Dream 1970's I had joined and graduated the Midshipmen
Cadet Officer Training Corps ( NROTC) at Feati University. As
an officer of the Naval Reserved Officer Training Corps, I was
trained to be a strong leader and a commander. We did our
training exercises at Fort Bonifacio by the PMMA ground. After
finishing my basic and advance training, I enlisted as a
reserved officer for the Philippine Navy with the Rank of Ensign
then LT Junior Grade. Every year as a reserved officer I had to
take a refresher officer's training for one or three months with
the Navy. After a few years I was commissioned as s Lieutenant
Senior Grade Reserved.
Time has come. 1974 I had graduated Marine Engineering
and immediately applied for my overseas Seaman's Book at the
Philippine Coast Guard. I prepared all my papers and eager to
join the Merchant Marines. That same year I was luckily hired as
Apprentice Engineer for overseas Ocean going Vessel. It was not
so easy to apply and get in. I have to look for a Ninong and
good recommendation. There is always the Palakasan,... with Gods
willing I came to board my first ship to Hong Kong.
Before we go on with the Journey let me look back for a
I look back !!!!!From the
very remote country side of Pitombayog Sitio Bariwawa, Katipunan
or so, I always come to look back to the old days. When I was a
very young boy who dreamt of luxury and wealth, I struggled very
hard to overcome the creeping poverty and lack of education,
which was a problem to every child in that very remote country
side of Mayantoc. As a normal young teenager I also fell in love
with the beautiful girls of the Philippines, but because of
poverty those girls were just a dream - no matter how much I
loved them- my mind was set to leave for a better life. Life in
college was a bitter struggle, with very limited money. The
struggle was so intense my body almost gave up, but my mind was
very strong with its longing for success.
Lets continue sailing with my life at sea as time pass by:
were some of my previous ships. From
Apprentice Marine Engineer up to Second Marine Engineer
there was no available opening as an officer, I accepted any
available position such as Wiper, Oiler, Boiler Operator,
Welder, Fitter and Machinist. It was very important to me to
have a Job.!!!!! A new beginning in Hawaii
YEAR OF EVOLUTION
NAME OF SHIP
TYPE OF VESSEL
M.T. HASSAN B
M.V. SAUDI EUROPE TRADER
My first Ship
M.V. Lavander, was my first ship from 1974-1975. I
was 22 years old and fresh from college. I graduated with a
Degree in Marine Engineering, and became employed as an
Apprentice Engineer. The ship was a general cargo, lumber and
log ship. I took my ship to Hong Kong, which was my home port.
There were a lot of Filipino women working as domestic helpers.
Like me, they were also trying to escape the hard life where
they came from. During Wednesday and Sunday we got together in
the park. We would go for a picnic and dancing in the Stella
Maries Seaman's Club. And more,,,,,??? Our ship sailed for
Manila, which was our port of entry to the Philippines. We load
hundred and thousand of tons of Lumber and logs from Manila,
Davao, Cotabato, Abulog Cagayan and other small ports around
Philippines. After 3 to 4 months of loading the very big ship,
we start sailing bound for Europe. Our first stop was Singapore
for bunkering or refueling for the long trip. Then we proceeded
to the Indian Ocean towards Europe. After half a month of
navigation, the first land we approach is the middle east.
Passing the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea, we finally come to the
entrance of the Suez Canal. Because the canal was so narrow
during those early years, the ship had to go with a convoy In
the starboard and portside of the ship you can see remnants of
war equipment destroyed during the war of Egypt and Israel. Out
from Suez Canal is the Mediterranean Sea. After a few days we
come to the Port of Gibraltar, which was a narrow out passage to
the Atlantic Ocean. On the Portside is Morocco and the Starboard
side is Spain. Our first unloading port is Barcelona, Tarragona
and Cartagena in Spain. Then we headed to Bordeaux France,
Italy, Antwerp etc.,,, and all other ports of Europe.
My first Passages to the Suez Canal
first passage to the Suez canal was 1974, a few years just after
the war of Israel and Egypt. At that time the canal was newly
open after an extensive cleanup on mines and other war related
debris. Some Egyptian traders came aboard our ship and sold many
kinds of items, such as the statue of Cleopatra made of bronze
from melted bullets from the war. At that time the canal was so
narrow that most of the bigger ships like the super tankers were
not allowed to pass thru. From my ship, I could see some of the
pyramids and destroyed houses. The name of my ship at that time
was MV LAVANDER.
