• jamie-wyeth-mushroom-picker_mcb

    Unsolved glut of Filipino maritime schools

    Not too long ago, Philippine schools for ship officers numbered close to 90. In an environment of official complacency and corruption, they had been allowed to proliferate like the mushrooms in American artist Jamie Wyeth‘s 1963 oil painting titled “Mushroom Picker” (pictured aboved). Have the reforms instituted by Manila addressed the problem?

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  • sea-captain-insignia

    Shortfall of respect for ship officers

    We’ve always thought of ship officers as belonging to an elite class. So it perturbs us whenever we see Filipino captains or chief engineers who report to their manning agencies in Manila treated gruffly, if not rudely, by office security guards. Shouldn’t management impose a policy of utmost courtesy to all visitors, especially ship officers?

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6 far-out maritime wishes for 2016

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive,” wrote 19th-century English novelist George Eliot. “There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.” And hunger we will — even if it means being the odd man out. Here are our six maritime wishes […]

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Doña Paz disaster: a deficit of memory

It is five days before Christmas. In the collective delirium of holiday shopping, few Filipinos will remember that today, the 20th of December, is the 28th anniversary of the Doña Paz ferry tragedy. And yet, the world’s worst peacetime maritime disaster will forever haunt mankind like the Flying Dutchman, the legendary ghost ship which American artist Albert Pinkham Ryder depicted […]

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ICTSI versus waterfront union power

Officials of International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) must be feeling a sense of moral victory. For the second time in 10 weeks, the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled on 30th November 2015 that the powerful International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU International) and ILWU Local 8 had violated federal labour law by engaging in coercive activity against […]

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