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L-R: E/C Veridiano (UCLM), D/C Torreliza (BMA), D/C Ulep, D/C Pajarillo (MAAP-IMMAJ), D/C Buenaventura, D/C Araya (JBLCF-Bacolod), D/C Bretana (JBLFMU-Arevalo), E/C Bibera (JBLFMU-Molo), D/C Catacutan (UV-Main), D/C Gorantes (JBLFMU-Arevalo)

The Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines (TOMSP) were awarded last September 29, 2019 at the Paco Arena, Manila in celebration of the 24th National Seafarers’ Day, which has the theme “Empowering women in the maritime industry.”

TOMSP, for nine years and running, honors promising maritime professionals from all over the Philippines, selecting those who excel in academics, leadership, and community involvement. The following students emerged as victors this year:

  • D/C ZAYBER ARAYA, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation – Bacolod
  • E/C PETER MATTHEW BIBERA, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Molo
  • D/C RYAN ANTHONY BRETANA, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Arevalo
  • D/C JOHN KEVIN BUENAVENTURA, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation – Bacolod
  • D/C WILLIAM CATACUTAN, University of the Visayas – Main Campus
  • D/C MA. TOIZA GORANTES, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University – Arevalo
  • D/C KEITH AIKEN PAJARILLO, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific – IMMAJ Campus
  • D/C ALDRIN ULEP, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific – IMMAJ Campus
  • D/C CHRISTIAN KHEN TORRELIZA, Baliwag Maritime Academy
  • E/C DUSTIN RYAN VERIDIANO, University of Cebu – Lapu Lapu and Mandaue

They were joined by 15 other finalists who also underwent the same screening process, including paper screening and deliberation of documents submitted, essay writing, theoretical examination, project proposal, and two panel interviews.

The finalists were brought to Calatagan, Batangas from September 24 to 26 to participate in a formation program  which was centered on values clarification, leadership development, team building, and advocacy campaign. This was the first time that TOMSP had an out-of-town activity, and also the first formation program organized for the finalists.

An awarding luncheon was also held at AMOSUP Convention Center in Intramuros on September 29, 2019 where both the winners and finalists were recognized. Third Engineer Dyesebel Diaz, a recipient of the MARINA Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, delivered a keynote speech highlighting the essence of community service and women empowerment in the maritime world.

The theme for this year’s search is #BeyondSeafaring which encourages seafarers to reach out more to their community, pursue other passions, and advocate for causes closest to them. It also campaigns for #SeaForAll – which promoted the advancement of women empowerment and gender equality.

Western Union directed the search under the leadership of Mr. Aries Gamboa in partnership with GOLD Foundation, IMEC, and The Outstanding Maritime Students of the Philippines Alumni Community. Major sponsors include St. Nicholas Review Center, Integrated Maritime, AMOSUP, Philippine Coast Guard, Seaker, and MY San Monde.

The ten awardees received a plaque, gift pack, and 15,000 pesos cash from Western Union, a review scholarship from St. Nicholas Review Center, and a gift pack from Seaker.

L-R D/C Araya, Zayber (JBLCF-Bacolod), D/C Catacutan, Willam (UV-Main), D/C Bretana, Ryan Anthony (JBLFMU-Arevalo), D/C Pajarillo, Keith Aiken (MAAP-IMMAJ), D/C Torreliza, Christian Khen (BMA), Lissy Relove Cruz (Marketing Manager – WU Philippines), D/C Gorantes, Ma. Toiza (JBLFMU-Arevalo), Rev. Fr. Paulo Prigol (AOS Director & Chaplain / NSD Chairman), Aries Gamboa (Project Director – TOMSP, Program Manager – WU-Philippines), E/C Bibera, Petter Matthew (JBLFMU-Molo), D/C Buenaventura, Kevin (JBLCF-Bacolod), E/C Veridiano, Dustin Ryan (UCLM), D/C Ulep, Aldrin (MAAP-IMMAJ)

The 9th batch of TOMSP composed of the 25 finalists is named “Makulay” as a celebration of diversity and gender equality.

Elijah Jose Barrios

Elijah Jose Barrios is a 24-year old Third Officer, Teacher, and Course Developer. He advocates for child literacy and youth empowerment through his involvement in different organizations.  He considers himself an appreciator of any form of art and usually puts all his realizations into writing.