritime industry both at sea and ashore. A graduate of University of Cebu-LM, she’s a 3rd Assistant Engineer working in Teekay today.

9. Fairy Lyn Guillem
– PMS Engineer Guillem graduated from John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Molo Campus and now connected with Teekay. In one of our interviews, Engr. Guillem said she act ‘boyish’ to shoo male crewmates who likely have flowery words and sweet promises to win her heart.

10. Prey Ponceja
– When Prey Ponceja’s images surfaced online, she wowed netizens of her face that could launch thousands of ships. A daughter of a seafarer, we dig deeper why she became an instant internet sensation. Eventually, we found out that she’s ‘Miss Universe’ material. Here’s my blog about her unique personality.

Becoming a better person is not an overnight success. Learn to believe in yourself, face your fears and never stop trying, no matter what kind of ‘war’ tears your spirit into shattered pieces now.


I’m sure my ‘Wonder Woman’ Filipina seafarers list is not complete. If you know someone else who can be a source of pride and inspiration to many people, share her story and your healthy thoughts by writing a comment below.
Let’s be wonderful men, women and children of the world, shall we?

She’s Fairer as a Seafarer (#SFAS) is a worldwide campaign of i-Pinoy Circle which started in 2013 and fosters the welfare of women serving the maritime industry, particularly in a male-dominated profession called seafaring.

Categories: Inspiring, Overseas Filipino Workers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Remember A Seafarer Today


Remember a seafarer today and let him feel your love and care by sending him a special message.

Just fill-up the form below, click submit and if requested, we may customize the message and will then deliver it to your beloved seafarer.
Thinking about what you’ll write? Well, how about something good your seafarer had done and which you’re thankful of? Any recent lesson-learning experience to share? Perhaps, a message to motivate him to work hard and always keep himself safe at sea works.

Write from your heart something valuable now. He might need to know that he got the best ally in you!

*All information you provide will be kept confidential, and screened as appropriate.

Thank you for participating! Our team will contact you shortly.



Categories: Community Services | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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

FREE to download PDF Guides for OFWs


If you are an OFW bound to work in one of these countries, learn the country’s custom, culture, law and religion.

The guide you can get here is handy since it’s PDF. Once downloaded, you may store it in your computer or smart phones and read anytime you want and anywhere safe you go!

Guides source: OWWA Management Information System Division

Categories: Overseas Filipino Workers, Overseas Filipino Workers Advisories | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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