Posts Tagged With: Pinoy pride

Ronilo Victoriano: The Notable Filipino Seafarer, Singer and Songwriter



Why settle for less if you can be the best?

As what Ronilo Victoriano takes as gospel, good is no good especially when you can do better things in life. Ergo, he was able to reach greater heights and entertain thousands of people, most of them our fellow Pinoys around the globe.

I quickly became a fan upon hearing one of his soulful songs and knowing that he’s not only a world class performer but a seafarer too, I feel ecstatic to point over the klieg light on him. He’s our couleur de rose OFW Singer and Songwriter.

I conducted an online interview and I must say that Ronilo’s craft deserves our dear support and recognition.

When and how did you start singing and writing songs?

“I started singing when I was just 7 years old. Since then, I had participated into various activities that stretched and tuned-in my vocal chords. When I was 20 years old, I joined a local band and eventually became its lead vocalist. However, it was disbanded so I searched for other job until I answered the calling of the sea last 2000. When I joined my first ship, I really thought it was the end of my singing career but thanks God it didn’t happen. In 2003, I started to give life to my melodic thoughts. Ten years after, I had been in cloud nine in for I was able to launch and copyrighted my first album entitled “Iba na ngayon ang Pinoy”. My album has seven songs and it became a hit on one local radio station. Six months later, I composed another 10 songs for my second album entitled Paglalakbay. Special thanks by the way to Mr. Sammy Rubido for the musical arrangement, Mr. Tonzie Gay Escano of Cool Digital Production and Mr. Silvester “Beting” Jubilan for all their help and support. As of today, I wrote 19 songs already and this milestone makes me sing for joy and more success in life! ”

Who inspires you to go the extra mile in singing, song writing and of course, sailing?

“To write good songs, I usually base them on my own experiences in life. I had been through many difficulties and it drives me to speak by my own heart whether I sing or write a song. My loving wife and three talented kids give me strong reasons to perform best. They were even involved in my outputs. Moreover, I find inspiration on my fellow Overseas Filipino Workers who are fighting hard against all odds just to promote the welfare of our compatriots. My songs are mostly pro- OFW for I could relate more to what it’s like living away from your own family to search for greener pastures abroad or in particular, brave the seas to secure a more comfortable life for my family.”

Share us your future plans

”For now and the coming years, I always and would like to work hard for the development of both my sailing and singing careers. I will continue to compose songs, different kind of songs if possible, because to be a famous singer/composer is my dream since I was a small kid. With me is my wonderful family and we are praying that my singing and song writing career would thrive. I also started a small business back in our place and it’s helping us financially. I don’t hold the future but with hard work, courage and sweet lullabies, I’m confident I’ll be going into places. ”

As an Overseas Filipino singer and songwriter, what is your message to the public?

“Life is a best avenue for personal growth. You can win or unfortunately, lose your ground in a competition but don’t give up and have a stronger faith to your Creator. Meanwhile, if you have the “X-Factor” (talent), grab each chance to enhance it. Always dream big, grow as a mature person and take good care of such God-given talent. I hope that many people, especially those front-runners of the music industry would give us spotlight – the independent recording artists/composers. To my countrymen, I ask your humble support to patronize Original Pilipino Music (OPM) while to all my avid song listeners, thank you with all my heart. I assure you that I will be singing and writing more and more beautiful songs for you! ”

Finally, what makes you proud as an Overseas Filipino?

“I’m proud to be an OFW for we are the buhay na bayani (living heroes) of our motherland. We are global ambassadors, confident and talented enough to be “The Voice” of our fellow Filipinos both on local and international arena.”

Ronilo’s songs are being played on 94.1 spirit FM and on international web streams like Tinig Pinoy ( of Ottawa and Ontario Canada, Tambayang Pinoy Radio, Ka Chat Pinoy Radio (Singapore and US based), Music Pinoy Radio and Himig Radio.




What can you say about Ronilo’s talent?

Share your thoughts by writing a comment below.

Categories: Inspiring, OFW TALENTS | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ON THE SPOTLIGHT: International Journal features world-class Filipinos

The May-June 2016 issue of the Journal of Shipping and Ocean Engineering featured a research study about a success story and effective leadership skills of Capt. Angelex Panes, a Master Mariner who hailed from Mindanao, Philippines.


The paper, entitled ‘The success story and effective leadership techniques of Capt. Angelex A. Panes on board MV SKS Tiete’, was authored by Dr. Brian Gil Sarinas and Third Officer Mark Eden Ellaga. It was notably included in the journal along with other compositions from various parts of the globe like China, India and Norway, among others.

