How do you want your story to be told? This was the words that captured me[...]


If you are planning to become a seaman or seafarer someday, being a Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) Cadet maybe your best bet.[...]


SOLAS or also known as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea is an international maritime safety treaty and considered to be the most important treaty concerning maritime safety.[...]

If you are going [...]


One of the most important requirements of being a seaman in the Philippines is having a Seaman's book or SIRB (Seafarer's Identification AND Record Book

How to Join the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)?

How to join the Philippine Military Academy
Gerald Anderson and Jake Cuenca portraying PMA cadets
Did you know that the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) is also one of the producers of seaman in the country? yes, but not the commercial sailors that you are thinking.

PMA produces officers for the Philippine Navy, the people who serves at sea aboard warships which has the task of defending our islands and territories. PMA graduates are not only trained to run or navigate a ship they are also trained to fight a war using their warship.

Anyway, if you feel that your calling is to serve in the Philippine Navy rather than being a commercial seaman, PMA is your best shot.  Of course you will be interested how to join this prestigious school and what are the requirements which you will find out below

What are the Requirements
  • Natural Born Filipino Citizen.
  • Physically fit and of good moral character.
  • Single and has never been married.
  • Must pass the PMA Entrance Examination.
  • No Administrative / Criminal Case.
  • At least High School Graduate.
  • Height Requirement for both Male and Female is 5 feet (not to exceed 6'4" for both).
  • At least 17 years old but not a day older than a 22 years on 01 April of the year following the date of examination taken.

How to apply

There are 3 ways to apply, the first 2 being the formal application while the last would be if you get lucky.

Let's discuss the formal ways first.  If you think you have all the requirements of being a PMA cadet then head on to applying via traditional mail where you are going to fill up application form and send it to Office of Cadet Admission (OCA) together with your NSO copy of birth certificate and certified true copy of high school Form 137.

Remember that you must mail you application form not later than 2 weeks before the examination date to the address below.

                Office of Cadet Admission PMA, Fort del Pilar, Baguio City
                PILTEL (074) 446-8002 
                Trunk Lines: (074) 447-3690 local 6751 or 6752
                Mobile Phone Nr: 0927-3810-493 , 0949-4270-584

The first way is the traditional way, while this second is the fastest way of applying for PMA cadetship.  Taking advantage of the internet PMA is now accepting online applications.  You also need a scanned copy of your NSO birth certificate and High School Form 137 to do this.

Now let us go to the third way of applying which is if you get lucky way.  If you get lucky as a walk in applicant, meaning you did not apply ahead but you can still be accommodated to take the entrance exam.  This can happen if the proctors has extra PMA Cadet Qualification Test (PMACQT).  Aside from that you must have with you the following items so that the proctors will let you take the exam:
  • At least 2 copies of 2x2 picture with white background taken within the last 6 months.
  • Pencil
  • NSO birth certificate
  • Certified true copy of your High School Form 137
It was said that Sen. Ping Lacson, one of the most prominent alumnus of PMA, had entered the PMA by becoming a walk-in applicant during his time, so don't be shy to go to examination centers during examination date if you failed to apply beforehand. 

To get a good overview of what type of written examination you will hurdle during the entrance exam, head on to this example examination questions for PMACQT.

PMA Masikhay Class '99 being received by their upperclassmen

Second Testing Phase

So you have passed the PMACQT, don't celebrate yet.  You still have another phase to undergo before you can call yourself a PMAear (pronounced as peemeyer).  During this phase, you will be billeted for around 1 week inside AFP Medical Center to undergo series of exam to determine your capacity of undergoing PMA cadetship training.  A week of grueling written and physical exam that includes medical, physical, mental and emotional tests.  Probably the highlight of this test is the Neuro-Psychological Exam and the Physical Fitness Test where you should pass the following minimum scores.

     Sit ups:                                                 Male: 35 reps,        Female: 25 reps
     push ups(M)/bench push up (F):     Male: 30 reps,       Female: 25 reps
     3.2 Km Run:                                        Male: 19:00 mins  Female: 21:00 mins

What's in it for you?

