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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.


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.


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

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.


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

The MPC/F Band and Majorettes (Naga and Canaman) performing with the morning show's hosts of Umagang Kay Ganda on September 30, 2014 after winning the National Competition held at Bacoor, Cavite (photo credits Umagang Kay Ganda Official FB Page)

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.


Jurors say MPCF-Camarines Sur CGA-OTC contingent is Most Disciplined Unit

The Mariners-Camarines Sur’s CGA-OTC unit with its officers and men in their trade mark performance, earning them the title - ‘The Most Disciplined’ ROTC Unit at the 2014 Peñfrancia Festival Street Military Parade competition.

Canaman, Camarines Sur – The Coast Guard Auxiliary- Officer Training Corps (CGA-OTC) Unit of Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camarines Sur has been adjudged as “Most Disciplined Unit’ in the 2014 Peñafrancia Festival Street Military Parade Competition held on September 19, 2014, this city.


Midshipman Jifrey Azor
Swimming Sensation of MPCF conquering the world


Mid. Jifrey Azor with his team mates after winning in the South Africa International Swimming Competition.
He won Bronze in the 50m Back Stroke.

at Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Midshipman Jifrey Azor of MPCF conquers Bangkok with gold in swimming competition

Midshipman Jifrey Azor (2nd from left – standing) with Ms.Susan Papa (3rd from left in black shirt), President of the Philippine Swimming League as they pose for a souvenir photo in Bangkok, Thailand with some of the members of the Philippine Swimming team.

Bangkok, Thailand – Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) Camariner Sur’s swimming sensation Midshipman Jifrey Azor has shown his potential, this time as an international athlete by winning two gold and one silver medals in the Royal Bangkok Sports Club 5th Invitational Swimming Championship held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 30 and December 1, 2013.

In a report received by Mariners System, Commodore Dante La. Jimenez, President of MPCF Camarines Sur confirmed the recent victories won by Azor which include gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke & in relay swimming, another silver medal and a trophy, with him having been adjudged as one of the ‘Most Outstanding Swimmer’ in the event.

It can be recalled that Azor excelled in swimming contests before this tournament such as the Ibalong Festival In Guinobatan, Albay and in the Jorge ‘ER’ Ejercito Cup in Sta Cruz, Laguna held in October and November, respectively this year.

Before he left for Thailand, Cadet Azor joined the National Swimming Competition on November 23 and 24, 2013 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium sponsored by the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) where he won two (2) gold medals – one in the 100-meter free style and another in the 100-meter backstroke. He was also awarded with a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke and in the 50-meter freestyle.

Midshipman Jifrey Azor (2nd from left) poses with his ‘adoring fans’ from among the MPCF school officials before he enplaned for Thailand to participate in the Southeast Asian swimming competition

With all these winnings, Azor has now qualified to join the swimming competition to be held in South Africa in 2014.

Meanwhile, Midshipman Romeo Galvez, Jr., a team-mate of Azor is showing his prowess in the swimming sports. He landed 7th place in the 100-meter breaststroke in the national competition in the event held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. With more training, Galvez is expected to show a more excellent performance in this sport.

“Talking of potentials, aside from Azor and Galvez, there are others who can be trained and can be converted into world-class athletes from among the students of Mariners”, says Coach Rowen Casaul who is in-charge of molding the amateur swimmers of the school to excel.

“With the full support given by the school administration to these budding swimmers, it is not far-fetched that more of our students would find their mark in the level of excellence when it comes to swimming as a sport”, declared Sports Coordinator Ram Tolaram of Mariners-Camariner Sur.

Six Southeast Asian nations namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunie, Hong Kong and the Philippines participated in the swimming event.

“The Mariners System community rejoices with pride in this new feat attained by JIFREY AZOR as this is inspiring to the students & school and to all the Bicolanos, as well”, declares Commodore Dante Jimenez, President of Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Camarines Sur.

Azor brings home the bacon

Last November 23-24, 2013, Midn. Jiffrey Azor won golds once again as he compete in the national swimming competition sponsored by the Philippines Swimming League at Rizal Memorial Stadium. He bags the prizes in the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke. Furtheremore, he broke PSL record in the 100m backstroke.

Azor also received Silver medals in 100meter breaststroke and in 50 meter freestyle. Together with his victory is another Marinero, Midn. Romeo Galvez, who landed 7th place in the 100 meter breaststroke.

Azor now qualifies for the 2015 UNIVERSIADE or the World University Games - considered as the Olympics of colleges and universities with 166 member countries.

