5 Lacsonians among 10 outstanding maritime students of the Philippines

FIVE Lacsonians were recently recognized as 2019 winners of the annual search for the Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) in line with the 24th National Seafarers Day (NSD).  

The five students were D/C Ma. Toiza Boriba Gorantes and D/C Ryan Anthony Bretana both from John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU)  Arevalo; E/C Peter Matthew Bibera of JBLFMU Molo, D/C John Kevin Buenaventura and D/C Zayber Araya of John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation (JBLCF Bacolod).

The chosen students were seen as the embodiment of the “ideal seafarer” displaying “integrity, passion, assertiveness, dependability and camaraderie” that will allow them to become globally competitive Filipino seafarers.

The search gave recognition to students for being academically excellent, highly competent in practice, in good moral standing, and active in their respective communities.

The other winners were D/C William Catacutan of the University of the Visayas (Main Campus); D/C Keith Aiken Pajarillo and D/C Aldrin Ulep both of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific – IMMAJ Campus; D/C Christian Khen Torreliza of Baliwag Maritime Academy; and E/C Dustin Ryan Veridiano of the University of Cebu – Lapu Lapu and Mandaue.

As one of the judges, some of the questions I asked included their position on the West Philippine Sea issue.

From 2011 to 2019, 90 students have received the TOMSP award.

The largest number of winners came from JBLCF – Bacolod with 15 students.

They were followed by 11 students from Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) IMMAJ Campus and another 11 from MAAP CGSO campus.

Ten winners came from JBLMU – Arevalo.

Seven students came from Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) – Zambales while another seven came from the University of Cebu (UC) – Lapu Lapu and Mandaue.

Five students came from JBLMU – Molo.

Four students came from the Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation.

Three students each came from the Asian Institute of Maritime Studies (AIMS), Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) Manila and DMMA College of Southern Philippines.

Two students came from Malayan Colleges Laguna.

One student came from each of the following schools: Baliwag Maritime Academy, Colegio Dela Purisima Concepcion Roxas, Lyceum International Maritime Academy Batangas, Manuel Enverga University Foundation, Inc., NAMEI Polytechnic Institute, Philippine Merchant Marine School (PMMS) Las Piñas, Southwestern University Maritime Regiment, University of Perpetual Help system Dalta, and University of the Visayas (UV).

With this year’s NSD theme “Marinong Filipino-Kababaihan: Palakasin sa Industriya!”, nine female students were awarded since the TOMSP search begun in 2011 wherein four came from the MAAP , one from the University of Cebu, one from PMMA, one from Colegio De La Purisima Concepcion-Roxas, one from JBLCF Bacolod and latest winner D/C Ma. Toiza Boriba Gorantes is   from JBLMU-Arevalo.

Higher maritime education usually consists of four-to five-year college degree programs for either marine transportation or engineering. Most commonly, the students go through a four-year structure (3 – 1) which stipulates three years of academic study prior to onboard job training in the final year. An alternative approach is a 2 – 1 – 1 structure which schedules the onboard job training for the third year. After the one year job training, the students go back to school to finish their last year.

Philippine maritime schools annually produce some 40,000 graduates while a 2018 study by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) showed that an average of about 18 percent of enrollees manages to complete the full academic three years.

Former president Fidel V. Ramos issued on July 9, 1996 Proclamation No. 828 declaring Aug. 18 as National Seafarers’ Day aimed at giving due recognition to the vital role of Filipino seafarers towards the development of the Philippines as a maritime country. Later, Proclamation No. 1094 was issued in 1997 by President Ramos which moved NSD to every last Sunday of September every year.

The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) Philippines was tasked to coordinate with the public and private sectors in activities related to the celebration of said event. The Sunday masses all over the country were offered to the Filipino seafarers.

The 10 awardees received a plaque, gift pack, and cash from Western Union, a review scholarship from St. Nicholas Review Center, and a gift pack from Seaker.


Atty. Dennis R. Gorecho heads the seafarers’ division of the Sapalo Velez Bundang Bulilan law offices. For comments, email [email protected], or call 09175025808 or 09088665786)./PN


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