That is the big question of many PMA cadet wanabees.   What's in store for them? 
  • A rare privileged to serve the motherland
  • A sure job after graduation, you choose if you want to join the Army, Navy and Airforce
  • Free four year college education
  • Monthly salary of  not less than Php 27,000.00
Being a PMA cadet takes courage and persistence.  Remember that this is not only few months affair but you will roam around in that hollowed ground for a minimum of 4 years.  That is why PMA has a very stringent entrance examinations for candidate cadets.

By Sarge Sailor with No comments

How to Join the Philippine Navy

How do you want your story to be told?
How to Join the Philippine Navy

This was the words that captured me when I asked for an application form for joining the Philippine Navy.  Seem fitting for someone who wants to serve the armed service of the government.  Philippine Navy by the way is the AFP major branch of service that is tasked to guard and defend our seas.  They are the first to react in case of war with other countries or external threat.

Anyway, let's take a closer look on how you can join the Philippine Navy.

Naval Officers

  • Must be a natural born Filipino citizen and of good moral character
  • Must be between 21 to 28 years of age
  • Unmarried and with no child to support
  • Graduate of a 4 year baccalaureate degree (preferably technical courses)
  • Height of at least 5 feet
  • Must not have pending civil/criminal case
  • Physically and mentally fit for training
  • Must pass the AFPATB, IQ and SWE exam

Basic Seaman Course (BSC) and Marine Basic Course (MBC)

Please take note that these qualifications are applicable to both sailors and marines of the Philippine Navy.  Sailors being the people who runs warship and Marines are the ground combatants of the Philippine Navy.

  • Must be a natural born Filipino citizen and of good moral character
  • Must be between 18 to 23 years of age
  • Unmarried and with no child to support
  • Holder of at least 72 units in college (preferably with technical courses)
  • Height of at least 5 feet
  • Must not have any pending civil/criminal case
  • Physically or mentally fit for training
  • Must pass the AFP Aptitude Test, and IQ exam

A big development and good news for people who are vertically challege = ), take note that the height requirements have been changed from 5 ft and 4 inches for male applicants and 5 ft and 2 in for female applicants to 5 feet for all.  Now that is a big welcome change to all.

What will be your benefits for joining the Philippine Navy?

Naval Officers

  • Basic Pay of Php 27,425.00 in the rank of Probationary Ensign or 2nd Lieutenant 
  • Additional monthly allowance of Php 5,040.00
  • Longevity Pay - 10%  of the current basic pay compounded for every five years of active military service
  • Cash gift and bonuses 

Sailors and Marines

  • Basic Pay of Php 11,265.00 in the rank of Apprentice Seaman and Private for the Marines
  • Additional monthly allowance of Php 5,040.00
  • Longevity Pay - 10%  of the current basic pay compounded for every five years of active military service
  • Cash gift and bonuses 

Other benefits and privileges

  • Meal allowance
  • Housing facilities
  • Clothing allowance
  • Free medical and dental service (including dependents)
  • Financial assistance (in terms of salary loans, business loans and housing loans through AFPSLAI, RSBS, PNSLAI, MBAI and PAG-IBIG fund)
  • Scholarship grants to qualified dependents
  • Local /foreign schooling for qualified personnel in the active military service
  • Disability pension
  • Commutation of accumulated leave

Where to take the exam

If you are within the greater manila area you can go to this address to take your entrance exam every Thursday of the week except official holidays:

Testing and Holding Office
Naval Station Jose Francisco
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Office Mobile # 09223924722
Tel (02) 774-7083
Trunk Lines: 812-7416 to 39 loc 6448

For those applicants in the Provinces, you can go to respective Naval Forces to take your entrance exam being administered by their Mobile Recruitment Team. Be sure to contact the above numbers and ask for their examination schedule on the different provinces through out the Philippines.

You should also bring with you the following requirements for initial screening:

  • Transcript of Records
  • Original and photocopy of college diploma 
  • Original and photocopy of Form 137/ High School records
  • Certificate of Completion from any vocational courses (for BSC and BMC)
  • NSO Birth Certificate
  • NBI Clearance
  • 2x2 ID picture with white background
You can also visit the following sites for more details

In parting words, I think, the pay and allowances being offered are very competitive or slightly higher to private companies, this is good if you motivation is to get a stable job with average pay.

