Climbing Up The Maritime Career Ladder

In all professions, there is a desire among most employees to rise up the ranks and get promoted. Being promoted means being given more important responsibilities, getting a raise, and adding a notch to your achievements. This also means that your contributions are being recognized and that your hard work and skills have paid off. The seafaring industry is no different. Having a high position in your ship is a huge honor for many seamen. It is also a testament to how their seafarer training in the Philippines has helped them become competent at what they do.

With that being said, getting a promotion is not easy to achieve. You have to do your duties extraordinarily well to become a candidate for these promotions. While it may take a bit of time, here are some tips to remember for you to increase your likelihood of getting promoted.

Prove your worth through excellent performance

Your bosses are more likely to hire you if they see your worth as a member of the crew. You can do this by working hard and excelling in your duties no matter what they are.  Showcase what you’ve learned during your maritime training in the Philippines. It’s unlikely that they’ll promote someone who does not contribute anything significant to the overall mechanism of the crew. Make sure you do your work diligently and efficiently so you can capture your captain’s attention for possible promotions.

Show initiative and willingness to learn

Aside from doing your duties well, a great way to get yourself on your captain’s radar is to show initiative and have a self-starting attitude. Some ways you can do this is by volunteering to fulfill certain tasks that aren’t necessarily yours, or by helping your fellow seamen in their tasks. This shows that you are proactive in helping your crew and are willing to learn new things. Speaking of willingness to learn, it helps to show an enthusiastic and inquisitive attitude in everything. Learning doesn’t just end once you get the job, after all.

Be a good leader

Once you get promoted, you will most likely be leading a team and heading several tasks. Your captain will not promote you if they don’t see any leadership capability in you. If there are opportunities for you to show off your leadership skills, take that chance. Not only will you get the attention of your captain, exercising your good leading skills will also be beneficial for the crew and the quality of your work as a whole.

Develop good interpersonal skills

It’s not enough to be recognized by your skills alone. Aside from having that, your captain will also look for good interpersonal capabilities. You must know how to be personable and still professional with your crewmates and other ship personnel. While there is nothing wrong with being introverted and quiet, you must make an effort in socializing. Doing so shows that you’re able to have discussions and good relationships with people of different backgrounds, which is a must for any leadership position.

Highlight your achievements when appropriate

While it’s not recommended to toot your own horn all the time, doing so come promotion time will be beneficial in reminding your superior of your capabilities. Additionally, you have very limited time in the ship with the people that have the power to promote you. If you do not highlight your achievements before this period ends, there is a chance that the opportunity may pass completely. So don’t be afraid to elaborate on your training in the Philippines as well as all the achievements you’ve amassed along the way.

It must be said that getting a promotion is no quick task. If you’re expecting to be promoted quickly, you’re in for disappointment. Despite this, following the steps above and working hard, coupled with a good strategy, will surely get you that well-deserved and well-earned promotion. It may take some time, but once you get that coveted position, you’ll realize that it’s worth it.

What To Bring Before Boarding Your First Ship

Being excited to board your very first ship as a seafarer is definitely a normal experience. All your maritime training in the Philippines has been leading to this. It is the beginning of your career and your chance to show what your rigorous and extensive training in the Philippines has taught you. But before you set foot on the deck and begin your maritime journey, you need to bring the essentials with you. Some of these items are required, while others lean more towards the wants rather than the needs. Still, all of these items are guaranteed to be of use during your time at sea.


Carrying the valid documentation is essential in any career, especially for your maritime profession. These are documents you would need to become eligible for having a job within the ship, and you may need to present this as proof. Aside from this, certain documents, such as passports and visas, are necessary when entering ports in other countries. Loss of these important documents may render you unable to be assigned to certain locations, which limits your career prospects. When bringing your documentation, always make sure to have more than 2 sets of photocopies just in case.

Appropriate clothes

Having a career at sea means having to brave inclement weather conditions. With this, it’s always wise to carry protective gear from the cold so you are prepared in case of these weather mishaps. Aside from that, always have your complete uniforms ready for your everyday duties. For your casual wear, don’t forget to pack up some water- and wind-friendly clothing. These clothes are perfect for both casual trips and maritime duties.

Medication and toiletries

Make sure you bring your medication with you if you are in need of any. Being away at sea, you may not be able to get to a pharmacy fast enough to get the medicine that you need. Some of the countries you will be assigned to may not have your prescriptions either. It will also be beneficial for you as the conditions at sea may not agree with your body chemistry. You will get sick and may need medicine for colds, coughs, fevers, and the like.