Routing Asia to Europe.
the spectacular capital
city of Greece, is home to over one third of the Greek
population. The capital city since 1834, the total land area of
Athens is around 250 square miles (340 square kilometers).
Athens is one of the most vibrant and dazzling cities in Europe
and its unique blend of old and new has made it a popular
destination for both business and leisure. Athens is one of the
few places on earth that can boast a history of over 5000 years.
Athens was my home Port with my Ship MT Hassan B. This was a
ship with more than 100,000 tons. We come
back to this port very often. I loved this wonderful place and I
met lots of Filipino Nurses and Midwifes working at the
Hospital. Acropolis is located at Athens Greece, which is
one of the historical tourist attraction.
Second Ship The first Stop Port of entry to Europe. Salerno
Italy MV GOODVIEW.
a very long melancholic rough and smooth navigation from Asia,
here comes our first stop and port of entry to Europe.
Salerno Italy, is a small country paradise city belted
with mountain ranges and decorated with beautiful old European
houses. A breathtaking beauty that is extended toward the
shoreline and magnificent beaches. It's one of the most
beautiful scenes a person can ever imagined. It's a very
soon as we're alongside and cleared with the Custom and
Immigration immediately rush ashore. People in this area during
those year didn't know Filipino's they think we are Japanese.
There's a lot of beautiful girls in Italy. We
always in a rush and eager to find a girlfriend and it's not
very difficult when you are young and fast. Time is very short
we have to learn the skill. The most effective bait for love is
lots of present from other countries and tons of promises it is
always a guarantee do the trick.
We discharged some of our cargo then proceeded to
many Ports of Europe, Genoa Italy, La Specia, Barcelona Spain,
Taragona, Pasahes, Rotterdam Holland, Antwerp, Belgium,
Portugal, Norway, Finland, England and France.
MV LAVADER AND MV GOODVIEW ARE SISTER SHIP
with the same route.
"Free and Hanseatic City” of Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest
metropolis with one of Europe’s biggest ports. Elegant and
cosmopolitan, Hamburg is now a city of palatial office
buildings, magnificent promenades, international musicals,
extravagant shopping malls – and the famous Reeperbahn and St.
Pauli. The magical aura of faraway places is still alive in the
old warehouse quarter and the little canals. Hamburg is also
Germany’s greenest city, with many spacious lawns and lovely
our Cargo from Asia took us 2 months of unloading to so many
Ports of Europe. As we unload we began loading cargos to the
empty hatches as per
telex of the Company. The Ship keeps sailing from one place to
another. In France, our New cargo is raw materials for Oil and
Grease. Our ship sail into a river with a very strong current.
The buoyancy of fresh water is lesser than the salt water which
make our ship submerge below the water line. Bordeaux Port is a
country I need to hitch ride to go to the City or Town. Taxi is
not available in the Port and most of the people can not
Spain is our next destination, We loaded Rocks a Raw materials
for making Steel . In Russia we loaded cement bound for Dubai.
We keep loading up the big ship in so many countries in Europe.
On our way home to Hong Kong, we discharge cargos to so many
Ports .Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and then back to
Hong Kong. It would be almost a year before we got back to the
Towards the Black Sea to Russia
MV Good View
out the log it's over two weeks since we departed Singapore, our
stop over for bunkering or refueling. We pass Indian Ocean,
Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Suez Canal. It's the beginning of
Winter time , the cold breeze of Europe meets us as we exit the
Suez at Port Said Egypt. Our discharging destination is Russia
. We change course to 20 degree Starboard bound towards the
Black sea. Along the way we pass several countries. On the
Starboard side we pass Israel Cyprus and Turkey. Going into
Eagan sea the Channel is becoming narrower. Looking on the Port
side is Greece , Bulgaria then Istanbul Turkey. Passing
underneath the Bridge. About 100 to 500 meters away to the shore
line. The beautiful different views both starboard and port side
is amazing. I like to sit down on the top of the upper deck and
watch every scenery. I was off duty at that time so I have all
the benefits of watching this spectacular beauty of nature.
