A way to celebrate Christmas

Simulating a holiday journey aboard L4SS “cruise ship” docked at Mariners “island” during an incoming storm

Posing behind a huge mural of the L4SS simulated cruise ship are some of the employees who joined the Christmas celebration with the MPCF Canaman Camarines Sur Board members led by the Chairperson Emeritus, Madame Eliza L. Jimenez (center) with the CEO Dr Marilisa Ampuan, Dr, Gabriel L Jimenez, former Board chairperson, Evita L Jimenez who initiated the L4SS Project and Dr. Luz Lazaro (in dark eye glasses).

CANAMAN, Camarines Sur-It was not just a day of fun, with the usual songs and dances and gift-giving. What gave life and soul to last December’s Christmas celebration was the MPCF Canaman employees’ way of showing sheer guts and talents to make the holiday spirit more alive despite the threat of an incoming storm last December 18, 2015.

Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Canaman, this province filled the campus with laughter and entertainment as they celebrated the annual Christmas Party at the JC Jimenez Multi-Purpose Gymnasium. The Library for Safe Seafaring (L4SS), a project of the MPCF with the support of a grant from the Elsevier Foundation to institutionalize the use of the upgraded library as a valuable learning facility for quality maritime education and training, set up a huge tarpaulin inside the gym showing a mock cruise ship which became an instant hit among the employees and students who took “selfies” and group photos among themselves against the colorful background.

The Christmas celebration began with a make believe story about a cruise ship with Mariners employees onboard for a holiday journey when an impending typhoon forced it to make an emergency docking at the Mariners “island.” The Mariners Island was the entire gymnasium quickly converted as the venue for the holiday celebration with festive banners and decorative Christmas accessories. Catering sumptuous healthy delicious foods was provided by JaimEliza, a sister company of Mariners and a program of songs, dances and games livened up the occasion by the emcees Public Affairs Officer, Elmer Abad and Dante Florendo.

The program followed the school’s celebration of “Alay Para Kay Boboy”- a traditional community gift giving and feeding project for poor children that serves as a regular corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity of the Mariners System to commemorate the death anniversary of Engr. Jaime “Boboy” Jimenez, its first academic vice president.

The Christmas program kicked off with a prayer and opening remarks by VP for Administration Napoleon Mangente. To boost the party’s spirit of fun, different presentations of various groups provided entertainment to all the employees who attended the party.


Song and dance numbers were performed to show the “hidden talents” of the employees including the Maritime Instructors and department heads. Holiday messages from the Board of Trustees were delivered in between the presentations. BOT president Dr. Gabriel Jimenez and former Board Chairperson and health advocate Ms. Evita Jimenez who initiated the setting up of the L4SS ship mural as a fitting backdrop, announced that despite the threat of rains and gloomy weather outside the venue, “the program must go on.” They also stressed the importance of unity and sharing not just in a family but also in an institution like Mariners. MPCF Chief Executive Officer Dr. Marilissa Ampuan also gave short yet very meaningful message to the employees and at the same time was able to heighten the excitement of the attendees when she mentioned the big prizes at stake for all employees during the raffle. All employees joined the raffle and brought home special prizes, “Walang uuwing luhaan” (nobody goes home sad), as the popular Filipino saying goes.


But it was the courageous display of talents and daringness from the performers who brought the house down during the program. In the presentation of the different departments, new innovative styles were shown by the groups: Maritime instructors went native and Pinoy by dancing the traditional Tinikling, while others wowed the crowd as charming lover boys, pretty much like the famous British boy band One Direction. One group decided to go daring but fabulous with their Lady Gaga costumes and choreography. Other groups chose to keep it simple with pure singing and dancing skills.

The gimmicks were special but what caught the attention of the Christmas celebrants was BS MarE Department Head Engr. Limuel Gasco’s powerful rendition of the Christmas Classic, “Oh, Holy Night.”

Adding fun to the party’s atmosphere were parlor games facilitated by Ms. Yvette Bimeda of the College Guidance Office and Ms. Eden Arenas of Office of Research and Extension Services (ORES). The games included Marshmallow Tower-Making, Giraffe Straw, Picture Perfect, Banana Eating and Egg Catching (the last two games were suggested and prizes were contributed by the CEO).


Capping the Christmas celebration was the continuation of raffle rounds with big prizes including home appliances like a desk fan, washing machine, microwave oven, turbo broiler and LED Television and Personal Refrigerator - the grand prizes for the lucky winners. Dr. Gabriel Jimenez, Ms. Marian Lazaro, Dr. Edgar Despi and Ms. Jenara Delfino facilitated the distribution of gift certificates after the raffle. Some employees also participated in the traditional Exchange Gifts activity led by Human Resource Department (HRD) Head, Mr. Jesus Santiago Sarte and HRD Secretary Ms. Lilibeth Salvosa. Madame Eliza Jimenez and Dr Luz Lazaro gamely participated in the fun and laughter until the end of the program when group photo sessions resumed against the backdrop of the huge L4SS cruise ship mural.

The administration as well as the faculty and staff of MPCF are hoping for more successful years with more fun and meaningful activities for the entire MPCF Community. CAS