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Eruption Drill and Fiesta Maritima highlight World Maritme Day at Mariners

Scenes at the ‘eruption drill’ simulation exercise held at the main campus of MPCF-Legazpi with students, faculty and staff participating during the commemoration of World Maritime Day.

The booths displaying organic and healthy food stuffs at Fiesta Maritima which promote healthy lifestyle as part of the celebration of World Maritime Day at the MPCF Camarines Sur campus.

The 2014 World Maritime Week observed from September 21 to 28, 2014 was celebrated by the two Mariners schools in Bicol – the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Canaman, Camarines Sur and MPCF in Legazpi City, Albay.

Commodore Dante La. Jimenez, President of both campuses announced that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted the theme ‘IMO Convention, Effective Implementation’.

Jimenez said, “The Mariners schools have passed the final monitoring and evaluation of the Commission on Higher Education-Maritime Industry Authority (CHED/MARINA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) inspections. With this development, the two Mariners institutions are now among the top thirty-five (35) Maritime Higher Education Institutions (MHEI’s) in the country today”.

The schools have initiated actions relative to the theme of the IMO. MPCF Camarines Sur has adopted ‘Fiesta Maritima’ for its activity which focused on healthy living and the observance of world maritime safety as advocated by the Elsevier Foundation Grant to Mariners System - the Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS).

Meanwhile, MPCF Legazpi conducted the ‘Eruption Drill’ as its main highlight of the celebration due to its relevance with the on-going restiveness of the majestic Mayon Volcano.

With more than Four Hundred Thousand Filipino seafarers working all over the globe, seafaring as a profession is given attention with emphasis on safety. The institution has adopted the theme – ‘Mariners: Study and Work for a Safe World’.

(Left picture)The building at the main campus of Mariners-Legazpi was one of the the venues for the eruption drill. (Left picture) Captain Steven James Diño PCGA, Commandant of MPCF-Legazpi CGA-OTC Unit directs the Eruption Drill while a TV Network interviews him about the exercise.

“An open house featured affordable healthy culinary cuisine which include the elusive organic ‘lechon’, the natural-colored rice (black, red, brown and blue). Free tastes and promotional sale of organically-produced farm products were displayed in the booths inside the campus”, said L4SS Project Adviser and BOT Member Evita L. Jimenez.

(Left picture) The ‘welcome billboard’ for the guests and (right picture), another row of tents of participating groups in the World Maritime Day celebration at the MPCF Camarines Sur campus.

At Fiesta Maritima, the public had the opportunity to listen to relevant talks on organically-produced healthy food and healthy lifestyle. Other subjects which were presented by expert-discussants include – Maritime History by the famed Bicolano Historian Dr. Danilo Gerona, Weather and Disaster at Sea and on Land by Weather Enthusiast Mike Padua of typhoon 2000.com , Meaningful Research by University of the Philippines VP for Administration Dr. Maragtas Amante and the Causes of Sea Mishaps given by a team of veteran seafarer-officers from MPCF-Camarines Sur.

Other features of the World Maritime Day celebration at the Camarines Sur campus included an early morning Fun Run, Mass, Performance Exhibition by the MPCF Band and Majorettes, Swimming, and the holding of Painting Exhibits. His Grace, Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D. of the Archdiocese of Caceres was the main celebrant in the afternoon Mass.

Meanwhile, the eruption drill exercise was conducted at MPCF Legazpi on September 24, 2014 – Wednesday while at MPCF Camarines Sur, Fiesta Maritima was observed the whole day on September 25, 2014 – Thursday.

The activities made the celebration of World Maritime Day more meaningful not only to the members of the Mariners community but to the community which witnessed the advocacies pushed by the Mariners Institutions and the significance of the seafaring profession to the world.

MPCF-Camarines Sur acquires new enclosed lifeboat; beefs-up training capability for future seafarers

The fully-enclosed lifeboat, the latest addition to the state-of-the-art training equipment is now mounted on the Landship at the Survival Training Swimming Pool of MPCF-Camarines Sur.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province has moved to upgrade its training capability with the acquisition of the state-of-the-art fully-enclosed lifeboat replacing the old conventional open craft.

This action has been envisioned by the administration to further heighten the training equipment of the school to be at par with the best maritime institutions, not only in the country but in the world.

This enclosed lifeboat possesses a better competence compared to the open life craft when it comes to serving ship passengers and crew in times of distress in the high seas especially in ‘abandon ship’ situations.

