• Ship manning and misplaced national pride

    I find it strange that Filipinos take excessive pride in being the no.1 crew supplier for the world merchant fleet. If quantity alone matters, ordinary Indians should brag that India overtook Thailand in 2016 to become the biggest exporter of rice. But they don’t — even though rice is an important commodity, a staple in the Asian diet just as […]

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  • Prejudice and bigotry in the maritime world

    One would think that there would be less prejudice and bigotry in shipping than in other sectors because of its international character. After all, merchant mariners travel a great deal. So do many maritime executives. Exposed to different cultures, they should be more open-minded, more cosmopolitan. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

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Recent Posts

Labour Day tribute to housewives, not mariners

Today, the 1st of May, is Labour Day in many countries. I thought I would pay tribute to housewives instead of seamen and seawomen. Housewives are not considered part of the working class since they do not receive wages. The tools of their ‘trade’ (see ‘Household Utensils‘ above by the 18th-century Italian artist, Giovanni Battista Piranesi) are not as sophisticated […]

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Artistic tribute to Mother Earth

Unlike the ancients, modern man does not see Mother Earth as some kind of goddess like Gaia, the ancestral mother of all life in Greek mythology. He has de-mythicized her, reduced her to an object, a specimen, to be studied by scientists and exploited by corporations for profit. But the spirit of Mother Earth lives on. On this Earth Day, […]

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Filipino officers on EU ships: a question of arithmetic

You can perish the thought of the European Commission withdrawing recognition of Philippine ship officers’ certificates. No, it is not because the Filipino seaman factory is now in tip-top shape. The 28 European Union member states represented by the Commission have little or no desire to dump Filipino officers. The fact that the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) made another […]

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A post-mortem on the maritime press

For sure, there are still some maritime journalists around who follow the old tenets of journalism. They take the time to gather information, cross-check the facts, interpret events and write news stories that help readers make sense of it all. But the maritime press that I knew is no more. It is deceased, decayed, done for — like the dead […]

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