Aspirants nationwide were weaned, declaring Ten Outstanding Maritime Students of the Phil (TOMSP) at formal ceremonies at Hotel H20, Manila, last September 30th.

Surviving the cut and proclaimed winners are:

  • Junel Kristian M. Semaña, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) – CGSO (Bataan);
  • Christian Gilbert S. Esteban, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) – IMMAJ JSU (Bataan);
  • Carl Oscar B. Peña, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) – IMMAJ JSU (Bataan);
  • John Paul C. Guevarra, Phil Merchant Marine Academy PMMA (Zambales);
  • Ian Christian N. Elardo, DMMA College of Southern Phil (Davao);
  • France Gerard S. Santamena, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation JBLCF – Bacolod (Bacolod City)
  • Ken Arnie T. Tulmo, John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation JBLCF – Bacolod (Bacolod City)
  • Jancarl Gregory B. Palacio, University of Cebu – Lapulapu and Mandaue UCLM (Cebu);
  • Daimler Daves D. Nisco, Malayan Colleges (Laguna);
  • Aison B. Belarmino, University of Perpetual Help System DALTA , UPHSD (Las Piñas)


The Philippines is a leader in producing world-class merchant mariners. Sustaining “the culture of excellence” is TOMSP which recognizes and encourages the hard work and education of future mariners.

Nominees must have shown excellence in academics, competent in practice, good morals and actively engaged in the community.

Winners each received PhP15,000 in cash, honor plaque and review scholarship from Cebu Gems.

TOMSP is part of the 23rd National Seafarers’ Day (NSD) led by Apostleship of the Seas (AOS). The nationwide search started in 2010.


On-the-spot essay.

John Paul Guevarra, 4th Year at PMMA-Zambales, won the on-the-spot essay writing contest.

Guevarra’s father Eduardo is a butcher; mother Edith runs a carinderia (food stall). They are three, elder sister a business administration graduate while the youngest is six-year old.

He is grateful to BW Shipping for the sponsorship, the opportunity to come on board, “big help in improving my abilities.”


From his piece.

  • Shipping companies are choosing other nationalities over Filipinos as the aspiring merchants of the seven seas, what can we do to reclaim our legacy?
  • The young blood should be the game changers; we should start the change not only for ourselves but also for others by being perfect examples.
  • The sun for excellence in maritime for Filipinos is not yet setting. We are still globally competitive. Study hard, prove that Filipino seafarers are world-class seafarers.
  • Let us not waste the legacy that Capt. Juan Dela Cruz left. Instead, enrich and develop it. Other nationalities will challenge our resolve by stereotyping the Filipino seafarer.
  • Fight back! Not by using any superior force, but by proving they should not belittle our Kabayans, because we are world-class seafarers.
  • Do not just sit down and wait for whatever. Let us showcase to the world that the Filipinos are truly:
    • Maka-diyos, god-fearing. Place God in our heart in the performance of our duties… Be the light that will lead those who are lost in times of distress onboard.
    • Makakalikasan, pro-environment. We must obey the regulations regarding the protection of the marine environment.
    • Makatao, humane. Respect your crewmates and learn to keep your feet on the ground.
    • Makabansa, nationalist. Let us not forget we are We have the duty to maintain the prestige of our motherland.

Guevarra closes with “The greatest mistake in life is not trying at all.”

And believes it is not late to reclaim our legacy — that “We are not Filipinos because we are world class seafarers; we are world class because we are Filipino seafarers.”