It can accommodate twenty (20) passengers and it is equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) which can be detected automatically by passing ships and flying aircrafts in the vicinity thereby enhancing the chance of survivors to be rescued.

Inside the enclosed lifeboat as viewed from the rear entrance: Multi-colored seatbelts, the pilot’s seat, instruments & steering wheel, fire extinguisher, the closed doors & windows, flashlight & other equipment and gadgets which can give protection to survivors of a sea mishap. Not seen in the picture are the boat’s engine and other vital supplies which complete the composition of this emergency sea vessel.

A similar enclosed lifeboat used in the training of future seafarers is in place at the MPCF-Legazpi Landship.

These old ‘open-type’ lifeboats lack the safetynet features of the modern ‘fully enclosed’ emergency seacrafts. The Mariners schools have discarded the old models from its set of training paraphernalia.

It has provisions for passengers such as survival biscuits and potable water to last for fifteen (15) days while the survivors await rescue.

It also has an engine, fuel, flares, flashlights, fire extinguishers and other gadgets which can help facilitate rescue. Since it is fully-enclosed, it can endure rough sea conditions with passengers remaining safe and intact inside the emergency vessel.

Movie-goers who watched the film ‘Titanic’ and ‘Captain Philips’ can compare the lifeboats used in the show. In the film Titanic, it was the ‘open type’ which was used while in Captain Philips, the ‘fully-enclosed’ lifeboat similar to this kind was utilized. This development underscores the fact that Mariners System is making a mark when it comes to creating quality seafarers. The acquisition of modern gadgets and facilities used extensively in the training of maritime cadets help prepare future seafarers to come-up with their best in their chosen careers.

“With Mariners having been rated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to belong to the ALPHA classification of Maritime Higher Education Institution (MHEI) in the Philippines, we have no choice but to continue with the improvements we have started which conform to international maritime standards as mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)”, said Commodore Dante La. Jimenez, President of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation.

MPCF-Camarines Sur gives recognition to achievers in the September 2014 activities

A grateful Mariners community attends Holy Mass as thanksgiving for the series of victories attained in the month of September 2014. VP for Administration Napoleon Mangente and President Dante La. Jimenez led the students, faculty, staff and administration in the Eucharistic celebration presided by Canaman Parish Priest Rev.Father Romy Donacao.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) community in Baras, Canaman this province celebrated the victories achieved by students in the series of activities held in the month of September of this year with an awards rites held at the campus.

With this, Certificates of Appreciation were distributed by the school administration to individuals and groups who brought honor to the establishment.

Foremost in the triumphs attained by the school include, among others:

  • The award received by Midshipman Niño Copones as one of the Ten Outstanding Maritime
    Students of the Philippines (TOMSP).

  • The Championship brought home by the Band and Majorettes in the national competition
    held in Bacoor City, Cavite.

  • The award as the Most Disciplined ROTC Unit given to the Coast Guard Auxiliary- Officer
    Training Corps (CGA-OTC) during the Peñafrancia Festival.

  • The First Prize given to Midshipman Alvin Alvaro in the ‘On-The-Spot Poster Making Contest’
    at the National Seafarers Day held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

  • The First Prize award in the Band and Majorettes Fancy Drill competition held a week
    before the Peñafrancia Festival in Naga City.

  • The victories of Mariners’ swimming sensation Jifrey Azor and other positive matters
    happening in the institution.

(Left picture) Midshipman Niño Copones, one of the TOMSP awardees poses for a souvenir photo with President Dante La. Jimenez , Mariners System’s Chairman Emeritus Eliza Lazaro Jimenez (in yellow shirt) and Dr. Lazaro after the thanksgiving Mass held at the school chapel. (Right picture) the Majorettes and Band give their winning performance in Bacoor City, Cavite in the recent National competition they won.

(Left picture) Aqua-sport sensation Midshipman Jifrey Azor showing his swimming prowess in an exhibition. (Right picture) The CGA-OTC Unit of MPCF-Camarines Sur in a formation after having been adjudged as the ‘Most Disciplined Unit’ at the Peñafrancia 2014 Military Parade competition.

It can be recalled that recently, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) have given MPCF-Camarines the Alpha qualification rating, putting Mariners in the TOP 35 Schools out of more than Eighty maritime institutions in the country today and granting it the ‘Maritime Higher Education Institution’ (MHEI) criterion.

