I recently received a message on my Facebook Page Seaman Memories from a cadet who is concerned about the future of his career.
His school’s Maritime Department is facing closure by MARINA and CHED due to compliance issues.
In other words, his university was not on the list of accredited maritime schools allowed to open BSMT and BSMarE courses.
Though an appeal has been made, further comments from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) are still sought.
Here’s the open letter:
Are We Seaworthy?
In the seafaring world, there’s a golden rule: “Never abandon the ship unless the Captain says so.”
Four years ago, some young seafarer-wannabes chose to traverse a vast ocean of uncertainties with high hopes of arriving at the Port of Success.
They boarded the only ship nearest to them, M/V BiPSU. It was rumored that the ship’s license to sail was suspended.
But the crews of the ship assured them of their safety and that they would bring them to their destination in three years’ time. So they agreed and rode, and their journey began.
In the first two years of their sail, all is still going suave. The wind blew just fine, the sea was so smooth that it even reflected the blue sky and the visibility was clear. Everything’s under control, everything’s going fine
Then, a storm suddenly came. The wind blew in a full gust, the waves slackened the pace of the ship, and the sky darkened.
Yet the Captain ordered to continue the sail and not to take other route for he was confident that the ship could overcome the storm.
So the ship continued navigating. In their station, the young seafarer-wannabes are shocked, and visible in their eyes are fear and doubt.
Yet they’re amidst the vast ocean en route to the Port of Success, so they’re left no choice but to give all their trust to the Captain, to the crews, to the Ship.
After some time, the weather got fine. The ship surpassed the storm. The Captain and the crew felt relieved. The passengers were safe.
A moment later, the Captain announced that the hull on the eastern side of the Ship was broken. All got panicked. The crew became doubtful as the passengers started to get terrified.
Hesitation and fear got through their nerves.
But the Captain said everything was still under control. So the fright subsided, at least was not completely gone. Then. Still unrecovered from the whip of the storm, another storm is yet coming, now stronger.
Now, the Captain’s confidence abated, and thought if the ship could still pass through the storm with its hull broken.
There’s no way they could avoid the storm even if they deviate from their route. It’s faster, more gusty, and perhaps more destructive.
The Captain then announced to the crew and passengers that the ship was now in danger. Everyone got panicked.
But the Captain is still hopeful and does all the means to save passengers and the crew, to save the Ship so that it can continue serving people.
Now some of the seafarer-wannabes think to finally do the last resort they consider to do- to abandon the ship even without the order from the Captain.
Yet, doubt still prevails, What will happen if they jump off the ocean? Would someone come to save them? Could they still board another ship to bring them to the Port of Success?
One step closer to the edge of the Ship, another step back towards the station. Doubtful. Uncertain. Hesitant.
Fortunate still as I consider myself, I’m one of those seafarer-wannabes who rode the Ship that I believed, and I still believe, would bring me forth the Port of Success.
This is an open letter to my co-seafarer-hopeful, to the BiPSU admin, and to the MARINA and CHED.
To the students:
I am a student. Like you, I, too, am a student, a hoping student.
Five years ago, I enrolled at NSU (now BiPSU) with the full hope that they could make the dream of my parents for me realized, to become a successful seafarer.
But things happened unexpectedly, these tragedies happened so suddenly.
Hey, you’re not alone. I know your pain, I know you’re in pain, and I know all your frustrations and disappointments.
At the moment, I know you have already laid down your alternative plans just in case things get rough.
Some of you may have considered taking other courses, transferring to another school, or just leaving everything you’ve done behind.
But man, there’s still no final verdict. The captain has no order yet. Do not abandon our ship, there’s still hope.
To the ADMIN:
I know that things have been beyond your control. You may have done a little wrong five years ago for letting us board your ship, but I know why you did it- because you just wanted to realize our dreams.
And I’m just telling you that we all appreciate all your work just to save the school, just to save our future.
All these things may seem to have fallen apart but you did not stop picking the pieces to put it just on its rightful place.
Please. As the crew and captain of our ship, please don’t stop. We are counting on you, our dreams, and our future are counting on you.
To MARINA and CHED:
We are Filipino youths. We, too, have dreams. Please don’t impede our journey, don’t hamper us from fulfilling our dreams.
I know for a fact that you’re doing the duties given to you, you did things to BiPSU that you thought were right.
I consider that, but please, you can give us a bit of consideration right? Would you allow the hundreds or thousands of dreams of the youths today, that you guys were mandated to safeguard, be wasted?
Please, we beg in the name of our school and our dreams, consider us.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
May the winds be in your favor.