You should also bring your personal toiletries as the items on deck may be scarce. If you also prefer certain types of shampoos or soaps, for example, it’s better to bring them in rather than take the chance of them being available on board or abroad.

Notebook and pen

Even as you apply the knowledge you acquired during your training in the Philippines, being in this line of work is still a continuous learning process. It’s handy if you have a notebook and pen in the things you pack so you can jot down notes when your captain is relaying lessons about work. On a more personal note, your notebook can also act as a journal or diary if the stress of work is getting to you.

International credit/debit card

The salary you get for your job is managed by the ship’s captain. In addition, only part of the salary is given in cash while the rest are deposited directly to the bank account. Because of this, bringing an international credit or debit card is a wise financial decision you can make as a seafarer. Having these items with you will be good for any emergencies involving money. Of course, you must learn how to manage the cards wisely otherwise your debts will pile up due to usage.

Gadgets, books, and other leisure items

It’s no surprise that seafarers feel homesickness very often the more they stay at sea. Loneliness can be detrimental to a seafarer’s mental health, so it’s important you have enough activities to pass the time. Bring your gadgets and go watch your favorite movies on your laptop with your fellow seamen. Or if you’re more of a bookworm, stack up on some of your favorite classics. Your gadgets can also be used to contact your loved ones during any down times at work.

There are a lot more things you should bring before you set foot on the deck of your first ship. These are the essentials, and as long as you don’t forget to bring these items, you’ll be fine. Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing as the challenges of work will definitely make your time at sea more difficult. Despite this, bringing the items above, combined with your maritime training in the Philippines, is sure to alleviate your stressful workload even just a little bit.

“LNG is A Benefit to the Philippines” – Asian Development Bank

According to an energy expert from Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Philippines will benefit through the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to support power generation and making it part of its energy mix. LNG has been proven to be a good fuel for ships, especially for those in the light of ever-tightening emission regulations.

Dr. Yongping Zhai, ADB chief of energy sector group, explained that currently natural gas and LNG is much cheaper today compared to two to three years ago. This will continue on for the foreseeable future. He added that there is a chance for the Philippines and other Asian countries to benefit from LNG.

LNG, a gas that is cleaner compared to coal, could be a part of the Philippines’ energy mix depending on its viability, Zhai said. He also stated that the Philippines is already operating a facility running on natural gas.

The Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) has signed a contract with ADB for the latter to act as transaction advisor for the country’s first LNG hub project in Batangas. Zhai explained that the ADB is providing advice to the government regarding the viability and utility of LNG.

Regarding the assessment process, Zhai commented, “We are in the stage of assessing the (LNG project) offers from companies and we gather information from the country, what is the demand. We also assess the international market, what will be the price of LNG whether you buy long-term contract, short-term contract, (and buying in) spot market so what will be cost implication.”

As for the possibility of the Philippines being an LNG hub, “You already have gas utilization because gas consumption is important here. To become a hub, you need to have internal consumption to anchor demand. And you have a geographic location that can reach from here to other places.”

Should LNG become the norm for fuel in ships, this can have a huge effect on seafarer training in the Philippines with regards to courses about different ship classifications and their recommended fuel.


Newly-Appointed MARINA Admin Guerrero Encourages Employees to Serve the People at MARINA Flag Raising Ceremony

Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the newly-appointed MARINA administrator and former AFP Chief of Staff, implored for officials and employees to serve clients with professionalism, integrity, and excellence as he presided over MARINA’s 5th Flag Raising Ceremonies for 2018 last May 9.

Guerrero imparted lessons to take note of while undergoing maritime training in the Philippines. He reminded the office staff and directors to stay faithful to their sworn duty to the people and to live up to the highest level of ethical standards. Guerrero also added that due to the high expectations a position of governance requires, corrupt and non-performing employees have no place in the organization.

In addition, Guerrero listed the initial 14-point priority Agenda for the year which included a point regarding seafarers’ training in the Philippines. These points are the following:

  1. Re-engineering of the MARINA website
  2. Completion of the draft 10-Year Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP) pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 474, s. 1974 or the charter creating the MARINA
  3. Full compliance with the Audit Findings of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) relating to the Philippine maritime education, training and certification system following the country’s implementation of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978, as amended
  4. Assessment on the Implementation of Republic Act No. 9295 otherwise known as the “ Domestic Shipping Development Act of 2004”
  5. Completion of the draft Revised Philippine Merchant Marine Rules and Regulations
  6. Completion of the draft Philippine draft Philippine Fishing Vessels Rules and Regulations (PFVRR)
  7. Completion of the MARINA Quality Procedures covering all major services at the MARINA Central Office Service Units in preparation for the eventual implementation of the MARINA Integrated Management System (IMS)
  8. Preparation for the Philippine Audit under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) in 2021
  9. Implementation of Regulatory Reforms to Ease Doing Business in the Maritime Industry and the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act of 2017
  10. Accelerated Filling-Up of Vacant Plantilla Positions (equally in the Central Office and Regional Offices)
  11. Proposal for new Organizational Structure of the MARINA
  12. Strengthened and Substantial Philippine participation in international meetings and conferences, where MARINA participants should have with them prepared and cleared positions, interventions and papers before allowing them to travel
  13. Validation by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) of MARINA’s Implementation of the Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS)
  14. Revival of the MARINA Performance Governance System (PGS).