Not your ordinary journal

For a paper to land in Journal of Shipping and Ocean Engineering, it has to be polished like a gem first.

The publisher of the said magazine is David Publishing Company (DPC) and has an office address at 616 Corporate Way, Suite 2-4879 Valley Cottage, NY 10989 USA. As written on its website, DPC is a professional English-language academic journal and books publisher both in print and online versions, which serves the world’s research and scholarly communities. It unremittingly screens, publishes and enhances reputations of the journals submitted by scholars around the world who work on the fields of Account & Accounting, Administration, Agriculture, Aviation Science, Business, Chemistry, Civil, Computer, Earth, Education, Energy, Environment, Economics, Electrics, Electronics, Food, Future Science, Geology, Health, History, Journalism, Law, Language, Life-Sciences, Literature & Art, Management, Materials, Mechanics, Medicine, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Pharmacy and Pathology, Philosophy, Shipping & Ocean, Sociology, Sports Sciences, Traffic and Transportation, Tourism and Restaurants, etc.

Thanks God, we’re able to reach this kind of milestone!

Outstanding Filipino Researchers

The research paper was authored by:

1.) Dr. Brian Gil Sarinas

  • Multi-awarded researcher, currently working as OIC of JBLFMU-Arevalo’s research office. His distinguished achievements in academics and research, among others, are the following:
  • Scholar and Outstanding Student of the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (Excellence in Teaching Program) published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (8 July 2004)
  • Outstanding Filipino Researcher 2012 given by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE), an AJA UKAS certified with ISO 9001: 2008 during the Global Conference on Education, Business, Engineering and Sciences (GCEBES) 2012, Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center, Singapore (24-26 Oct 2012)
  • Outstanding Filipino Research Leader 2013 given by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) during the World Research Festival 2013, Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines (1-3 May 2013)
  • Excellence in World Publication Award 2013 for publishing research in Thomson and Reuters (ISI) and Scopus Elsevier given during the World Research Festival 2013, Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines organized by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) (1-3 May 2013)
  • IAMURE World Publication Award (Pearl Award) 2013 for publishing research in Thomson and Reuters (ISI) and Scopus Elsevier given during the World Research Festival 2013, Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines organized by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) (1-3 May 2013)
  • Outstanding World Research Leader 2014 given during the 2nd Asian Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Higher Education (ACMRHE), Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines organized by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) (26-28 Nov 2014)
  • Excellence in World Publication Award 2014 for publishing research in Thomson and Reuters (ISI) and Scopus Elsevier given during the 2nd Asian Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Higher Education (ACMRHE), Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines organized by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) (26-28 Nov 2014)
  • IAMURE World Publication Award (Pearl Award) 2014 for publishing research in Thomson and Reuters (ISI) and Scopus Elsevier given during the 2nd Asian Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Higher Education (ACMRHE), Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines organized by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) (26-28 Nov 2014)
  • World Citation Award 2014 given during the 2nd Asian Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Higher Education (ACMRHE), Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City, Philippines organized by the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research (IAMURE) (26-28 Nov 2014) and
  • One of the Marquis Who’s Who in the World 2015, Published in the 32nd Edition, New Jersey, USA (June 2015)

2.) Third Officer Mark Eden Ellaga

  • A licensed marine deck officer (OIC-NW) currently sailing with Norwegian flagged vessels of tankers and cement types. His passion for community service and love for learning has gained him national awards like Bank of the Philippine Island’s “Outstanding Expat-Pinoy Child” and Ex-link Events’ “Outstanding Filipino Blogger”.

Learn from the master

The success story of Capt. Angelex Panes is an inspiring story for all seafarers and seafarer aspirants. We can learn many valuable lessons from him.

His faith, courage, hard work, determination, openness, and love for learning lead him to his success or to where he is now.

His secret?

“There is no secret. Just be yourself and do your responsibility considering always the safety of all crew, vessel, cargo and environment. Don’t rush to climb the ladder of success or get easily disappointed by your failures. The best has yet to come. I just did my part, persevered and became patient.” Capt. Panes said.



Categories: Inspiring, Overseas Filipino Woker, projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“It’s surreal inside Harvard” – Pinoy Seafarer

A year ago… I visited a super duper awesome place!


The Alma Matter of eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state, sixty two living billionaires and some 150 Nobel laureates, Harvard University is disputably home of legendary people.

I believe we share thesame dream to enter its portals. I thought mine would just be a dream forever ’till mid of May 2015, our ship sailed to Boston, USA. Of course, I didn’t let the opportunity to visit Harvard slip through my fingers.