Last year, Midshipman Mark Angelo Brillo, a maritime cadet from Mariners-Camarines Sur made it to the Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) while the exemplary performance of the school’s Band and Majorettes catapulted it to the Championship for the first time in the National Competition held in Bacoor City, Cavite.

All these things occur almost simultaneously and the Mariners community is thankful for all these blessings coming to the institution.

Mariners System takes pride in Midshipman Niño Copones
as one of the 2014 TOMSP

Midshipman Niño Copones (seated –3rd from left) of MPCF-Camarines Sur is flanked by fellow awardees from other maritime schools in the country and MARINA officials at the Ninoy Aquino stadium in Metro Manila during the TOMSP awards rites.

Metro Manila – Midshipman Niño C. Copones, a BS Marine Engineering Student of the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur has been chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) with the awarding ceremony held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Metro Manila on September 28, 2014.

Copones hails from the province of Camarines Norte. He is known to his instructors and colleagues as somebody who has leadership ability and has been consistent not only in his excellent academic performance but in other activities in which he is given responsibilities.

Every year, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) observes the National Seafarers Day in which one of its activities is the giving of awards to outstanding maritime students in the country after receiving the nominations from different maritime schools in the Philippines and after a rigid screening of the candidates has been made.

This is not the first time that a student from Mariners-Camarines Sur is given this prestigious award as recognition of the outstanding performance and achievement of a maritime cadet.

(Left picture) In last year’s TOMSP awarding ceremony, Midshipman Mark Angelo Brillo (in undress white uniform) is flanked by (left to right) – MPCF Cam Sur President Dante La. Jimenez, Board of Trustees Member Ms. Evita Jimenez and Misuga Kaiun Shipping company representative Mr. Kenzo Minagawa. (Right picture) Cadet Brillo (2nd from right) poses with other awardees during the rites held at the Philippine Sports Commission in Metro Manila.

In 2013, Mark Angelo Brillo became one of the 2013 TOMSP awardees, when he was a graduating (Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering) BSMARE student. Just like Midshipman Copones, he also made a mark as a promising cadet known for the achievements he has attained in his midshipman years.

MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez personally attended the awarding ceremonies. He acknowleged the achievements attained by students of the institution.

“Indeed, this is something that the Mariners community is proud of. It brings inspiration to the students as well as to the mentors who believe in the good things everyone is capable of achieving. This is also reflective of what Mariners as an institution is and this gives us the challenge to continue what we have started”, declared Commodore Jimenez.

Marinero wins 1st Place in on-the-spot Poster Making Contest at National Seafarers’ Week

Midshipman Alvin Alvaro (2nd from left) joins school officials and fellow awardee do the ‘thumbs-up’ sign after having been awarded the First Prize in the ‘on-the-spot Poster Making Contest’ held in Metro Manila. (Left to right) MPCF-Cam Sur VPAA Marian Her. Lazaro, Cadet Alvaro, TOMSP Awardee Niño Copones and President Dante La. Jimenez.

Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Metro Manila – Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur received a double honor at the celebration of the 19th National Seafarers’ Day held at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on September 28, 2014 when the entry submitted by Midshipman Alvin Alvaro at the On-The-Spot Poster Making Contest won First Prize.

The occasion was primarily set for the award rites for the Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) in which MPCF Camarines Sur’s Midshipman Niño Copones is one of the recipients.

Cadet Alvaro is a B.S. Marine Engineering student whose natural artistic talent made the judges of the contest decide unanimously that his entry be adjudged as the best among those submitted by participants coming from different maritime schools all over the country.

The theme of the poster making contest centered on the multi-faceted role of seafarers and their contribution towards the progress of the world.

Undeniably, seafarers play a major role and that includes the major world trading activities that without which, it could mean disaster to many of the economies of nations which are dependent on sea transportation in ferrying their goods anywhere in the world.

When asked on how he feels after winning the on-the-spot Poster Making Contest on the national level, Midshipman Alvaro said, “I treasure the value which the school has taught me and I thank the institution and my mentors for this. It is giving the best of what I can in every challenge I face. I am glad to bring home the honor to Mariners after my work has been given the top prize in this contest”.

Cadet Alvaro poses beside his winning entry at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium after his work has been adjudged as ‘The Best’.

