Our seafarers are guided by the Lady of the Sea, si Mama Mary. She is a mother who protects her children, especially when things get spiritually or emotionally difficult.
There are at least a thousand Pinoy seafarers infected with HIV and the number is growing fast.
My mother is Pinay but I really grew up with my Lola in Nueva Vizcaya. I was bullied my entire childhood. I wasn’t 6’2 yet. My classmates called me all sorts of names – negro and others. It hurt.
People all over know me as Kapitana Che Javellana, the first-ever Filipina shipmaster. Because I’ve dedicated myself wholeheartedly to my career, I’ve reached a point where people see me as a symbol.
When you’re a stay-in cadet, para ka nang nasa barko. You’re already away from your loved ones and whatever liberties you used to enjoy – going to the mall, eating at fancy restaurants, meeting your friends – you’ll have to give up.
Alam mo, sa dagat ko nahanap ang aking higher calling. Nung unang sakay ko, I casually joined a Bible study group. Ang plano ko kasi after my first voyage, iiwan na ang aking girlfriend at the time at maging fulltime at single seaman nalang.