Harvard is Harvard; I must step on its grounds and be forever grateful of this another life-changing milestone.


Brief History

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Established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Harvard was originally called “New College” or “the college of New Towne”. It was in 1639 when the name was changed to Harvard College after deceased clergyman John Harvard.

John, an alumnus of the University of Cambridge in United Kingdom, was able to impart GBP 779 and his library of some 400 books to the institution before he died.

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Colossal Campus

Harvard’s main campus has a total land area of 209 acre (85ha) and its other facilities are spread throughout the Boston metropolitan.

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As a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is organized into eleven separate academic units – ten faculties and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


Impressively, the home of the first printing press in North America has the largest financial endowment of any academic institution in the world, amounting to $32.3 billion as of June 2013.


And did you know that the Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic and private library system, comprising of nearly 80 individual libraries with over 18 million volumes?

Inside the giant library are must-see rare books, manuscripts and other special collections (i.e. maps, gazetteers and atlases both old & new).

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One and only

For someone who wants to obtain quality education, choosing a topnotch school is a must.

Harvard ranked no.1 in Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2003 and the World Reputation Rankings since 2011.

Moreover, a poll done by The Princetown Review revealed that Harvard was on the top of the list of “Dream Colleges” for students and was first nominated by parents in 2009.


I dream to take my masters in Harvard someday. Ambitious much, eh? Oh yeah, why not! The nominal cost of attendance however, costs an arm and a leg! Ouch!

The following are the break-down of expenses per semester as stated on Harvard university’s website, effective for academic school year 2015-2016.

Tuition & Fees – $45,278

Room and Board – $15,381

Estimated personal expenses (including $800-$1,200 for books) – $3,741

Estimated travel costs – $0-$5,200

Total billed and unbilled costs – $ 64,400- $69,600

* In addition, health insurance is required at a cost of $2,390 (for 2015-16) unless you are covered under your family’s health plan.

If $1 is Php44.00 prepare to spend 2,833,600 – 3,062,400 Million Pesos!  (Now you know why I’m already very happy and contented with a half day tour?)Lol


Nevertheless of the hefty fees, the school offers various scholarship grants and financial aids for those deserving students.

Law School and Memorial Hall

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US former President Barrack Obama & his wife Michelle,Chief Justice John Roberts, Israeli Supreme Court President Aharon Barak and former Chief Justice Renato Corona of the Philippines, among others, are notable graduates of Harvard’s college of Law.


I wonder if they had walked here in front of Austin Hall when they were still studying? 🙂

On the other hand, the large, highly residential research university offers 46 undergraduate concentrations (majors), 134 graduate degrees and 32 professional degrees.


For academic year 2008-2009, Harvard already granted 1,664 baccalaureate degrees, 400 masters degrees, 512 doctoral degrees and 4, 460 professional degrees.

Another feather on my cap

My overseas employment served as my ticket to visit wonderful places such as Harvard.

As an Expat-Pinoy, I couldn’t help myself not to be thankful of my blessed status. Life at sea maybe risky, challenging and often tiresome but I’m coming up roses. Aside from actually having no choice but to surpass or at least endure the stormy seas, all my sacrifices are worth it.


I wasn’t able to admit myself yet (perhaps after winning millions in the lottery someday) but happiness is overflowing in my heart for at last, I had been to my dream university.

Yes indeed, dreams do turn into reality.



Peepz, share your thoughts about  Harvard by writing a comment below.

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

Gusto ni Juan softdrink, ayaw magbuko!



Photo Courtesy: Dennis Bautista

Tag-init ngayong Mayo kaya hirap na hirap si Juan. Tuyong-tuyo ang kanyang balat at lalamunan. Ang kanyang musmos na katawan nalang yata ang hindi pa nakapagdeklara ng state of calamity dahil sa EL Niño. Naawa ako nang makita ko siyang palaboy sa kalsada kaya nilapitan ko at inalok ng maiinom.

“Juan, para sayo ang mga inuming ito. Pasesnsya na pero isa lang dito ang makukuha mo. Nasa kanang kamay ko ang buko at sa kaliwa naman ay branded soft drink na may ice at straw. Alin dito ang pipiliin mo at bakit?” Ang marahan at ngumingiti kong tanong.