The Black Sea is about one nautical miles away and the weather is
MT HASSAN B
was almost Sunset when we reach the opening of Black Sea. From a
very calm water in the Channel it becomes
a big swell. The challenger and the destroyer of dreams is the
weather "Big waves" is starting to grow like mountains. I could
fell the strong current the big swell and the ship start to rock
and swing side to side over 20 degrees with a staggered
vibration from the Rudder as the Propeller struggle to play with
the waves. There is a typhoon as sparky announce but there is no
way to avoid. It comes with a strong rainfall and the ocean was
just like a hole of darkness. The ship keeps going and must go
on. We rely only on compass and the sextant plotting the route
of our navigation. There was no GPS navigation at that time. We
have to use mathematics calculation thru the stars and other
heavenly bodies. Every one will get sea sick on the first strike
of the bad weather but after few days our body get used to the
motion and the sea sickness start to disappear.
a very discouraging sea sick every one aboard seems to wake up
from a bad dream and start a new very exciting arrival to the
Port of Novorossiysk. As soon the custom and immigration clear
our entry immediately dress up and get ready to explore the new
found land. As expected
there are so many exciting places and things to do in Russia.
Every thing is very cheap the food and drinks.Just like a bird
in the cage to freedom. Russia is
a very nice place for Good time. We have limited money to bring
ashore but most of us keep our US Dollar and change it in the
black market. There's also a curfew, We
have to be back at the ship before 12:00 midnight. I have
a lot of Good time with had a very beautiful girlfriend. I was
only 22 years old at that time. We went to Taste the winery,
Museum, and spend most time at the Stella Maries Seaman's Club.
Where Vodka Champagne and Girls made us forget the life at sea
Anapa - Russia's Wine Capital
Anapa is the northernmost Russian resort area on the coast of
the Black Sea. The rocky shore, practically vertical in the
south part of the Krasnodar region, finally becomes a white
sandy beach at the Anapa cape spreading in a curve for 25 miles.
Anapa is accessible by air, railway, and highway to all of
Russia and many countries of Europe and Asia. Novorossisk,
Russia's principal warm water seaport, is 50 km south of Anapa.
From Anapa, the Black Sea connects Anapa with Ukraine, Georgia,
Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, and the entire Mediterranean.
As one of Russia's
favorite tourist cities, Anapa has comfortable hotels and
recreation and transportation facilities. Anapa is also home to
Anapa Kinoshok, a international film festival held every year in
Experience in Russia
I went to Russia several times and knows most the street and
places to go. Saudi Trader is my Third ship that sail to the
Same Port. The first one is MV Good View, second is MT Hassan B
and the third is Saudi Trader. Like most of the trip we went to
every Seamen could passively reach. Have all the happiness we
can have just like there is no more tomorrow to come. On this
trip my pass was suspended because one night I was not able to
come back to the Ship on time. The immigration and custom was
looking for me. I was with a friend house and almost forget to
go back to my Ship. Sometimes the time is so fast and forget it's
time to go home. I was questioned and detained for several hours
and my pass was revoked. It was not to bad because the ship was
sailing the next day.
girl friend was left behind with a a very good promise that I
will come back. It's a promise that is always made to be broken.
It's also very difficult but duty is always the first priority.
United Arabs Emirates
It was a gorgeous beautiful morning making our exit at
Suez toward the Red Sea. On the starboard side view the mystical
barren dessert mountains while on the Port side
the plain dessert plains that the sun reflection from both sides
made the sea like Red color. I was wondering the reason why they
called it the Red Sea? Further more is the Arabian Sea then we
change course 25 degrees port side making an entry to the Gulp
of Oman heading to the Persian Gulp. Sarjah, was our first
discharging port then Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Shore leave. It was a very hot time of liberty when we
get a Taxi cab to the City shopping area. Over 115 degrees oven
like temperature. A very hot summer and time of Ramadan. Because
of the weather we sweat like hell and our body was dehydrated
and needed water. We needed water, we are so thirsty that seems
my entire skull is out. We were so weak start to get shock
shake clammy. We are dying all the store is open but it's
the law to eat or drink before six PM. The law is there religion
anyone caught eating or drinking will be incarcerated and jailed
with out question or trial. I can't go on no more strength then
one Pakistani foreigner bring us to a hidden Room and Gave us
water. It was the best feeling but we decided to go back to our
ship and go back after six PM when everything is normal.
Syros Island Nudist Camp
Every year the company assigned me to different ship with a
different route as expected. This time my ship is
a Tanker ship . I flew from Manila to Athens Greece to my New
ship MT Hassan B. The ship is on a Dry-dock at Syros a tiny
Island several miles away from Piraeus and Athens. We stayed
there for about a month for all the major repair in the Boiler,
Main Engine and Generators. Every one is on day ship work except
the AB on deck. During the week end we explore the Island and
hang out at the nudist camp which is only mile away from us.