MPCF-Cam Sur graduate lands 3rd Place in PRC’s Naval Architects & Marine Engineering Board Exam

Three different moods of Board Toptotcher ANA THERESA SIBULO MERCADO of Mariners-Camarines Sur who placed 3rd in the Naval Architects and Marine Engineering Board Examination given by the Professional Regulation Commission.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Mariners System exalts in another feat reached by one of its graduates who placed 3rd in the recently concluded Board Examination for Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Ana Theresa Sibulo Mercado, an Octoberian graduate of 2013 got 89.10% to capture the third highest grade in the test given by the Professional Regulation Commission on September 23, 2014.

This was confirmed by Ms. Marita B. Relloso, school College Registrar who said that Ms. Mercado has been a consistent achiever in her academic performance during her college days. She hails from San Isidro, Pamplona, Camarines Sur.

Board topnotchers and passers have always been a source of inspiration not only to the students and parents but as well as to the faculty members, the staff and administration.

“In the academe, we need models which students can look upon and follow their footsteps. We encourage all the time the good example and achievements set by our graduates for the undergraduates to emulate”, said School Registrar Marita Relloso.

Meanwhile, the administration also takes pride in other MPCF graduates who hurdled the same examination.

They are Cecilio Bacsain Bañaria, Jr., of San Vicente, Baao, Camarines Sur, a March 2013 graduate and Danilo Dapequilla Bolaños, Jr., of Comaguingking, Calabanga, Camarines Sur - another Octoberian graduate of 2013.

With this development, the administration of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Canaman, Camarines Sur led by President Dante La. Jimenez has sent congratulatory messages to the board topnotcher and other passers.

“For and in behalf of the students, faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees, I send my congratulations to Engrs. Mercado, Bañaria and Bolaños for having made it and more especially for Engr. Mercado who placed 3rd in the recent Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Board Examination. We are proud of you!”, President Jimenez confirmed.

Band and Majorettes of Mariners top 2014 national competition in Bacoor, Cavite

A scene in Bacoor, Cavite at the national competition of Bands and Majorettes. The victorious contingent of Mariners has bested 52 other groups coming from different parts of the country in the contest.

Bacoor City, Cavite – The composite team of Band and Majorettes from the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges/Foundation (MPC/F) in Naga City and Canaman Camarines Sur has carved another name for the institutions by garnering the highest honor in the recently concluded National Marching Band and Majorettes Competition held in this city on September 27, 2014.

Fresh from the victories in the street competitions during the 2014 Peñafrancia Festival, the MPC/F Band and Majorettes have made it again by outsmarting 52 other groups representing schools from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

It can be recalled that in 2013, Mariners got the First Prize after the schools participated in this event upon invitation from the City Tourism Office of Bacoor City to join the Bakood Festival, in which one of the features is the National Marching Band and Majorettes Competition. It coincided with the 343rd founding anniversary of the city.

President Dante La. Jimenez of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) and Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan, President of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges (MPC) Naga City were present in the occasion and personally received the award given to the composite team.

With Mariners System giving emphasis for its students the value of hard work and discipline which result to excellence, it is not surprising that the team got the top prize for the second consecutive year.

“Consistency in the best practices which the institution has been doing is the key to the series of victories we have been achieving”, says President Dr. Marilissa J. Ampuan of MPC-Naga.

The MPC/F Naga and Camarines Sur Majorettes and Band display their winning form in the recent Peñafrancia Festival street parade prior to their enagagement in Bacoor City, Cavite.

“These victories are reflective of the conscious effort of the Mariners System to observe the values it promotes in the school both in the academic and extra-curricular activities for the students. With discipline, the students are better trained in their formative years in college before they become professionals in their chosen fields of careers”, declared President Dante La. Jimenez of MPCF-Camarines Sur.

Fun and serious look at seafaring career mark Family Day at MPCF-Camarines Sur

(Left picture) Representatives of Veritas Maritime Corporation with 2/M Jay Alfaro (3rd from right) and Mr. Eufemio Eloriaga during the observance of Family Day for Mariners Camarines Sur Maritime Industry Scholars. Others in the picture are VPAA Marian Her. Lazaro (2nd from left) and VPA Napoleon Mangente (4th from left). (Right picture) The fun with the parlor games participated in by industry scholars.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – Parents and family members of Mariners Industry Scholars gathered together for a one day celebration of Family Day at the campus of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF), this province on September 30, 2014.

The day has been marked with fun, family bonding, interaction with school officials and most of all, the serious look and introspection into the seafaring careers by the scholars.

One of the features of the day was the giving of examination to applicants to the scholarship offered by Veritas Maritime Corporation. It also gave the students a deeper look into the work the scholars would soon be embarking after they graduate from their respective courses.