“Gusto ko softdrink! Ayaw ko ng buko kasi hindi yan makakapawi ng sobrang uhaw ko ngayon. Ang softdrink palagi kong nakikita sa TV at may pakanta-kanta pa iyan sa radyo. Gusto ko yung instant inumin, yung sisipsipin ko nalang at itatapon ang sisidlan kahit saan. Aba, bakit naman pahihirapan ko pa ang aking sarili kung meron namang mabibili na sofdrink katulad niyan? At alam mo ba, ito ang leading brand sa buong mundo. Ineendorso ito ng mga idolo kong artista. Sabi ng nanay ko delikado daw ito sa kalusugan pero hindi ako naniniwala. Uhaw ako ngayon kaya patay na kung patay! Ayaw ko ng buko. Sinusuka yan ng katawan ko!”; ang buhay na buhay niyang sagot.

Tiningnan ko siya sa mata, ngumiti saglit at kahit may pag-alinlangan ay inabot ko sa kanyang mga kamay ang hininging softdrink.

Kinabukasan, nakasalubong ko ang nanay ni Juan sa daan. Umiiyak siya at halatang problemado.

“Nay, mukhang mabigat ang pakiramdam ninyo. May problema ba?” ; ang pakli ko.

” Si Juan kasi.. Huhu..itinakbo namin sa hospital kagabi dahil sumama ang pakiramdam. Sumuka ng sumuka. Sabi ng doktor, napakataas ng acid sa katawan niya. Hindi ko ngayon alam kung saan kukuha ng pambili ng gamot at pambayad sa hospital.” ; ang sagot ni Aling Pinang.

Naawa ako sa matanda kaya niyakap ko ng mahigpit. Habang  pinapatahan sa pag-iyak ay naglalaro si Juan sa aking makabayang isipan.

UHAW si Juan sa pagbabago at INSTANT na solusyon ang palaging gusto. MADALI siyang MAUTO ng mga higanteng tao at nabubuhay siya sa lipunang ‘Bahala na si Batman’ ang motto at kapag masama naman ang resulta ng ginawang desisyon, ‘Pu**ng I*a’ kaaagad ang mabilis na tugon.

Ako ang eleksyon, si Aling Pinang ang Pilipinas at ang dalawang uri ng inumin ay ang mga pulitikong ihahalal mo sa gobyerno.



Hindi pa huli ang lahat. Sana naman magBUKO kana, Juan!





Sa Pag-boto, Konting Utak Naman Juan!

Why OFWs should vote and how to vote wisely



Categories: Community Services, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hosting SAR Helicopters at sea



On April 11-12, two Belgian helicopters namely RN 05 and RN 02 approached our tanker vessel while she’s anchored at Westhinder, Netherlands. Specially designed for civilian Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, the sophisticated helicopters carried-out a drill which includes, among others, establishment of good communication through VHF and sending off two of their highly trained personnel from air by hoist lines and eventually, retrieving them after making a single turn around the vessel.

Just like what adventure packed movies The Guardian and The Finest Hours depict, the conduct of coordinated maritime and aeronautical SAR exercise is undoubtedly beneficial to all parties involved. For our side, we become more confident that whenever a need for search and rescue of someone who is on distress or imminent danger arises, we have had the best helicopter hosting experience to apply.

We, the Filipino crew on board, are proud of our vessel’s rescue helicopter friendly environment and would always be safely sensible to work hand-in-hand with our delegated guardians at sea.

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Categories: Overseas Filipino Woker, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

APOY Awardees


The APOY Award started in 2014 and to date, 4 deserving students of Aureliana National High School in Patnongon, Antique, Philippines were recognized primarily due to their positive character, academic excellence and unsinkable passion to shine bright as role models of our society.


APOY Awardees during the 2017 Awarding Ceremony

Congratulations to the following souls on fire:



Click the name of the awardee to know his/her inspiring story.


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

MARARISON: A white sandbar to paint with colorful memories

Malalison or Mararison Island is an unexploited 55-hectare hook-shaped island – barangay found in Culasi, Antique.

Dubbed as ‘mini Antique’, it can be reached by a motorized pump-boat (more or less 20 minutes ride, depending on the weather) from the main town’s coast.

The island is well known for its awesome landscape (ala Batanes), clean beach front and crystal clear blue waters. It has a white sandbar which stretches about 100 meters from the beach and is changing its curve according to waves’ movements.

At the beach, local and international tourists usually enjoy various water activities like snorkeling, fishing, and sailing and the likes.

Did we enjoy the Mararison coast?

Surely we had fun! Check these photos!
















And if you think that the sandbar makes it all..

let me say that the island’s landscape is scenic, too!


