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AMOSUP members win big at Crew Connect Global Awards 2022 in Manila


MAAP’s Van Alfred Villanueva also takes home ‘Best Cadet Award’ in Singapore

When it rains it pours. AMOSUP President Dr Conrado F Oca flashed a big smile congratulating deck cadet Van Alfred Villanueva for winning his third award in the maritime industry this year.

A senior student at the AMOSUPmanaged Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP), Villanueva took home the ‘Seafarer of the Year Award’ at the recent Crew Connect Global Awards held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Pasay City. He also bagged the Best Cadet Award at the Seafarers Awards in Singapore last October. Prior to that, the MAAP graduating cadet also made the first place at the ‘Huwarang Mag-aaral ng Gitnang Luzon 2022‘ (Model Student of Central Luzon).

Another AMOSUP member, Bosun Harold Papa Melendez, won second prize at the ITF Seafarers’ Trust-sponsored photography competition, “Life at Sea.” His picture, “Cheerful Buddies” heaped praises from the audience during the Crew Connect awards ceremony in 25th November.

Aside from the top winners, ITFST also commended other finalists, including the entry “Gaze Beyond the Horizon” by another MAAP deck cadet, Aldrin Manuel Ulep, who recited the poem accompanying his featured photo.

Villanueva first appeared in a feature article in AMOSUP Sailing Forward’s January 2022 edition for winning the photo contest at the Union’s 61st founding anniversary celebration in 2021. His photo entry, which graced that issue cover, portrays a crewmember working aloft for the first time, painting the ship funnel. The midshipman first class was then on a shipboard training overseas on a Columbia Shipmanagement multipurpose tonnage when he took the photo of his coworker.

Villanueva told Sailing Forward he was “overwhelmed by the award and can’t believe I won.” He’s grateful to AMOSUP and MAAP for the support and to the Mission to Seafarers, which presented the award in Singapore.

AMOSUP President Dr Conrado Oca said Villanueva has been an “outstanding cadet with various accomplishments under his belt.” He has been a “consistent president’s lister” in the academy and one of the 10 outstanding campus journalists. The MAAP cadet is truly a role model among his peers and in the academy’s community, vouched Dr Oca.

The Bacolod-born senior cadet, is also the former editor-in-chief of MAAP’s student organ, Kamaya Point, and chancellor of the academy’s Class of 2022.

The Seafarers’ Awards is traditionally hosted in Singapore by The Mission to Seafarers. It is an award that celebrates the contribution seafarers made worldwide as they perform their vital work.

In the wake of global developments over the last two years and the challenges faced by seafarers worldwide during the pandemic, The Mission to Seafarers noted that presenting the awards were an ideal opportunity to celebrate the seafarers as they perform their vital work that is fundamental to the global economy.

The ‘Cadet Award’ specifically is given to a merchant marine student who has contributed significantly to the welfare of seafarers at sea or ashore. This year’s ceremony and gala dinner took place at the Hotel Regent that welcomed the awarding’s 350 guests from across the maritime industry. It’s a celebration of contributions to welfare made by seafarers worldwide.

Villanueva, who is about to complete his degree in Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation this year, conceded he’s “one of the thousands of cadets who have dreamt of experiencing life at sea.” He just made it in 2021 after a year-long training onboard, which he referred to have “led me to appreciate seafaring.”

“So yes, the dream is still alive,” the winning cadet declares. May it be on a pandemic or not, he says, life at sea is a grueling task. “Merchant mariners may have the best kind of life and that they travel the world for free, but behind those are stories of sacrifice and gallantry which we know less of.”

The Columbia Shipmanagement cadet points out that a seafarer’s life is unarguably backbreaking. It’s the “reality of life onboard – the truest and most unfiltered painstaking of seafarers.” But he insists, “it brings hope and inspiration, worth telling and worth sharing.”

Telling and sharing those stories are perhaps the reasons he apparently brought his photography hobby with him onboard during his training period with CSM. He admits being an amateur photographer, but he’s hoping to become a professional someday as he really loves taking photos. For him, “these are the ones that never change” even if a seafarer grows old and retires from their profession. Next year, Villanueva plans to start reviewing for the licencing exams and starts to work his way up to becoming an officer.

Congratulations to all the winners of Seafarers Awards 2022 – Singapore
Seafarer Award: Captain Rohit Minocha – Hafnia
Shoreside Award: Capt Oleksandr Litvinov – Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement
Cadet Award: Van Alfred Villanueva – Associated Marine Officer’s and Seamen’s Union of the
Philippines (AMOSUP)/ Columbia Shipmanagement

Innovation Award: Inmarsat
Rescue Award: Capt Sergiy Tatarenko and crew of “CHITTAGONG” – Bernhard Schulte

Secretary General Award: Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte. Ltd.

Highly Commended:
Seafarer Award: Captain Seul Gu – Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement
Innovation Award: Wärtsilä
Voyage Rescue Award: Capt Erwin Bondoc & Crew of “PELICANA” – ZEABORN Ship Management
Secretary General Award: Pacific International Lines (PTE) Ltd Marine Personnel Dept – Ms Tracy
Gao Wen

A huge thank you to the sponsors:
BHP and Shell
Pacific International Lines (PTE) Ltd, Swire Shipping, The North of England P&I Association Limited,
Bureau Veritas Group, Singapore Association of Seamen and SMOU SG.

Glass award
Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement

An additional thank you to the Mission to Seafarers team who made the event a reality.