He also qualifies for the 2014 swimming competition in South Africa.

Azor will be representing the country in another international swimming competition in Bangkok, Thailand this coming November 30-December 1, 2013. The event is Thailand’s Southeast Asian swimfest. He will be joining the rest of the Philippine Swimming League's officials. In a recent statement from the school’s Sports Coordinator Ram Tolaram, he confirmed Cadet Azor’s participation as one of the members of the Philippine swimming team while he also represents Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Camarines Sur.

It can be recalled that Azor had brought home gold medals from several recent swimming events this year such as the Ibalong Festival in September (sponsored by the provincial government of Albay), the Governor ER Ejercito Cup in Sta. Cruz, Laguna held in the month of October and other earlier competitions in which he grabbed gold medals that catapulted him to be included in the national swimming team.

A rigid training under the guidance of MPCF varsity coach Rowen Casaul is on-going as part of his preparation for the forthcoming international championship.

Azor is not taking his training lightly as he anticipates his opponents to be equally well-prepared for the fight. “Players from other Southeast Asian countries participating in the contest cannot be taken for granted as they also have their own strategies ready. What I guaranty to the school is it can count on me that I will give the best of what I can”, declared Azor.

Meanwhile, the administration has assured him of the school’s logistic and moral support. “Just like in previous games in which he represented Mariners, we gave our wholehearted support just as he is about to compete again at the end of the month. His victories have brought honor to the institution and inspiration to the students as he makes us proud to have him as a Marinero”, MPCF President Dante La. Jimenez stated.

“The devastation brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda to our countrymen in Central Visayas gives me additional strenght and courage to do my best as I represent not only my school but also my countrymen and the Phillipines”, Cadet Jifrey Azor added. ###

Midshipman Mark Angelo Brillo
Outstanding Maritime Cadet

Midshipman Mark Angelo Brillo (in undress white uniform) 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 at the awards rites

Mark Angelo Brillo is one of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) awardees, a graduating (Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering) BSMARE cadet from Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Camarines Sur. As a promising maritime cadet, he is now known thru the achievements he has attained in his midshipman years.

Below is the narrative, submitted to the search committee of the TOMSP award-giving body on Midn. Brillo.

‘A death of a father at a young age is unbearable. But behind his father’s death, he still pursues to do the best for the sake of his mother and as a promise given to his deceased father that he will uplift the status in life of his family. With this, he is offering all his achievements to his father while he longs for the love and care he always wanted to feel from his beloved Papa.’

Midn. Mark Angelo Bustarga Brillo is proving to the world that he can overcome all the challenges that life may bring. These challenges helped him to be molded from boyhood to manhood. What and where he is today are the fruits of his labor which he now starts to harvest.

If Western Union has the slogan “Moving money for better”, for Midn. Brillo it is “Moving forward for the better” and this is his way of surmounting all the difficulties so that he will not to be discouraged by his past.

Mark Angelo is a nineteen year old graduating student, taking up Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering at Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Baras, Canaman, Camarines Sur. He is one of the grantees of the Development Bank of the Philippines Endowment for Education Program (DEEP) which supports financially disadvantaged individuals yet determined to finish their studies and pursue their dreams in life.

The awardee proudly holds the plaque given him in recognition of his being one of the
2013 Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) at the Philippine Sports Commission in Metro Manila

As a DEEP scholar, he is also qualified to be an engine cadet of the Maine Marine Philippines Inc. and the Misuga Kaiun Co. Ltd. of Japan under the cadetship program. One of the requirements for scholars is to stay in the dormitory while taking the course at the 2-storey ELJ building built for the purpose. He is one of the students which the school trains and develops as he is a prime cadet who has the potential to achieve global competence and skill.

He belongs to DEEP Batch-003 Class KALASAG where camaraderie, cooperation, coordination and commitment are the integrating forces while guided by their motto “Determinasyon, Dedikasyon, Disiplina” (Determination, Dedication and Discipline). For the past two years of his stay in the dormitory, he was evaluated to be one of the high performing cadets by being a consistent first honor student from first year to second year.

At present, he is one of the Officer-On-Watch (OOW) of MIS taking full responsibility, pledge and duty in training, managing and fostering his co-scholars in the dormitory through his supportive and enthusiastic superiors.

