2010 MOG speaks at Senior High Graduation

2010 MOG speaks at Senior High Graduation

Chiefmate  ARMANDO GAVIETA ARANETA, JR was chosen to speak as commencement speaker for the JBLFMU Arevalo Senior High School graduates 2018. He best deserves the opportunity as his feat as a student and professional is both inspiring and commendable.

 

Chiefmate Araneta hails from Guimbal, Iloilo, 29 years old and the youngest son of MR. ARMANDO C. ARANETA AND MRS CHURLYN GAVIETA ARANETA. He is a Stolt-Nielsen Scholar and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2010. He too is the  Most Outstanding Graduate of the Batch, a Leadership Awardee and Most Outstanding in Co-curricular Activities.

He also is ONE OF TEN OUTSTANDING STUDENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES REGION VI AWARDEE AND TOP 30 NATIONAL FINALIST in 2010, ONE OF THE TEN OUTSTANDING EXPAT PINOY CHILD OF THE PHILIPPINES  2009, REGION VI IWAG AWARDEE FOR OUTSTANDING STUDENT JOURNALIST 2010, AYALA YOUNG LEADER RECEPIENT YEAR 2008, REGIONAL CHAMPION IN DAGLIANG PAGBIGKAS (EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING) – PRISAA REGION VI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE DOLPHIN 2009-2010 AND A STAFF SINCE FIRST YEAR COLLEGE , STUDENT COUNCIL PRESIDENT OF JBLFMU-A 2007-2008 DURING MY SECOND YEAR IN COLLEGE, THE OUTSTANDING STUDENTS OF ILOILO AWARDS CIRCLE OF FIVE AWARDEE (TOSIA FIRST BATCH) 2010 BY ABS-CBN AND JCI REGATTA, ABS-CBN AND JCI REGATTA FIRST RIZAL EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING CONTEST CHAMPION (2009),SYSTEM MODEL CADET OF THE JBLF SYSTEM 2007 AND JBLFMU-A UNIT MODEL CADET 2006, REGIONAL CHAMPION, SPORTS WRITING CONTEST 2006 DURING THE PIA COLLEGE PRESS CONFERENCE and VISAYAS RIZAL YOUTH LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE EXTEMPORANEOUS SPEAKING CHAMPION 2006 (WHOLE EASTERN, WESTERN AND CENTRAL VISAYAS.

 

He is employed with his sponsoring company Stolt-Nielsen for a span of 11 years as a seafarer.  He has also worked as a BASSNET SUPERUSER (2010), STOLT TANKERS BV and presently, is taking a break from the sea working as a TRAINING CONTENT COORDINATOR still of the  STOLT TANKERS BV. He will be back on board soon.

 

As a Christian, CM Araneta is firm in saying “I devout my talents in serving God and spreading His word. As a gifted speaker, writer and worker, it is my duty to share what the Lord has given me”.

 

Here is the speech he delivered as commencement speaker.

Before any formalities, I am not sure if I have the right to this, but Midshipmen at ease! I want you to feel comfortable this afternoon as I give you my message.

Almost every year I visit John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University - Arevalo, but today feels different. It feels refreshing. It is like I am seeing my Alma Mater in a new light. It should be because I am seeing a lot of new faces today, or I am simply happy to be part of this historic event.

To Dr. Victor G. De Gracia, DepEd Region VI Assistant Regional Director, to our administrator, Engr. Roberto Neal Sobrejuanite, to our Principal, Dr. Corazon P. Brown, to all the faculty and staff of JBLFMU-A High School and College Department, to the ever supportive parents and family members, and to the very people that made me come here today, the 2018, the first JBLFMU-A Senior High School Graduates as well as part of the country’s first – Good day!

Today, I will help you realize a few matters about seafaring… about what world is waiting for you and who you should become. JBLFMU-A is a pioneer in maritime education when it started as Iloilo Maritime Academy. As a university, it is the pioneer or first of its kind in the country. And surprisingly, I am now facing the PIONEERs of senior high school education. Congratulations for being the first batch who graduated grade 12 not only of this institution but of the Philippines and I will never get tired of saying – you have made history. Happy gid ako to be part of this historic event.

Now, I welcome you to the Seafaring World.  A lot may happen after this day. You still need to undergo college but I can say that you are now officially part of the maritime industry. Deep inside I am sure most of you are thinking, “Lapit na lang ko mag SEAMAN!” or “Ma-seaman gid ko!”

So what is waiting for you out there? Let me guess; most of you are surely thinking about:

BIG SALARY! KWARTA! Mamanggaranon na ko! Basta seafarer, for sure mamanggaranon gid. Its like saying: High salary means more property; more budget means more gadgets. SEAFARERS? They are Big Spenders!

Then add TRAVEL GEEKS. You can see vloggers on line showcasing their travel experiences. But I think all of you here will agree if I say that seafarers are one of the most travelled professionals in the world. The whole world is our route. Others may say Belgium – we say “been there”; they may brag about their trip in the Pyramids of Egypt – we reply “we see that all the time”; they may shout New York – we echo “that is our normal port of call

Ano pa? Love life! Very fruitful one! For the males, people always sees us as womanizers. They can get any woman they want. Every port – report! And for our female graduates, obviously – look around you – you are surrounded by a lot of choices.

Sorry to burst all your bubbles but it is not just rainbows and butterflies. The colorful world you have in mind is not even a quarter of the seafaring life.

