Share this post

Photo by Jorge Gardner on Unsplash

Seafarers are notorious for having a woman in every port—we find out if there’s truth to the tales.

Marvin Lagdaman, 36 years old, AB

Para sa akin, bilang isang seaman ng mahigit sampung taon, isa ito sa tanong na talaga namang nakakabit na kapag nalaman nilang isa kang seaman. Sa sampung taon na yun, naranasan ko magkaroon ng iba’t ibang babae, sa bawat pagdaong sa bawat lugar. Siyempre may mga makikilala ka at dahil nalulungkot ka. Pero dumating din ako sa point na nag-decide akong tigilan na ito—naisip ko may asawa akong sigurado naman akong mahal ko, at mga anak na malaking dahilan ng aking pagtatrabaho. Kaya sabi ko sa sarili ko panahon na para itama ang pagkakamali ko—mahal ko ang pamilya ko at ayaw kong saktan ang asawa ko na talaga namang napatunayan kong labis akong minamahal dahil sa kabila ng pag amin kong nagkamali nga ako ay tinanggap pa din ako at mas lalo pa akong minahal.

(Being a seaman for more than a decade, this is a question that people immediately ask when they find out you are a seaman. In the 10 years I spent at sea, I experienced having different women when we dock in every country. You do it because you’re lonely. But I got to a point when I decided to stop—I thought about my wife, whom I was sure I loved, and my kids who are the reasons why I chose to work as a seafarer. So I told myself that it was time to right this wrong I committed—I love my family and I don’t want to hurt my wife who has proven that she really did love me, even when I finally admitted what I did. She still accepted me and loved me even more.)

Gary Tungkay, 48 years old, Second Officer

Sigurado akong iniisip ng marami na kapag seaman ka, “sea-manloloko ka”. Iba’t ibang babae—babae dito, babae doon. Pero ako, kahit kailan hindi ko sinubukan yan. Hindi ko ito sinasabi dahil nagmamalinis ako, pero simple lang naman ang prinsipyo ko sa buhay: kapag totoong mahal mo ang iyong pamilya, lalo na ang iyong asawa, kahit mahabang panahon at matagal pa kayong hindi magkita at maghiwalay, hinding hindi mo magagawang ito’y lokohin dahil mahal mo siya. Kaya mo nga siya pinakasalan eh—upang mahalin ng walang katulad at magpakailanman.

(I’m sure many think that when you’re a seaman, you’re a player. Different women here, there and everywhere. But not once did I follow that lifestyle. I’m not saying I’m faultless, but I follow a simple principle in life: If you truly love your family, especially your wife, then even if you go a long time without seeing each other, then you wouldn’t do anything to hurt her because you love her. That is why you married her—to love her like no other.)

Joseph, 28, Oiler

Ako, nasa ganyang stage ako ngayon. Ewan ko ba at hindi ko maiwasan eh. Parang automatic na sakin na pag nag-dock kami, nag-iisip at naghahanap na kaagad ako ng babae. Alam ko namang mali—siyempre may naiwan akong girlfriend. Kaya lang ewan ko ba, hindi ko talaga maiwasan.

(I’m at that stage now. I don’t know why but I can’t avoid it. It’s automatic to me that when we dock, I think about it and look for women immediately. I know it’s wrong—I have a girlfriend back home. But I don’t know, I just can’t avoid it.)

Anonymous

Ako, minsan ginagawa, minsan hindi naman. Parang kapag naisipan, ganoon lang. Pero kaya naman ng wala, at saka naiisip ko rin na delikado.

(Me, I do it sometimes. If I feel like it, then go. But I can actually do without it, and I also thinkabout how dangerous it could be.)

 

Previously published in Seafarer Asia, August 2013. Seafarer’s Anecdotes. Story by Bianca Peralta.