The parents and other family members had the chance to bond together and talk with instructors and school officials about the studies being undertaken by cadets who aspire to become seafarers, someday.

It used to be that school officials would go out of their way to look for institutions which can sponsor scholars to support poor but deserving students just so that they can pursue and finish college. Nowadays, it is the shipping companies who come to the Mariners schools to offer scholarship for those who will qualify.

Along this line, Vice President for Academic Affairs Marian Her. Lazaro has reiterated the importance of quality maritime education and the right attitude of students.

Students, particularly the industry scholars have learned to strike the right balance between fun and serious studies as the key towards a successful academic preparation before they embark on sea-vessels to become seafarers.

(Left picture) Students who qualified as scholars sign the Memorandun of Agreement (MOA) with the representatives of Veritas Maritime Corporation in the presence of school officials. (right picture) Parents had time for bonding with their sons and daughters during Family Day at Mariners Camarines Sur.

“This requirement is actually a challenge not only to the school administration but to the students, as well. The world-class standard started by the school Founder, the late Commodore Jaime C. Jimenez has to be sustained while students have to cope with the required compliance with international standards so they will not be left behind”, said VPAA Lazaro.

Meanwhile Vice President for Administration Napoleon Mangente underscored the role which parents play in inspiring their children to persevere and finish the course they have started.

“We have invited the parents and the immediate family members of the industry scholars to come to the campus on Family Day to show their support and concern to the cadets who struggle with their studies as they prepare for the careers they are bound to. It is important the parents have a first hand account of what their children are undergoing while preparing themselves to become maritime officers someday”, VPA Mangente added.

MPCF supports BAM-Cam Sur’s move to appoint provincial district coordinators

(Left picture) BAM-Camarines Sur Provincial Convenor Renne Gumba (center) in a conversation with Regional Convenor and MPCF President Dante Jimenez (left) as Philippine Daily Inquirer Correspondent Johnny Escandor looks on. (Right picture) Provincial Convenor Gumba (center) in a meeting with new BAM District Coordinators, left to right - Jun Bongat from the 4th District, Jun Nantes from the 3rd District, Convenor Renne Gumba, MPCF-VP for Administration Nap Mangente representing BAM Secretariat and Mateo Reboya from the 2nd District of the province.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) this province, with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) supports the Bicol Autonomy Movement (BAM) in Camarines Sur led by Provincial Convenor Renne Gumba in the announcement to organize the Movement in the District Level of the province.

This effort has been the result of what was taken-up in the Provincial Coordinators’ meeting in August 2014 held in Legazpi City, presided by BAM Regional Convenor Dante La. Jimenez which pointed to the direction of the creation of District Coordinators in the Bicol provinces for the Bicol Autonomy Movement.

For purposes of having clear designation of area coverage, it shall follow the division of Congressional Districts which will be the respective zone responsibility of a BAM District Coordinators.

“After more than five years of existence as a Movement, it is high time that we transfer to the next level, that is to have warm bodies in the provincial district levels taking care of the advocacy to keep it alive to as many Bicolanos as possible”, said Regional Convenor Dante Jimenez.

Included in the vision is to have it organized in the municipal and eventually to the barangay levels to make solid the advocacies designed for the betterment of the lives of Bicolanos whose plight has been adversely affected by a too-centralized form of governance that we have in the country today.

“A deeper understanding of the goals of BAM has to be brought-up to the barangay level so they can be understood, appreciated and supported by the ordinary Bicolano”, Jimenez added.

Camarines Sur Provincial Convenor Renne Gumba (extreme left) with Elmer Abad and Nap Mangente from the Secretariat of Bicol Autonomy Movement in one of BAM’s occasions attended by the group in Legazpi City.

Meanwhile, Camarines Sur Provincial Convenor Renne Gumba did not lose time in gathering potential District Coordinators from three (3) districts in the province. A meeting with them has been conducted in the last week of August 2014.

Convenor Gumba, as a political scientist believes that the time is ripe for Bicolanos to realize that the present form of governance does not really augur well with what the Bicolanos need.

“Bicolanos are short-changed when it comes to the just share they should receive from the natural resources which are in abundance in the Region and one of them is our being a source of renewable and cheap energy from the Geothermal plants. It is ironic that we suffer shortage of power supply while other regions enjoy the abundance coming from our area which could have been ours”, declared Renne Gumba.

The supporters of the Bicol Autonomy Movement swear there are more reasons for Bicolanos why this crusade should be supported and kept alive.