Credit: Tonzie Gay Photography




Categories: ExPHerience PHilippines, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Going Places with Seaambassador

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.  Andre Gide


Categories: OFW TALENTS, Overseas Filipino Workers Advisories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Outstanding OFW Child and Filipino Blogger


It’s my childhood dream to appear ‘inspiring’ on a TV screen. For this dream to come true, I have to toil and believe that the universe aligns itself at least a second for someone like me to shine. Thankfully, it happened. 🙂

It’s exactly a year ago  when I received this letter from the Millicent Productions of Buhay OFW TV, inviting me for an on-camera interview.

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Buhay OFW is a TV program hosted by OFW advocate Ms. Marissa del Mar, and being televised via AKSYON TV in Philippines. It airs abroad through AKSYONTV International Channel too! Hence, our kababayans in KSA, UAE, UK, Italy, Guam & USA got a glimpse of me and hear my life story.

Not to brag, but that opportunity was a golden moment of my life. Since I’m not good looking nor talented, it required blood, sweat and tears to happen. hehe

So let me tell you how I worked hard for years, and eventually hitched my wagon to a star.

This is my (uncut & unrated) interview with Ms. del Mar.


Mark, pwede mo bang ikwento sa amin ang buhay mo nung kabataan mo?

Dahil po ipinanganak ako sa mahirap na pamilya, maaga akong namulat sa realidad na kung gusto mong umasenso, kailangan mong mangarap, kumayod at maging resilient sa anu mang hamon ng buhay. Ang bahay-kawayan po namin noon ay nasa bandang kabundukan kaya hindi pa naabot ng kuryente. Sa tuwing papasok kami sa eskwelahan ng aking mga kaapatid ay naglalakad kami ng halos isang oras, binabaybay ang mga talahib, maputik at mabatong daan para makapagtapos lamang. De gaas na lampara naman po ang aking ginagamit kapag ako ay nagsusunog ng kilay. So maraming mga pagkakataon na ako’y nakatulog at nagising na lamang kapag naamoy ang nasusunog kong buhok.Alam niyo po ba Ms. Marissa at sa lahat ng mga nanonood sa atin ngayon, ang aming dalawang pinakapaboritong ulam kapag taghirap na talaga ay ang pinaghalong mantika at toyo at ang isa naman, pinaghalong tinimplang gatas at kanin na binudburan ng hinimay-himay na piniritong tuyo. At para po naman makatulong sa mga gastusin sa eskwela, kung bakasyon po ay naglalako ako at ang aking mga kapatid ng mga sariwang gulay at kakanin, na kami na mismo ang guamawa. Kahit nung highschool na ako at consistent na top sa klase, patuloy parin akong sumasideline sa pamamagitan ng paglilinis ng mga malalaking bahay sa aming lugar. Ang kinikita ko po ay dagdag pang allowance sa skul o pambili ng mga project. Determinado po akong makapagtapos talaga dahil gusto kong maiangat sa kahirapan ang aking pamilya. Ayaw kong magtanim nalang ng palay at tubo hanggang sa huling hininga habang umuulan man o umiinit. Sa awa ng Diyos, lumaki naman po akong hindi sakit sa ulo ng aking pamilya at komunidad at nakapagtapos ng pag-aaral bilang Class Valedictorian at kauna-unahang Oustanding Student of Antique ng public high school sa aming barangay. Maraming salamat po pala sa lahat ng sumoporta sakin nun, sa mga guro ko sa Aureliana Daycare, Elementary and National High School at sa lahat po ng naging karanasan ko nung kabataan ko, mahirap man o masaya, buong puso ko po itong pinagmamalaki dahil kung wala ang ni isa man sa inyo, I wasn’t able to transform myself into a well-rounded and productive individual. I definitely couldn’t make a difference!

Ang pag sea-seaman ay hindi mo plinano, basta kusang dumating sayo ang pagkakataon na maging seaman, right? Ikwento mo sa amin kung paano ka naging seaman.

