A Museum For Filipino Seafarers

The Philippines has been considered as the “manning capital of the world” for the maritime industry. That should not come as a surprise as Filipinos comprise the majority of the world’s 1.5 million strong maritime personnel at more than 25%, largest for any nationality. The hard work, the loneliness being at sea for months, and the other sacrifices our Filipino seafarers have made for their families and to the country cannot be stressed hard enough.

Sadly, their contributions seem to be overlooked as the general public do not seem to have an idea as to what the Filipino seafarers go through in their job at sea. Come to think of it, the maritime industry has not been given that much appreciation either. Which is why it is nice to hear that there are place the public can visit to appreciate the contributions of the Filipino seafarers in the maritime industry, which is the where the Urban Roamer is headed for in this entry.

The place in question is the Museo Marino, the only museum in the country, and one of the few in the world, which is dedicated to the maritime industry. In particular, this museum pays tribute to the Filipino seafarers and the work that they do at sea.

Behind the conceptualization of the Museo Marino is the Associated Maritime Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), a prominent seafarers’ union in the country. Another union, the All Japan Seamen’s Union (AJSU) which is a prominent Japan-based maritime union, helped out in the conceptualization of the facility.

bust of Capt. Gregorio Oca, the founder of AMOSUP

The museum opened in April 2012 as part of the expansive AMOSUP facility in Malate which also boasts a sports complex, among other facilities and offices catering to the welfare of seafarers. While the museum itself occupies a single level in the whole facility, it feels huge thanks to the high ceilings and the vast floor area it occupies.

Inside the museum, one can find replicas of the types of vessels many Filipino seafarers serve on, from cargo vessels to car carrier ships. There are also the instruments and other equipment used by seafarers, providing a good idea of what it is like inside a vessel.

And of course, the museum also features the work being done by the AMOSUP in advancing the welfare of the Filipino seafarers, such as providing with lodging houses, housing for their families, medical facilities, among others. In fact, the museum itself is an activity area that holds events and other activities for seafarers and their families from time to time.

Admittedly, there is not much to see at the museum, at least for now at this time of writing. There surely are more things that can be shared as far as the maritime industry and the Filipino seafarers are concerned. Here’s hoping we could see more memorabilia and other exhibits in the museum as an effort to build among the people’s consciousness a better appreciation of the contributions of our seafarers to the country’s development.

 

Museo Marino is located at Julio Nakpil St. corner Pilar Hidalgo Lim St. in Malate, Manila. They are open from 9:00 am -5:00 pm, Monday- Saturday. Admission is free.

For more information, visit their website at museomarino.webs.com.

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