Mark Angelo’s humble beginnings started when was born on April 26, 1994 at San Isidro, Baao, Camarines Sur. He is the sixth among the seven (7) children of Romeo B. Brillo and Elvihilda C. Bustarga. His father was a farmer and his mother a food vendor. The combined earnings of his parents were the main source of income for his family. Both of his parents did not finish school. Due to poverty, his father went only as far as Grade 4 while his mother reached second year high school. The financial handicap did not hinder Midn. Brillo to continue dreaming. At an early age, he helped his mother sell native delicacies or “kakanin” to nearby houses to augment the family income.

He also helped his parents cook street food and viands which were sold in the afternoon in places nearby. This was the source of their everyday income and just enough to survive in a day.

Despite this economic condition at home, he excelled in class. Admittedly, there were times he did not want to attend classes anymore because money at home was not enough for their basic subsistence but he told himself to go on and as a result, despite the handicap, still he managed to be a consistent honor student.

One day his beloved father was diagnosed to have heart disease which developed other health complications. His family can’t provide for the needed health services and medicine. His father was dying at a faster rate; one of the reasons for this was the financial setback the family was in.

After four months with the lingering illness, his father finally succumbed to the heart ailment he had. At that time, Midn. Brillo was 12 years old and about to graduate in his elementary grades. This unexpected turn of event gave the family new additional burdens to hurdle – the sadness of the loss of a loved-one and the prevailing financial crisis.

This heavy situation in the family did not give Midn. Brillo a reason to give up. On the contrary, he passionately finished his remaining months in the elementary school and proved that he can reach the top. He graduated as Class Valedictorian of batch 2007 of Baao Central School. This distinction made his family proud.

Daunting poverty and without a father, Midn. Brillo had to survive working as a houseboy, doing chores just to pursue his high school education. He took and passed the scholarship examination and was accepted in the school’s Special Science Class.

This stint did not come easy as every day, he had to wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast and do other work in the house. He learned to save part of his daily allowance so there would be an amount left for his school projects and other expenses. He also had the experience of being bullied in school by classmates older than him but he just ignored them. He wondered and asked himself on how he can survive his high school studies. He admits his strong faith in the Almighty has strengthened and inspired him to move forward for the sake of fulfilling his dream for the family.

After finishing his first year in high school, he enrolled for his second year in another school, this time at the Baao National High School. There, he qualified in the Science and Math Oriented Curriculum section where the students had stiff academic competition. He was able to adjust swiftly and coped with the requirements.

He proved to everyone that he could have straight ‘A’ grades despite poverty. While in high school, he continued to sell “kakanin” to his classmates. He accepted other odd work and did encoding and lay-outing and took part-time tutorial jobs in to support himself – a move which later-on, he learned was appreciated by people in the neighborhood.

He became active in different school and community involvement. He got himself in various projects such as Tree Planting, Clean-up Drive and Landscaping activities in the school. As an active CAT Officer, Mark also managed the community service activities of the group especially during Saturdays. He was declared as the Division Champion in 2010 Science Quest in Science Quiz Level IV. He represented the province of Camarines Sur in the regional level of the contest.

Mark is a sincere, prudent and diligent student whose work and study ethics became a constant inspiration to others. He excelled in his academic studies and stands among the best in his class. In his three years stay in the school he was recognized as among the best.

Again, he graduated as Class Valedictorian in 2011, this time in high school. The achievements he garnered since his elementary grades and up to the secondary level were the rewards of his undying determination not to give-up and still be the best in the face of adversities. He passed the UPCAT and PMMA qualifying examinations. He could have stopped schooling because of financial constraint but by Devine Providence, Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Camarines Sur granted him a scholarship. He entered MPCF as a scholar. There, he learned to live away from his family. His way of life changed as he started to attend regimental trainings while aspiring to be the top contender in his maritime engineering course.

Initially, he thought of not pursuing the program anymore because of pressure and the homesickness he felt as it was his first time to be away from home. There was an instance in which he cried and requested his mother to just allow him to go home. However, he realized that should he quit the scholarship program, he would become a burden to his mother and to the family. The lapse of time has made him stronger and the desire to live a better life in the days ahead has made him a determined man to go on and finish what he has started with flying colors.

As a maritime student, Midn. Brillo has exhibited admirable traits of a leader and as a team player. Now, he is recognized as a student who knows how to balance academics and trainings. Being away from his family has given him the chance to decide for himself and manage his day-to-day activities. He was entrusted by his senior officers to head committees every time there are school events.

Midshipman Mark Angelo Brillo (2nd from right) together with the other 9 TOMSP awardees

Western Union’s role as one of the sponsors of the prestigious annual celebration of the National Seafarers Day made Midn. Brillo even more inspired and motivated by the company’s advocacy to recognize Maritime cadets’ outstanding performances even in the face of hardships and difficulties.

