VMA Global College: PARTNERS IN FULL FORCE AT TWIN EVENTS
Pres. Masashi Taga of Santoku Senpa came with a major force at the 46th Commencement Exercises of VMA Global College, also the launching ceremony for the Shipboard Training at its gymnasium in Bacolod City, March 23.
Taga arrived even with a swelling, bandaged arm with 40 Japanese shipowners, charterers, bankers, senior staff, media and his direct family (son Junichi with wife Tomiko, their sons Rio, Ruka and Haru).
The shipowners are GM Toshiyuki Koga, Fresh Carriers; Senior Director Shinichirou Kanda, K-Navigation and GM Shuhei Nishida, IMECS Co.
The boat charterers are Hiroyuki Nishiyama, Marketing Manager, Mitsui & Co. and Hisanori Ochi, GM of OMC.
Joining from Europe are Director Michael Queally, Global Chartering of ADM and Senior Manager James Barnwell, Maersk Broker Asia.
Manila-based are Romano Mariano, owners’ representative of Solpia Marine and Shipmanagement and Crewing Manager Leo Mirande of IMS-Phil. Maritime.
The Orola family welcome the delegation: Chairman John N. Orola, Jr., Pres. Elizabeth O. Salabas, Corporate Secretary Tomas Orola, Treasurer Bartolome Orola, VP -Admin Epifania O. Balenia.
Other VMA officials on hand are VP- Academic Affairs Remedios Johanna S. Vargas, VP-TechVoc and Entrepreneurial Training Carlitos N. Orola, and VP-Maritime Training Ellisther Niña Ligna, some are also key officers of Orophil Shipping Intl.
The school MassKara Dance Troupe performed, delighting the guests and taking “groupies” and “selfies” as photo souvenirs of hosts and guests.
Pres. Salabas admonished the graduates to, “… Keep up the latest trends in Education and Training and you will reap bountiful rewards for your extra efforts.”
John Orola introduced Taga as “… the most important partner of Orophil Shipping Company and VMA Global Academy for more than 40 years” and adding Taga has more than 100 trading vessels, spanning domestic Far East and a global carrier in the seven oceans.
A total of 612 received degrees on Marine Transportation, Marine Engineering, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Tourism, Information Technology and Business Administration major in Financial Management.
The Taga delegation is explicit support on VMA’s tagline: Classroom to Employment.
The theme of the double events is “Exploring New Frontiers with Asian Partnership for Global Opportunities.
As commencement speaker, Maritime Industry OIC Administrator Narciso Vingson, Jr. says, “…the challenge to you graduates is to sail to ever changing environment but how fast can you adopt with this fast-phased industry.
I encourage you all to be cognizant of the recent trends and updates of your chosen field of endeavor. You have to equip yourselves, be inquisitive, search for answers, read more, never stop learning and, more importantly, remember where you started”.
Taga’s message was read in its English translation: “All these things you experienced in VMA will bring you invaluable fortune. I believe the experience will cover mental and spiritual sustenance in your future.
Filipino seafarers are highly recognized by the shipowners and shipping companies in the world. We hope you will be great seamen making best effort, therefore, you will be beyond world expectations.”
Taga also underscored he brought Japanese and American parties “… because I really would like them to see brilliant Filipino crew. For a long time I have continued to show them that graduates of VMA contribute and make so much effort. ”
Orophil Pres. and VMA Treasurer Orola admonished the graduates to take care of their health; to let “… shipowners know how we can do better than other nationalities.”
Before handing over a donation, Taga and party were toured at VMA facilities which include his other donations like the Japanese Memorial Tower, Taga Hall, the two- storey Asian Learning Center (also named Masashi Taga Center), the Daihatsu Generator Prototype Engine.
The library exhibited the history of VMA Global College and Training Centers, rooted from the Visayan Maritime Academy (hence VMA).
During the 90’s, Taga used to be the Vice Chairman for Intl Relations.
Lunch was served at Taga Hall with his imposing, framed photograph and some Santoku ship models made by the cadets.
The send-off dinner was graced by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia at Green Garden-Bacolod, again with the grateful Orola family. The evening was alive with songs and dance numbers, more so the deep bonding of hosts and guests singing and dancing together --- all in fun. But really, to mask the nostalgia of goodwill, but for the optimism of a brighter future.