But the most fulfilling thing for joining the Philippine Navy is knowing that you are serving the mother land,  helping to secure our sovereignty so that other people may sleep soundly knowing that you are there ready to defend them!

By Sarge Sailor with No comments

What Course Should You Take: Marine Transportation

Have you already decided what course you need to take for a seaman career?  In this article we will feature Bachelor of Science and Marine Transportation or simply called BSMT.  This is one of the mainstream courses being offered by maritime colleges or nautical schools in the Philippines.

Let's us now take a look on what's in store for you if you take up this maritime course.

Duration of course:

Usually 4 years

What will you learn

Usually this course aims to teach students on the basic and technical aspect of ship navigation, meteorology, ship business, cargo handling, maritime laws and related subjects.  This course also usually offers a one year on the job training of students to various maritime businesses in the local or international shipping industry.

What are the specific subjects

Naturally, as one of college courses sanctioned and recognized by Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the course includes basic subjects of a college level course such as basic English, Social Sciences, history, Trigonometry, Geometry, IT fundamentals and basic Math subjects.  On the side of specializing a marine transportation professional the following are the subjects that should be included in the four year study.

1. Cargo Handling and Stowage of Dangerous and Non-Dangerous Goods
2. Leadership and Management for Maritime Officers
3. Terrestrial Navigation
4. Collision Regulations
5. Celestial Navigation
6. Meteorology and Oceanography
7. Marine Vocabulary and Terms
8. Electronic Navigation
9. Radio Communications
10. Ship Stability and Trim
11. Maritime Pollution and Prevention
12. Maritime Law
13. Marine Power Plant
14. Ship Handling and Maneuvering
15. Merchant Ship Search and Rescue
16. Liquid Cargo Handling

Those are the subjects that you will usually encounter when you enroll in any maritime schools or maritime academies in the Philippines.

Job Opportunities

Finishing this course comes with the privilege to be employed in any of the following career opportunity at sea or  ashore.

1. Ship operator
2. Coast Guard Officer
3. Naval Officers
4. Merchant Deck Officers
5. Operations Managers
6. Maritime Educators
7. Marine Surveyors
8. Ship Managers
9. Port Managers

By Sarge Sailor with 7 comments

Financial Tips for Filipino Seamen

Being a seaman entails a great deal of sacrifice both for yourself and your loved ones...

Of course these sacrifices you have to make or are going to make are being traded with huge pay and allowances by your companies.

Technically yes, it is your salary and no one should tell you how are you going to spend it.  But hey, we all know that most of the people working aboard ships does not want to spend his entire life working aboard and away from their family. Every penny that you earned while working aboard should be spend wisely so that the sacrifices you make will not be put into waste when time comes that you don't want to work aboard ship any longer.

So, here are some few tips that a seaman and an OFW alike should do so that you will not spend the rest of your life working as a seaman.

1.  Usually a seaman before getting a high paying job has to borrow money first to finance training fees and other expenses.  Before anything else, pay off your debt first and thank your financiers for helping you land the job.

2. Set in mind that you should not spend all your salary in a month.  Set a scheme where you save a portion of your salary.  A 20% ratio of your salary would be a good start.  If you can set it automatically like an automatic deduction going to your savings account, it would be much better.

3. Control your spending.  Know what is necessity and caprices.  A mobile phone is a necessity but it does not have to be a thousand dollar worth.

4. As much as possible never use you credit card when making purchases but if you do, make sure to pay it before they charge your monthly billing so that it would not accrue interests.

5. If you are planning to buy big ticket items such as house or car make sure to save at least half of the price so that you will not pay big interest from loan companies.

6. Talk to you family about why you are working abroad.  You want to support them but you don't want to spoil your family.  Spoiling your family especially your kids creates a wrong impressions to them, they would think that making money as a seaman is as easy as growing banana plants in your backyard.

