Letters of Youth


/ 20 June 2021

One of the toughest jobs is to face the biggest waves of the ocean. Among the world’s population of seafarers, most of them are Filipinos. In fact, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) our country has the highest number of seafarers since 1997.

Being a seafarer is challenging and it takes courage to be one. During the early days of their career, they’re still a book on process. Just like other professions, they can’t be on top immediately. Each of them start from the bottom and they learn along the way. Through the years, they become more knowledgeable and experienced in every vessel and it’s a step-by-step journey by being on board.

Most of all, the hardest part about it is being away from their family. Being away from what they truly call home. Each seafarer has a different timeline on their ship. Some have contracts as short as three months, but there are those who work for twelve or more.

After long hours of work, you can’t come home and see your family physically nor embrace their warmth. The only way to contact home is through the internet and the social media platforms that thankfully, we have today in this modern age. However, there are certain times where they go from one option to nothing at all.

With their working environment, the vast ocean hinders their internet connection. Believe it or not, there are times where they can lose contact for weeks or a month because they haven’t anchored in an island yet where the signal is reachable. Unfortunately, you also get to miss once in a lifetime occasions, may it be your child’s graduation, Christmas, New Year and many other family events.

Despite this difficult situation, they learn how to embrace their line of work since most of them are their family’s breadwinners. They are doing their duties at work and as the “haligi ng tahanan”.

Being a seafarer takes courage. The work is tough and being away from your loved ones makes it harder. As they set sail on their own vessels, nothing is guaranteed. Everything is at risk and they should be given the respect and recognition that they truly deserve.

To all seafarers and fathers, Happy Father’s Day! May all of you have a safe voyage!