We use the term “kayod marino” to describe someone working extremely hard in performing backbreaking work. This term was attributed with how a “marino” or seafarer dutifully performs his work on board a marine vessel.
Many people envision life of a seafarer as an easy ride that comes with great luxuries for their families. Indeed, there are plenty of success stories of seafarers who have started with little, yet attained great wealth and success. While most people see the outcome of a seafarer’s hard work, what many miss to see are the challenges of being on deck.
Though they may not be able to express it directly, the lives of seafarers entail plenty of sacrifices. Read further to better understand their life on board.
While they explore other countries for free, they also suffer being away from their families for months or even years
Being a seafarer means riding on board a marine vessel which travels to different parts of the world, allowing them to see different countries and meet people of different nationalities. Being on board however also means spending time away from their homes and their loved ones throughout the duration of their contract which ranges from months to years on end. Luckily, the use of technology has made communicating with loved ones easier and more convenient, making seafarers feel like they are still home.
They have to work despite drastic weather conditions
Rain or shine, work must go on for our hardworking seafarers. Unlike work suspensions for those in public and private offices, the operations in marine vessels must continue with operations 24/7 regardless of the weather. They typically endure typhoons, strong waves, extreme hot and cold weather, and the changes of the seasons, all while performing their duties in and out of the vessel. This is all in a day’s work for a seafarer striving hard to earn a living for his family.
Working on board a ship may cause health issues
The combination of their busy work load and schedule, changing weather conditions, and exposure to different kinds of surroundings make seafarers vulnerable to disease, requiring them to take extra caution when it comes to their health. Additionally, they do not usually follow the regular 8 to 5 schedule, and are required to work whenever needed, especially during emergencies. They can be called to duty in the dead hours of the night, leaving them barely enough time to sleep. This sacrifice that seafarers endure speaks greatly of what they are able to overcome for the sake of making a living and providing for their loved ones.
Mental health issues can also arise from working away at sea
Life at sea can make communication difficult for seafarers, making it hard for them to draw emotional strength from their loved ones. In this regard, family members are encouraged to constantly communicate their moral support to their seafarer relatives. Kind words and positive reinforcement can go a long way in motivating seafarers and strengthening their mental health.
With most of their time spent on deck, holidays and birthdays are often spent at work
Similar to other overseas Filipino Workers with different careers in different countries, seafarers endure being away from their families, missing important days like birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. They make up for their long absence in periods between their contracts which last from months up to a year, allowing them to spend the much needed bonding time with their family, friends, and relatives.
It’s a high-paying job that also comes with high risks
There is no doubt that working as a seafarer comes with great perks, including high income sufficient to provide for your family’s needs and wants. What many don’t realize however is that in line with the great rewards are also equally great risks. Aside from the risk of contracting diseases, there is also great risk of encountering accidents while on board, and even the threat of encountering pirates. The proper management of the marine vessels and its crew members ensure smooth sailing in all its operations. Also in effect is the Seafarers Protection Act or RA 10706 which protects seafarers from excessive legal fees arising from illness, accidents of death; and secure the best possible terms and conditions of their employment.
While life as a seafarer is difficult, friendships forged with fellow crew members help make it easier to get by
Indeed, life as a seafarer can bring many challenges, but despite all these, their enduring spirit remains ready to work and give their family a better life. While homesickness may occasionally strike, they are able to find happiness within the friendships they form with their fellow crew members. Even after their contracts are finished and they will no longer be on deck, the friendships they have forged go on to last a lifetime.
SM Cares salutes all hardworking seafarers for the countless sacrifices they have made for their family and for the nation. They are looked up to as one of our country’s great heroes for the significant contribution to strengthening our country’s economy. In support of all seafarers and their families nationwide, the SM Global Pinoy Center Card can be availed offering exclusive discounts, and access to the SM Global Pinoy Center which provides free internet services, international voice calls, BDO Remittance Pick-up services, and Foreign Exchange services by the SM Department Store.
Be a member today, and visit this page for more information: http://smglobalpinoy.com/about-us/how-to-be-a-member.