Most of the people in the nudist camp is from mainland Europe.
Every one is friendly and naked boys and girls. I love the
scenery of white meat scattered along the Beaches and the
Mountain side. You can see the different sizes of human
structure. I love talking to the women in this kind of attire or
no attire at all. My eyes focused to the main attraction however
my brain felt shyness but then the girls help you overcome the
unusual experience. We go dancing in the Disco house with in the
Camp itself. Here you can wear a short or you can be naked. I
prefer dancing with a short.
the Beach every one must be naked otherwise people will be
looking at you. They said if you don't like to be naked just go
to the other side of the hill. There is another Beach for the
public which is not for nudist people. We have a lot of choices
I like it here. I am young and very strong for any kind of
Actually I encounter a lot of action in the area .Together with
my friend we comb the vicinity talked to a lot of girls till we
found girls who spoke English and later become friends. We have
the whole day of persuasion and courtship making sure we will
have them come to our ship by night fall. Like always give them
lot's of present, care for them with respect and again tons of
promises. What do you expect when you are in the twenties. The
blood is very hot and aggressive and every minute is action
there is no wasted time otherwise you will regret during time of
ship is almost finished and getting ready for our departure to
the Persian Gulp where there is nothing but sand and dessert. A
very boring place there is no good time but fishing.
Place in Scandinavia
Norway, Sweden and Denmark is a part of the Scandinavian
country. This place is very beautiful. The economy is great.
where the car Volvo is made. Shipping is one
the greatest livelihood of the people. I have a lot of friends
and shipmates from this area.
Norway's Fjords plus an incredibly scenic drive from Oslo to
Bergen along the edge of Telemark, through the Hardanger Vidda -
Fjord.Experience the highlights of Norway with a wonderful mix
of scenery and sights. Including stunning fjords, spectacular
glaciers, and splendid museums. Norwegian Coastal Voyage
(Hurtigrute) Nordic's Grand Sailing Splendors plus our Norway's
Fjords and Countryside Program.
Cruising the Panama Canal 1979
MS HALLVARD AND MS HALLDOR SISTER SHIP
are entering from the Pacific side, the first thing one sees is
the "Bridge of the Americas." In
area were 60 boats waiting to transverse the canal. Some would
wait for a couple of days before doing so. Since we had a
reservation we would begin our journey through the canal right
We went through two
series of locks that raised us 85 feet. It was fascinating to
view the ships in the locks ahead of us 27 feet higher than we
locks demonstrated the ingenuity of the U.S. engineers. Each
lock is 110 feet wide and 1000 feet long. The water comes in
through the force of gravity, there are no pumps. This is the
Roughly midway through our transit we entered Gatun Lake, one of
the world's largest man-made lakes. The many islands in the lake
are actually the tops of hills. People can buy an island, but
they can only build a grass hut on it.
locks -- Gatun -- had three chambers to lower us 85 feet to sea
level. On this end (further west than the Pacific side) we could
look down on the ships preceding us through the canal. In our
case we had been been playing tag with a cargo ship from Brazil
that was carrying a load of copper to Europe. In this photo you
can see how much lower it is in the lock to our right.
the very long years journeying as a Merchant Marine, it came to
a certain point of maturity that I wanted to have my own family
and get married . A time came of making a very critical decision
at the age of 27. After weighing all aspect of life and love and
through the advice of my parents, who at that time wanted to
see USA , I made a very critical choice. I decided to get
married to my true love in Hawaii. I went back to the ship for
two more years. This time I planned to built a house of my own
so I boarded a Tanker ship stationed only in the Persian Gulp.
There is no good time no girls all work only. After I finished
my tour of duty at that ship I went home to the Philippines and
Built my home in front of the Tarlac College of Agriculture "
TCA". It's a beautiful concrete house.
That is the time when the Philippines is very much in
trouble. After the assassination of the late Senator Binigno
Aquino in the Airport the country became unstable. There was a
lot of rallies and demonstration. The dictatorship of the old
regime seems to come to an end. I decided to join my family in
Hawaii. It was February 26 1986 of that same year I finally made
my decision to stay close to my family in USA.
A New Beginning
So many more stories in all parts of
the world but lets cut it short and see my life in Hawaii USA.
To be Continued.................... Click
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