Why do officials of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) talk of seafarers being invisible? It's downright silly. How could they be invisible when the English language itself has been enriched because of them? Consider some of the words used to...
The sea has been Judith in den Bosch's muse since she was a little child. ”When I am there, I start making poems,” says the photographic artist from Alkmaar, The Netherlands. “I love the power...the feeling of being small, a part of the whole." Her work...
I recently invited Facebook members to share their seascape photographs (a maximum of three per person) for this special Marine Café Blog feature. I should like to thank all those who answered my call despite there being no prize at stake. Choosing a dozen...
Some maritime photos from the turn of the 20th century and earlier decades can be so dull that they make you feel that you're really looking at people and things long departed. They leave you cold. Thankfully, you may stumble on old pictures that are not mere records...read more
The shipping world is so rich and complex that no writer, if he is inquisitive enough, should want for something new to talk about. However, there is one theme I keep going back to aside from marine art: the rights and welfare of merchant sailors. In Manila's crewing...read more
I should be joining the rest of the world and making whoopee on the 'Day of the Seafarer', 25th June. But I won't. I will spend the day quietly and alone like the monk in Caspar David Friedrich's circa-1809 painting 'Der Moench am Meer / The Monk by the Sea' (pictured...read more
All manning agents in Manila wear two hats: crew supplier and money changer. The second function is an incidental adjunct to the first. It is not wrongful or illicit per se, but it has given rise to a silent scam that has gone on for decades. Under government rules,...read more
It is high time that Filipinos looked at themselves and where they stand in the international maritime arena without blinkers. That may not be so easy because of their fixation with ship manning. But as the British writer, Aldous Huxley, once wrote: "Facts do not...read more
It has been almost a year since I last posted in Marine Café Blog. For those of you who were wondering, I was busy with my studies and working on my second e-book, 'Close Encounters in Maritime Manila'. With the new book out of the way, I can go back to blogging...read more
This Sunday, the 25th of June, is the 'Day of the Seafarer'. I thought I would chat with Frankie the Philosopher Cat and see if he's in a mood to celebrate. Frankie is not much into festivities, but you never know. The slogans and tributes to mariners have been so...read more
It would be ideal if every maritime training institution had a philosophy of education — a formulation of the whys and wherefores and the ultimate aim of preparing young people for a sea career and upgrading ship officers. But why bother creating some new doctrine?...read more
This week Maritime CEO, the flagship of Singapore–based Asia Shipping Media (ASM), came out out with a review of my newly released e–book, Maritime Double Shots. It is the first public scrutiny of my entrée into the world of book publishing. To say that I was...read more
Yesterday I took the plunge and released my first e–book, Maritime Double Shots. It's a collection of aphorisms and reflections gathered from hundreds of articles posted in Marine Café Blog over the past several years. This little project was not motivated by any...read more