Saturday, July 8, 2017

Women in the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy Class of 2017

Sandiglayan 2017 in parade formation.

The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) Class of 2017 is still male-dominated: of the 216 graduates, 17 are women. They received their Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Transport (BSMT) and Marine Engineering (BSMarE) during the 196th Commencement Exercises at the Academy grounds in San Narciso, Zambales on 06 July 2017.

Two women graduated BSMarE cum laude: Kim Melody B. Canet and Agiebel P. Dulatre.

Of the 17 women, seven (7) were in the marine transport, and ten (10) in the marine engineering, degree programs.

The women among the 91 BSMT graduates were Bernadette S. Addun, Karen G. Alcoser, Shaira Marie D. Alzate, Maria Theressa D. Cabrera, Francine Gyneth P. Galino, Christine N. Genotiva and Charlotte S. Pelaez. Cabrera received an efficiency medal from the Department of Naval Science and Tactics.

And the women among the 125 BSMarE graduates were Mira Liza Balabag, Evan Royce A. Bautista, Theya Marie A. Bumanglag, Rizza Mae D. Cabrera, Chinnie Lhen I. Calba, Kim Melody B. Canet, Agiebel P. Dulatre, Kloise Floreca C. Opena, Zaira Margarette M. Rubia and Hazel Gayodan Tallongan. 

Zaira Margarette Rubia receiving the Philippine Coast Guard Sword.

Canet and Rubia were in the Top 10 in the MarE program. Rubia was the most awarded of this batch of women graduates. She was presented the Philippine Coast Guard Sword, the 'Iron Woman' award from the Department of Naval Science and Tactics, and Leadership and Discipline Medals from the Department of Midshipmen Affairs.

This is the 10th year ever since PMMA accepted women into the long blue line in 1997. Of the women graduates since then, two graduated valedictorian and magna cum laude of their respective classes: the first, Zulaika Mariano Calibjo in 2006,  and the second, Laarni Grace Pangilinan in 2014.

This year's batch named their class Sandiglayan, which means "Samahan ng Mandirigma at Manlalakbay ng Karagatan sa Kaunlaran ng Bayan."

Razor Dave C. Samortin, BSMT, magna cum laude, in his valedictory address, profusely thanked, on behalf of his classmates, their families and the Academy for their support and guidance as they sailed the course in the academy, and invoked courage when they face the rough seas in their chosen fields. Arjan Lyndl E. Flores regaled everyone when he recounted how he became stronger by overcoming his academic failures, and thus succeeded to earn the distinction of being 'Anchorman,' the guy with the lowest weighted average grade in their class. 

Samortin, Flores and their classmates entered the Academy through a rigid selection process. PMMA says that about 5% of around 6,500 applicants from all over the country pass the screening and get accepted as midshipmen in two academic programs of their choice: marine transport and marine engineering.

Eight of the 17 women members of Sandiglayan 2017.

Sandiglayan had four-year residency courses: the first, second and fourth years for academic studies on campus, and the third for a one-year internship training as deck or engine cadets on board commercial vessels plying the international ocean lanes. The fourth, the graduation year, is the professional stage where they learn the additional knowledge and skills to qualify as third mates and fourth marine engineers.

They were all government scholars who enjoyed free tuition, board and lodging, and an assured shipboard training on board international vessels with stipend. 

The famous painter Juan Luna y Novicio of Spoliarium fame preceded Sandiglayan by 143 years. He was 17 when he graduated Piloto de Altos Mares (Pilot of the High Seas) from the Escuela de Nautica de Manila in 1874. 

The Escuela was established in 1820 and through the years evolved into the PMMA as we know today.

After sailing for thirty months, Luna quit seafaring, even if he was called el marino atrevido (the daring seaman) by his shipmates, and went to study fine arts.

In the case of Sandiglayan, three career paths were opened for them: enlisting with Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard, and joining the Merchant Marine.

The PMMA stamp virtually assures them 100% employability with  immediate hiring by more than 30 partner international and manning companies of the Academy. Their promising careers include being master mariners, chief engineers, shipping executives, naval or coast guard officers, educators, trainers in maritime-related industries/institutions, etc.

The Philippine Coast Guard has already inducted 22 of Sandiglayan Class earlier on 03 July 2017 as Probationary Ensign, two of them are women. 

Valedictorian Samortin and Anchorman Flores are now P/ENS of the Philippine Navy.

"Our graduates," VAdm Richard Ritual, PMMA Superintendent, said, "constantly serve as Ambassadors of Goodwill, for they circle the different parts of the globe on board various international seagoing vessels bringing with them the positive tenets inculcated upon them during their Academy days: Kawastuhan, Kababaang-loob, Kagitingan (Righteousness, Humility, Courage)."

Sandiglayan tossing their caps in the air after the ceremonies.

1 comment:

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