Guerrero also directed the holding of a Mid-Year Agency Plans Assessment and Re-Alignment of Sectoral Plans and Programs in June 2018.

(Maritime Industry Authority)

Tips on Acing Maritime Job Interviews

A seafarer’s training in the Philippines usually involves application of technical concepts learned in various courses towards different duties on board. Whether it’s regularly checking tank soundings or maintaining a ship’s safety standards, a seafarer’s job involves a lot of heavy lifting and nitty-gritty tasks to ensure a well-oiled machine in both the crew and the ship. While these are very important jobs to learn, it is also essential that an aspiring seafarer knows how to secure a maritime job in the first place, and this involves the task of acing job interviews related to maritime duties.

A maritime-related job interview may seem daunting due to various technical knowledge one needs to have prior, but below is a list of tips on how you can pass these interviews with flying colors.

Determine your expertise

Your maritime training in the Philippines may have involved taking numerous courses on various fields so you can have a basic understanding of each duty. Over the course of your training, you may have determined in yourself what niche suits your expertise and preference the most. It is important to identify what maritime-related field you would prefer to focus on so you can review on that specific field and also secure your desired job more easily. Knowing what you are passionate about can also help you enjoy your job despite the stress rather than constantly switch fields due to lack of passion and interest.

Do adequate research

Once you’ve determined what field you want to get into in the maritime industry, your next step is to research about the said field. Look for tips on what to expect during the onboarding process onto your new duty. From this, make a list of possible questions related to the field that your interviewer might ask you. Take time to learn the jargon as well so you are prepared when your interviewer tests you on your technical knowledge. It is also important to look back on the maritime training you’ve received for relevant information and concepts you can use to your advantage both in the interview and on the actual job.

Write a simple but detailed resume

Almost every job would require you to submit a resume detailing your personal information, your educational background, and your experiences and skills. Contrary to what you may expect, having a fully loaded resume is useless if it is filled with details irrelevant to the position at hand. Keep your resume simple by only adding basic background information and relevant information and skills. Your interviewer will only look for information that is related to the job you are applying for, so only include experiences and skills that you feel will help you secure the job and perform well on board the ship. You may also highlight the training you’ve received to increase your credibility and relevant skill set.

Dress to impress

Most of your time on the ship would probably involve you wearing uniforms so you need not worry about your attire on board. However, dressing up during the interview does not hurt and may increase your chances in securing the job as it shows that you are ready to dress up and look formal should the occasion arise. A simple long-sleeved shirt, slacks, and leather shoes for men or a business blazer, blouse, skirt, and an elegant pair of shoes for women can make you look professional and earn you points from your interviewer.

Know what to answer and answer well

Stemming back to the second step, the interview is the avenue for you to show how well you’ve researched. The interviewer will most likely ask technical questions such as basic safety guidelines to test what you’ve learned and see if you are prepared to face a job where safety is at the forefront. Remember and recall the knowledge you’ve acquired from your research and your training in the Philippines. Do not go too overboard by elaborating too much on the concepts. Unless specifically asked, provide a concise answer to the more technical questions. And of course, always wear confidence and smile when greeting your interviewer before, during, and after the interview to make your positive impression more impactful.

Have patience and ample persistence

Now comes the agonizing part of the process, which is to wait. More often than not, you are not the only one being interviewed, so give the company time to evaluate your performance and the others’. You may ask on when feedback will be given, but only follow-up when the date given for the update has passed. Should you not get the job, don’t be discouraged. Be persistent and apply for other companies until you get accepted.

For seafaring and many other professions, the job interview is the gateway to establishing and/or growing one’s career. It is definitely a nerve-wracking process and applicants often feel pressured to do well. But with the right amount of research, training, patience, and faith in oneself, you can get that job in no time and begin the path to a new chapter of your career. As always, remembering your maritime training in the Philippines will definitely work to your advantage when getting the job. But also remember that the learnings you’ve acquired during the training period should carry over during the actual job so you can do your part in ensuring quality and safety while on board the ship.