7. Try to study how to invest your money.  It is your responsibility to learn how to grow your money by investing.  I would recommend investing in stocks as a great vehicle for achieving what you want with your finances.

8.  Do not just put your money on savings account. Invest it because inflation will devalue your money over time.

Remember that you cannot work forever as a seaman or as an OFW. You don't work and live for the present, you are working overseas as a seaman because you are working for the future.


By Sarge Sailor with 3 comments

Schedule of PRC Licensure Examination for Seaman

Here is the complete listing of Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for the seaman related licensure examination to include their dates, place and last date of filing.  

Be sure to read on how to file for examination application including the process on how to submit it.  You can read and download application forms for Marine Deck and Engineer Officers here.  

Name of Examination
Date of Exam
Deadline of filing
Marine Engineer Officers (Written)
Jan 21-22, 2012
Manila and Iloilo
Jan 9, 2012
Marine Deck Officers (Written)
Mar 3-4, 2012
Manila and Iloilo
Feb 3, 2012
Marine Engineer Officers (Written)
May 23-24, 2012
Manila and Cebu
Apr 23, 2012
Marine Deck Officers (Written)
July 21-22, 2012
Manila and Cebu
June 21, 2012
Marine Engineer Officers (Written)
Sept 15-16, 2012
Manila and Davao
Aug 15, 2012
Naval Architects & Marine Engineers
Oct 19-11, 2012
Sept 19, 2012
Marine Deck Officers (Written)
Nov 10-11, 2012
Oct 10, 2012

By Sarge Sailor with 9 comments

How to Get Your Seaman Book in the Philippines

One of the most important requirements of being a seaman in the Philippines is having a Seaman's book or SIRB (Seafarer's Identification AND Record Book).  This book details everything about a seaman's career experience and training, it is also regarded as seaman's passport but obviously this cannot replace a passport being issued by the government.  This particular book is unique only for seafarers.

Information pertaining to name of vessel, official number and place of registry, gross tonnage, rank, date of place of embarkation and disembarkation, signature of master.  These are the standard information you will see in a seaman's book or (SIRB).

To be able to secure your own Seman's book, you have to file necessary documents at Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) located at PPL Bldg., 1000 U.N. Ave. cor San Marcelino, Manila, Philippines.

Documents needed
  • Transcript of Record (High School TOR for High School Graduates) (College TOR for College Graduates)
  • School Diploma (High School Diploma for High School Graduates ) (College Diploma for College Graduates)
  • Certificate of Authentication and Verification (CAV) from DECS or CHED
  • Birth Certificate from NSO
  • NBI Clearance - visa seaman
  • 2 pcs Passport size colored picture with white background
  • Basic Safety Course Certificate ( SOLAS)
  • P550 for 3 day processing or P750 for one day processing. 

By Sarge Sailor with 157 comments

What is Safety of Life at Sea?

SOLAS or also known as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea is an international maritime safety treaty and considered to be the most important treaty concerning maritime safety.

It has several revisions with the first treaty was created in 1914 after the Titanic disaster at sea.  The newest version of the treaty is the version which was created in 1980 prescribing the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) as a replacement for Morse Code.

The 1974 SOLAS requires the flag state to observe the minimum safety standard for operation, construction and equipment.  It also sets out general obligations and followed by 12 Chapters that includes following topics

  • General Provisions
  •  Construction – Subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations
  •  Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction
  •  Life-saving appliances and arrangements
  • Radiocommunications
  • Safety of navigation
  • Carriage of Cargoes
  • Carriage of dangerous goods
  • Nuclear ships
  • Management for the Safe Operation of Ships
  • Safety measures for high-speed craft
  • Special measures to enhance maritime safety
  • Special measures to enhance maritime security
Of all the provisions on the treaty, only Chapter V or the provisions on Safety of Navigation applies to all types of vessels at sea including small crafts and yachts, local trips as well as to commercial vessels on international trip.

Many countries have adopted this Chapter V of  SOLAS and had made it into international and local laws so that anybody who is in violations of such provisions can be subject to legal proceedings.

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