The happening was a big turning point in my life dahil doon po ako nagsimulang mangarap para maging isang Filipino global ambassador. First I want to be an educator or a media/TV personality katulad po ninyo but an opportunity came and I need to choose for what I really want or what I really really want. Biro lang po. Pero ang Norwegian Shipowners Association Philippines Cadet Project po kasi ay nag-offer ng isang scholarship with partnership with JBLFMU, the first maritime university in the Philippines. Kaya po inihanda ko ang aking sarili para maipasa ang mga written, oral and computer exams. Mga 700 daw po kaming nag-apply nung time na iyon and 25 lamang ang mabibigyan ng oportunidad na makapag-aral ng libre sa kolehiyo. To make the long story short, the Lord granted my sole birthday wish that time.Napakasaya ko po dahil hindi naman nasayang ang lahat ng pagpupuyat at pagtitiis namin considering that we had a very limited financial resources that time. However, if you think that was all, masasabi ko pong it was just the start of more sacrifices and a different chapter in my life. To be a scholar of a Norwegian based shipping company, hindi kalang dapat magkaroon ng mataas na IQ but more importantly, meron kang matatag na EQ or emotional quotient dahil hindi basta basta ang trabaho at buhay sa barko. So we were immersed into semi military type of training while studying hard to maintain good grades. Basically, hindi lang mental at pisikal ang mga naging hamon kundi pati narin ang emosyonal at spiritwal. Isa po sa mga kaklase ko ang binawian ng buhay, habang isang umaga kami ay nagjojogging. Malungkot isipin but instead of thinking to quit, lalo ko pa pong pinagtibay ang aking pananampalataya. Malaki ang aking pangarap na makatulong sa aking pamilya, travel the world for free and be an advocate of change. Lahat naman po ng mga paghihirap natin sa buhay ay may katapusan and when it’s all done, those who never quit, those who never said never to surpass all the challenges, sila po ang binibigyan ng blessings ni Lord. For my side, I was just surprised one day and even on this moment, hindi parin po ako makapaniwala na ang isang marinong katulad ko, has something inspiring to tell at napapanood ito ng libo libo nating mga kababayan here and abroad.

Nung naging seaman ka, hindi pa rin natapos ang mga pagsubok mo sa buhay…pwede mo bang share sa amin kung ano ano pang mga challenges ang pinagdaanan mo nung nag babarko ka na.

The working and living conditions at sea is far different from what we have on land. On the lighter side, sabi nga naming mga marino, once we go back to work, balik selda na naman and yung tagal ng kontrata serves as your “sentensya” and once you finish your contract, the common statement is ” hay, sa wakas, nakalaya narin!”. And all of these, naranasan ko po but on a positive angle of life. Before I embarked on my first vessel, syempre excited ako but when I finally experienced the true color of seafaring, pinaghinaan ako ng loob nung una. Hindi lang homesickness at physically demanding job ang naging hamon but also the adverse effect of weather conditions just like, pag may byahe kami sa mga sobrang mainit o malamig na lugar. Once I had a sciatic nerve pain case. Hindi ako makakabuhat ng mabigat na bagay or even sit, walk or sleep for a longer period of time. Pero I was the cadet and the expectations were very high kaya po natry ko iyong uminom ng pain killer tablets araw-araw dahil nakatanggap na ako ng warning from our Chiefmate, na kapag hindi nagimprove ang working performance ko, ako ay uuwi ng wala sa oras. Marami din pong mga pagkakataon na dahil sa sama ng panahon, hindi nakakatulog o nakakain ng maayos. Napakarisky naman po ng  mga trabaho dahil kapag walang ibayong pag-iingat, pwede kang malalag sa tubig, masugatan, mawalan ng hihingaing oxygen at iba pa…unfortunately, lahat ay nakakamatay. But since may misyon pa ako sa buhay at iyon ay tulungan ang aking pamilya, I need to endure all the difficulties. I have the choice not to work overseas but it’s not the right time to just sit down and relax. Mapanganib man o matrabaho sa barko sabi ko nga it’s just my job, not my life. On the positive side, the more challenges I overcome, the better seafarer I become.

Hanggang ngayon ba nagbabarko ka pa? What are you busy with nowadays?

Yes, I’m still sailing. I’m just 22 at napakabata ko pa po para tuldukan ang estorya ng aking buhay-marino. If time permits, I want to reach the pinnacle of my career while at the same time, living life to the fullest. For now, it’s my trainings which make me busy here on the city pero when it’s not for my job, I like to stay at home, magtanim ng mga gulay at prutas and do housekeeping for my younger siblings. On the other hand, pinapatuloy ko parin po ang serbisyong naihahatid natin thru i-Pinoy Circle and my Expat on the Spot Blog. Oh, how I wish I have very enough financial resources but few or abundant, it’s still my time which I find most valuable and helpful.

Bago ka nakatanggap ng award bilang Outstanding Blogger, nakatanggap ka ng award bilang Outstanding OFW Children of the Philippines, sa pananaw mo, ano ang mga katangian mo bakit nabigyan ka ng ganitong award?

