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AMOSUP members and their families nearly filled the 15,000-seat MOA Arena to celebrate the momentous event

Thousands of AMOSUP members, including their families and guests joined a night of fun, rocking away in a concert to mark the Union’s 55th anniversary at the MOA Arena last 11th November.

A number of talents from the local showbiz and entertainment industry performed at the anniversary night with their rousing concert feats, hosted by Binibining Pilipinas beauty queen Tina Marasigan and radio host DJ Chacha.

Performers, namely, The 5th Gen, first X Factor Philippines grand winner KZ Tandingan, rock star Arnel Pineda and the female-rock band Aegis stirred and thrilled the crowd who almost filled the15,000-seat Arena to celebrate the AMOSUP founding anniversary.

Guests were also treated to a dinner. The night’s affair capped the whole day celebration in which the Union earlier organised the historic ship wheel formation at the MOA open ground.  Other celebratory activities were also carried out as AMOSUP members and their dependants came to enjoy.

Various friends abroad from fellow maritime unions and social partners such as shipowners and ship managers arrived in town for the occasion to celebrate with the Union.

“Fifty five years of working together to uplift the lives of Filipino seafarers who sail all over the world! 55 years of love, care and compassion for our hardworking seafarers,” declared AMOSUP president Dr Conrado F Oca in his message to the crowd.

“As we celebrate 55 years, and hopefully, 55 more years of a trusted partnership, we have bigger plans for all AMOSUP members,” the AMOSUP president said.

Apart from the song numbers, the crowd also received updates on the various continuing programmes AMOSUP is implementing not only focussed on seafarers’ welfare but caring initiatives for their community members and the environment as well.

Stephen Cotton, the general secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), was proud to join in the celebration. In his message, Cotton said: “The outstanding services AMOSUP provides – first under its founder, Gregorio Oca, and now under Conrad Oca – are among the best in the world. The training offered at such academy as MAAP is first rate. And its legal and medical finance services look after the needs of both their male and female members.”

“I have heard today what the union means to seafarers and cadets in the Philippines and am so proud that AMOSUP belongs to the ITF family,” Cotton stressed.

Fellow maritime unions from the ITF family who attended the celebration came up on stage to present their gifts such as the leaders from the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union, Singapore Organisation of Seamen and the three Norwegian maritime unions (the Norwegian Maritime Officers’ Association, Norwegian Union of Marine Engineers, and the Norwegian Seafarers’ Union). The Norwegians presented a “symbolic cheque” amounting to PhP55,000 markedly intended for the “equipment of (AMOSUP) new hospital wing.”

One of the celebration’s highlights was the announcement of the winners of the singing competition where talented Union members vied for AMOSUP’s “Seakat Ka Marino Showdown.” A series of elimination rounds were done prior to the finale in which seven finalists had been screened for the night’s result.

The seven finalists joined in unison to back up Journey’s lead vocal Arnel Pineda in a Tagalog medley that was followed by their rendition of the old rock hit ‘Nosi ba lasi” of another rock artist Sampaguita. The finalists included Kit Cazeñas, Roel Gianchand, Arman Tejada, Richard Hidalgo, Bernard Valle, Julito Labajo, and Julius Bingil.

Showdown champion Julito Labajo took home the cash prize of P50,000, while first and second runner-ups received P30,000 and P15,000, respectively, including P10,000 as consolations  for each of the non-winners.

Lucky members and employees in attendance also received prizes from raffle draws that included four units of motorcycles and one-time cash of PhP100,000.