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Maritime Speak, Travel Must-Haves, and Throwback Stories of Filipino Seafarers


In line with Day of The Seafarer last June 25, 2016, Hartmann Crew Philippines (HCP) and Intership Navigation Training Center (ISNTC) produced a series of short videos that answered three simple questions:

What do seafarers always bring with them onboard? Do they have their own slang terms related to the industry? What was seafaring like in the past?

Answers to these questions offered a look into the life, culture, and history of seafarers in the country.


“What’s in your bag?”

Seafarers spend months onboard a vessel. When asked what they can’t leave behind when they travel overseas, several things were mentioned in the interview. The responses showed that faith, family, important paperwork (can’t forget that), and yes, even personal hygiene, are some of the top things that seafarers never leave home without.


“Usapang Seaman”

Filipinos make up at least 30% of all maritime professionals employed onboard ships. It’s no surprise that our language mixed in with some Spanish and a little creativity has spawned an entire vocabulary of Filipino maritime terminologies. Twenty-two terms were collected but based on the feedback, it seems there are a lot more to be documented!


“Seafaring Then and Now”

Seafaring is one of the oldest professions known to mankind. To this day, it is still responsible for nearly all of global trade as it continues to evolve through changing times. A few maritime veterans shared how it was like in the past—how hard it was to communicate with family, delayed Christmas cards, limited technology and the unbelievably relaxed rules on lengths of contracts and visa applications.

How much do you know about the life of a maritime professional? Ninety percent of global trade is carried out by ships and seafarers onboard thousands of vessels. We don’t often see them but without these men and women—who might as well be carrying the word on their backs—we would be at a loss. They’re at sea not only for their family or their careers, they’re At Sea For All.

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