It’s quite remarkable to think that I was able to prove my worth as an OFW Child and as an OFW myself at the same time. Last November 2011, I received the Outstanding OFW Children of the Philippines Award for Kakaibang talino Category and about 2 years after, the Outstanding OFW Award, Blogging Category. Syempre po proud tayo sa estado natin ngayon knowing that to be a part of an OFW family, hindi madali ang maging successful. Just like to be an OFW Child, marami po sa mga katulad ko ang naliligaw ng landas. Let’s say it, dahil provided na sa iba ang comfort of living and more than enough finances ng kanilang OFW parent, they tend not to pay off their parent’s sacrifices. Unfortunately, others were into dreadful partying, drinking and drugs but for my side, I made a choice and that choice should definitely make my parents proud and happy especially my OFW father and if there’s one thing which makes me Ibang Klase among others, I think it’s not talent nor brilliance but my attitude. Let’s make it easy and meaningful, achievements in life don’t describe a person, attitude does and wherever you go and whatever you do, if you possess the right one, you would live an award-winning life.

Paano ka naman napunta sa blogging, kelan mo nadiscover na pwede ka pa lang maging isang blogger?

Ako kasi yung tipo ng tao na kapag hinayaan mo sa tapat ng computer, imbes maglaro ng mga computer games ay bubuksan ang internet para makipagusyoso sa mga pangyayari. I admit it, “usi” ako but not yung klase na binebenta ang mga nabasa o nabalitaan. Once, nabasa ko ang isang article written in line with the seafarers week celebration and it pointed out the ugly truth that the general public has a limited view or not much aware of seafaring profession. As a seafarer, hindi ko po naiwasan na maging malungkot dahil totoo po naman na kami ang inyong lingkod sa karagatan. We deliver goods and commodities from nations to nations, we connect continents, we endure the high seas and strong winds para po maihatid sa inyo ang kinakailangang langis, bigas , damit at iba pang mga kailangan at gusto ninyo sa buhay. On the other hand, I was challenged at the same time and I asked myself, why not I will use some of my writing and photography skills to inform and influence the many. So I started writing my blog eventhough I’m not a promising writer and just an amateur photographer. You can do everything if you don’t limit yourself, ika nga ng aking teacher nun sa highschool and it’s true, I’m not just a seafarer. I became a blogger by choice.

Ano ang intensyon mo sa iyong pag blo- blog?

Aparently, I would like to raise the public’s awareness about us, seafarers and our job, seafaring. I’m also happy to promote our dear seafarers talents. Marami po tayong mga kasamahan sa industriya na magaling kumanta, sumayaw o magsulat and they all deserve the spotlight. Sa blog ko po may isa akong section doon na entitled “around the world” which features maritime photos taken from various nations while I was still sailing. Once, I was bashed online and questioned why I posted such dull photos and I just smiled but let me grab this opportunity to express my puspose. Naniniwala po ako na kapag nakita ng iba ang ganung mga larawan, somehow they would be inspired to work abroad and join our force. Hindi po ba ang mga OFWS ang pangunahinh nagbibigay ng income sa ating bansa? So why not, inspire them through photography, hindi ba?. To be a blogger means to fill the role of a sea ambassador for me. I write and I should not stop writing even I’m in the middle of the vast Atlantic Ocean or channeling the Gibraltar strait because at sea, it’s not just my diversion but became my passion as well.

Kamusta na ang pamilya mo mo, ang parents at mga kapatid mo?

I would like to say that my family is blessed and standing still and strong against any challenges of time. I would like to grab this opportunity to say thank you to my parents, my younger siblings and all family relatives for everything you endowed. To my most valuable investment, sa mga kapatid ko pong pinapaaral ko, thanks for showing great concern and utmost responsibility to your studies and our family. Sana ay patuloy kayong mag-aral ng mabuti para hindi masayang ang lahat ng pinagpaguran ni kuya. I love you all!

Ano na ang plano mo sa buhay mo at ano ang gusto mong marating at ma accomplish?

I have some 3-4 months remaining at babalik na ako sa barko, with heavier responsibilities and new roles now. I look forward na kahit maraming challenges and difficulties, magiging proud ako and contented when I finish my contract. I hope I would reach the top position before I turn 30 years old but if not especially due to some valid reasons, I don’t want to force myself. Once financially stable and established a promising career on land, I would like to start my own family and gusto ko po talaga makasama sila palagi. Lumaki ako sa pamilyang walang father na gumagabay and it’s different, very different from the usual kaya I promised myself na iibahin ko ang aking diskarte sa buhay. I also finished taking an instructor’s course and hopefully, makakaturo ako sa mga training centers by next two months. Next year I hope makastart na ako to take my masters degree at sana, mabigyan ng pagkakataon na maging katulad po ninyo, nag iinterbyu at nagpopromote ng ating mga inspiring and talented OFWs, sa radio man o TV. Isa po kasi sa mga pangarap ko iyon na naantala dahil ako ay nagdesisyon na maging marino. For all my glories, I offer them to God, my creator and mentor for without him, I am nothing. My future is full of uncertainties, but what I know, I hold the key to my destiny.

