It’s been said time and again that Filipinos are highly favored by international shipping companies. With expertise stemming from their taken maritime courses in the Philippines combined with innate Filipino values, they turn out outstanding performances in their duties. This is why the Philippines is considered the top source for quality seafarers. Not only are the maritime training centers in the country top-notch, the traits taught to every Filipino since childhood manifest in how they work. This in turn makes them in-demand by high-profile maritime companies.
But how exactly do these common Filipino values contribute to our seafarers’ status as in-demand maritime professionals?
Hospitality (magiliw na pakikitungo)
The value of hospitality is one that has always been associated with Filipinos. To be hospitable means to be warm to people you’ve just met and welcoming them to your home. While the ship is not exactly a house, the fact that seafarers live in it for months (forming familial bonds in the process) makes it a home in its own right. Filipino seafarers are very accepting of new recruits and make them feel part of the family almost immediately. They are also quite friendly to foreign staff, which is necessary in a global industry.
Respect for authority (paggalang sa nakakataas)
The value of respect, having been taught to Filipinos at an early age, is a key characteristic that makes our seafarers in-demand. Since childhood, we are taught to respect our elders. This carries over in our adulthood, where we must be deferential to authority regardless of their age. Because Filipino personnel have a respectful and gentle nature towards their bosses, they are admired and sought after by various maritime employers.
Another value inherent to Filipino seafarers is perseverance. Despite various struggles in the ship, our maritime professionals power through and come up with ways to address these problems. This makes them good personnel in the vessel, as they have a tendency to work hard and not give up even when the going gets tough. You won’t find an employer that says no to a diligent, go-getter employee.
Helpfulness (pagiging matulungin)
This is seen as an extension of being hospitable, as part of hospitality is being helpful to everyone in need. Rather than do things for their own benefit, a seafarer will stop to ask their fellow workers if they need any help in their tasks. They also go above and beyond by offering assistance to any member of the ship once their own tasks are done. They value the importance of teamwork, making sure each team member is given the help they need. This leads to a smoother and positive working environment.
Happiness (pagiging masiyahin)
Last but not least, Filipinos are known for being the happiest people on Earth. This is in spite of various challenges, problems, and unfortunate incidents that may arise. In an industry where stress and heavy workloads go hand in hand, it’s important to hire seafarers that have a positive disposition against all odds. While this is not to say that Fiilipino seafarers don’t get sad or stressed, they carry with them the optimism necessary to confront and address all these problems with a determined smile.
There are a lot more Filipino values that contribute to our seafarers being the best of the best. The ones above are the most applicable across all Filipino maritime professionals. That is why as early as now, you need to nurture these characteristics while you’re still training. Not only will the presence of these traits solidify your status as a great seafarer, it will also reaffirm your Filipino identity in your everyday life, including your professional life.