Mark Angelo Bustarga Brillo’s consistent performance as outstanding leader, his outstanding scholastic achievements, steadfast commitment and dedication has made him a worthy awardee for Western Union’s search for the Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) for the year 2013. ###


Elsevier Foundation Awards 2013 Grants to Champion Libraries in Developing Countries and Women in Science

December 9th, 2013
$700,000 awarded to Innovative Libraries, New Scholars and Nurse Faculty Programs

Amsterdam, December 9, 2013

The Elsevier Foundation announced today the 2013 grant recipients for the Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries and New Scholars award programs. In total, $700,000 has been committed to ten institutions around the world in addition to five ongoing multiyear grants and the Nurse Faculty program. The Elsevier Foundation is funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

“We are always on the lookout for game-changing projects that can serve as models with lasting impact on our health and science communities,” said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation and Senior Vice President Global Communications, Elsevier. “This year, we’ve identified some very compelling new opportunities to support big data, research capacity building, transparency and evidence-based medicine in the developing world. Our New Scholars grants focus on boosting team science diversity and innovation, targeting STEM inclusion in community colleges and a unique tropical health partnership between Portuguese speaking women scientists in Africa and their Portuguese counterparts. We are excited to able to add these excellent projects to the Foundation’s record of support for advancing science and health in new and innovative ways.”

Innovative Libraries

The Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries program awards grants to libraries for innovation in improving access and use of scientific, technical and medical information. The 2013 library grant recipients address real developing world issues through the use of STM information resources and include:

  • Author Capacity Building in Africa, Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University
  • Towards the Collaborative repository for Ethiopian academic and research institutions, Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) and African Digital Library Support Network (ADLSN).
  • Library Information Resources to Enhance the University of Ghana, School of Public Health Program, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Strengthening education, research and practice in emergency care: Information skills integration in the Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative, Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan Library
  • Developing a Globally Connected LIBRARY 4 SAFE SEAFARING (L4SS), Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation, Philippines

Joy Paulson, Director, TEEAL Project and International Projects Librarian, Cornell University, remarked, “We are very excited to receive support from the Elsevier Foundation for the development and implementation of our author capacity building program. Building on the access to Research4Life and TEEAL and the e-resources training connected to them, this new program will focus on developing the skills to enable young faculty in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Malawi to publish the results of their research in international journals. In the long run, this will ensure that the results of African agricultural research are disseminated more widely.”

New Scholars

The New Scholars Program supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers and addresses the attrition rate of talented women scientists. The 2013 grants include:

Strengthening Team Science & Work Life Satisfaction in the UC System, University of California Santa Barbara
African Network of Portuguese speaking women in Tropical Health, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Portugal
Cambridge Equality Collaboration: Advancing Women in Science within & beyond Cambridge, University of Cambridge
Motivating Enrollment of Women into STEM Majors, LaGuardia Community College
Womens IS Network, Worcester Polytechnic University

Jeremy Sanders, the University of Cambridge’s Pro-Vice Chancellor said, “The New Scholars funding from Elsevier is very welcome as it will enable us to expand and extend some of our most exciting collaborative gender equality projects over the next two years. The University of Cambridge is committed to supporting the advancement of women in STEMM disciplines in recruitment, retention and promotion. Our aim is to develop the best possible practice in this area and the funding from Elsevier will allow us to continue this innovative and partnership work.”

In 2013, the Elsevier Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Program committed to an additional multiyear grant (2014-2016) to Sigma Theta Tau International Foundation for Nursing to continue developing an 18 month leadership academy and alleviate the nursing faculty shortage through retaining and transitioning new nurse educators to the faculty role. # # #

About The Elsevier Foundation

The Elsevier Foundation is a corporate charity funded by Elsevier, a global provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The Elsevier Foundation provides grants to knowledge centered institutions around the world, with a focus on developing world libraries, nurse faculty and scholars in the early stages of their careers. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than 60 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations working in these fields. Through gift-matching, the Foundation also supports the efforts of Elsevier employees to play a positive role in their local and global communities. www.elsevierfoundation.org

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby’s Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, helping research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world leading provider of professional information solutions. The group employs more than 30,000 people, including more than 15,000 in North America. Reed Elsevier Group plc is owned equally by two parent companies, Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. Their shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RUK and ENL.

Media contact
Ylann Schemm
Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager, Elsevier
+31 (0) 20 485 2025