Mensahe mo sa iyong mga kapwa marino

Sa lahat ng mga marinong Pilipino, Mabuhay po kayong lahat! Saan man po kayong sulok ng mundo, ang mga mahal ninyo sa buhay ay naaalala kayo kaya dapat ingatan ang sarili patuloy lang na maging masaya sa buhay, ano mang uri ng panahon meron tayo. To all the crew and family members po ng  Bulk Jupiter at sa lahat ng mga marinong naagrabyado ang buhay dahil sa kanilang trabaho, our prayers po na magiging OK tayo lahat. Salamat sa lahat ng mga kasamahan ko, lalo na sa mga mababait kong mga superiors and officers, hindi ko napo isa-isahin dahil andami ninyo and to all our OFWs syempre na nagtitiis sa malayo Saludo po ako sa inyo dahil ang lahat ng mga paghihirap at panganib, sinusuong at nilalampasan ninyo makapagbigay lamang ng comfortable life sa mga mahal na naiwan dito sa Pilipinas. I’m more than honored and happy that today, a seafarer has spoken.

Salamat po sa inyong suporta at pagmamahal!

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Categories: OFW TALENTS, Overseas Filipino Workers, viral | Tags: , , , , ,

The first Filipino-American Commander of US Navy




Photo and Text by Mark Ellaga

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The iron lady of the sea had been steering towards Indian Ocean as part of her Western Pacific deployment but was ordered to deviate from her original course at the drop of a hat. Tagged as the largest volcanic eruption in more than 500 years on planet Earth, Mt. Pinatubo erupted in Luzon, Philippines on the 15th of June 1991 which eventually affected thousands of lives and devastated millions of properties.  As evacuation of over 45,000 citizens was a race against time, she led the 23 ship armada to transport them from Subic Bay Naval Base to port of Cebu, Visayas. The Operation Fiery Vigil, the term used to describe the whole rescue activity, was considered an epic help for the Philippines and even noted as the biggest peacetime evacuation of active military personnel and their families in history.  Indeed, the 332.8 meters long and 76.8 meters wide Aircraft Carrier ship is lion hearted to the needy. But her fangs show no mercy to rip apart the flesh of enemies than when terrorists bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, President Bill Clinton ordered a strike codenamed as Operation Infinite Reach. This obliged her to return to Persian Gulf in June 1998 and her battle group to launch Tomahawk missiles to pulverize a Sudanese Pharmaceutical Factory and one terrorists training camp in Afghanistan. The aforementioned sites were believed extending support to the ill-willed Osama Bin Laden.

Recipient of various prestigious awards and recognitions due to her humanitarian, military and combat or even movie and television roles, the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the United States Navy today named USS Abraham Lincoln is truly like a girl on fire!

On the other hand, she’s just a royal and lonely beauty without her supreme strong leader. This point actually inspired me to write this blog. I am a Filipino seafarer, sailor of seven seas in particular and to know that my blood and a part of his blood were of the same motherland, I feel more proud and happier. I and the rest of the Filipino community are celebrating his investiture to command USS Abraham Lincoln who is currently undergoing a refueling complex overhaul in her homeport in Virginia, United States.

Local newspapers in Philippines said that he officially relieved his brother-in-law, Capt. Karl Thomas in a short ceremony attended by around 500 Lincoln sailors, friends and family last August 7, 2014 at Victory Landing Park in Newport News, Virginia.

Though he doesn’t consider that he’s totally up and above from his fellow sailors, Captain Ronald Ravelo set a record in history for being the first ever Filipino American to command an aircraft carrier in United States Navy.

For his academic records, Captain Ravelo is an industrial and systems engineer and an alumnus of University of Southern California. Also, he studied at University of Redlands from 1994-1995 and Harvard University Kennedy School of Government from 2011-2012.

Though his responsibility is heavy and serious enough to carry, he knows how to have fun by taking a “selfies”. One I like best was his “Skipper’s Selfie” which he took after taking over the con and was posted to the Philippine Navy Facebook Account (same image used for this blog).

In behalf of Filipino seafarers-members of i-Pinoy Circle and Sailor’s Club, I wish the newly hailed King of USS Abraham Lincoln a smooth sailing. We salute your bravery and world class achievement sir! It’s truly inspirational and shall not perish on earth.



Categories: Tagumpay ka Kabayan (You succeed my countryman), Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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