The real story:

First in line, STORMY SEAS! SUKA! BALOD! TUMBLING! DISGRASYA! Just years ago, we have a fellow Ilonggo who survived a tragic capsizing of a vessel in the middle of the Arabian Sea due to bad weather. I know that all of us here have our own concepts of bad weather and waves in our minds but I assure you, it is ten times scarier, way crazier when you experience it in actual.

Another truth, TRAGEDIES! DEATH! Before I proceed, let us pause for a while for three of our alumni who lost their lives in an explosion on board MAERSK HONAM just last month and to all the seafarers all throughout history who have sacrificed their lives in this profession. Working on land is dangerous but according to statistics, working onboard a ship is 12 times more dangerous. That does not end there – multiply that by the dangers brought by the different cargoes we carry: carcinogens, poisonous/toxic chemicals, explosives, heavy containers, hard to control grains, lumber cars, and the most dangerous cargo known to men. Can anyone try guessing what the most dangerous cargo a ship can carry is? The crazy, destructive, unstable – passengers – humans!

 And maybe this is the greatest obstacle we may face working at sea, LONELINESS! I don’t need to explain more. You will be away from your loved ones for months – surrounded by water – with a very high tendency of never coming back. A floating prison! A coffin!

 Sorry. I don’t want to scare you. But please bear with me for I just want you to see the beauty of seafaring… of this world you chose to be part of. We cannot deny the fact that amidst all these dangers, we’ve been stereotyped. Even you yourselves believe in the “all money”, “girl-hungry” world that the society has paired with the word “SEAMAN”. Today, I am here as a major fighter and defender that we are never empty nutshells. We are not just all treasure and pleasure and definitely not no-brainers. We are no heartbreakers. We are family and economy supports.

 Ebidensya? Our skills and revenues! We are firefighters… managers… painters… technicians… watchkeepers… welders… navigators…athletes… earners and we are all very fortunate that we are trained by one of the best institutions – JBLFMU – A. We have the best facility and the best teachers the whole industry could ever offer. But beyond that, we have other skills that make us extra special and definitely more than what they have stereotyped us.

In my humble years of serving onboard ships, I have seen common Seafaring skills making me very proud that I am one of the people called “SEAMAN”.

Most of our Seamen are “FATHERS”, “MOTHERS” or “PARENTS”. They selflessly sacrificed a very large amount of their lifetime, forgetting the agony of distance and loneliness just to afford a good future for their families; a father who leaves behind an infant son or daughter only to go home when they are all grown up – now a stranger – unfamiliar. Indi ka na nila kilala. Imagine spending 40- 45 years as seafarer only to realize that most of your life you have spent at sea; sometimes double of the time you have spent with your loved ones.

They are also one of the BEST and most of the time one of the TRUEST… FRIEND. Seafarers are good listeners. They tirelessly accompany anybody in their times of need onboard; either as shoulders to lean on or someone whom they can vent out in a heart to heart talk or over a bottle of beer. True friends are really hard to find… it is like fishing for cows in the middle of the Atlantic. So basi ang mga marino naton are indeed cows in the middle of the ocean because a lot of them offer real friendship.

Lastly, there are a lot of us who are faithful servants of the Lord. These are people who give light through sharing the gospel, undermining differences of culture, ignoring the variety of religion, not minding backgrounds. Modesty aside, I would like to share that I personally lead Bible study groups on most of the vessels I have joined. Yes, damo gd ang nagapanghikay and damo ang may negative feedback, but then I bring the Word of God… why should I worry? If you are with the Lord, who can stand against you?

With that, I am proud to tell you that there are more things in this profession than meets the eye. We are more than the person the world has known.  

Join me as we show them who we are and what we can do. Let us end the stereotyping.

Now, let me share some points for you to consider as you venture to seafaring life. Going to college still lies ahead, but I believe to decide not of what kind of seafarer and person you will become is relevant.

First, I leave you the request to not stop fighting. After this, education is extremely expensive. You have survived Senior High School and there is no reason of stopping. If you say poverty, well I am one of the proofs that being poor is never a hindrance. I survived college through the help of my company sponsor (Stolt Nielsen Transportation Group Inc. now Stolt Tankers BV). Damodamo companies ang nagakadto diri to get industrious and worthy students as scholars. Dumduman ko, when I was in high school, I suffered the whole four years sitting on the floor just in front of the blackboard to copy whatever the teacher writes on the board since I have an undiagnosed myopia at that time or to common people as nearsightedness. Because we cannot afford to send me to an ophthalmologist and acquire proper medication, I went through the same routine day by day. I am in a family with 5 children and during that time, my father spends for 2 to 3 college students per year. It was only in JBLFMU-A when we were able to find a way to save money for eyeglasses. The school itself offers a lot of support through programs and scholarships for well-deserved midshipmen. At the same time, knowing that JBLFMU – A is nothing but the best, we have plenty of companies sponsoring cadets of all the expenses for a good education. Now, I am not wearing any glasses because I underwent Lasik Operation years ago and that is mainly because I did not stop fighting. A fight I fought with the help of my Alma Mater, my company, and my family.

Second, let me leave you with a challenge. Ask yourself of what kind of seafarer you want to become? I challenge you to become GOOD Seafarers. Why GOOD and not BEST??? Let me quote a thought that I have taken from the famous movie “It Takes a Man and a Woman”. You don’t need to be the best in order to be successful – you just need to be good because when you are good, you always choose to do good for others on your way up. You always choose to do what is right.” Yes, become GOOD as you go up the ladder by becoming a friend to your colleagues… a family supporter… a faithful servant of the Almighty.

That brings us to third, always put God first in everything you do. During college, amidst the hindrance of my height and financial incapability, I remain competitive, knowing that I can survive through anything because there is one view that I have lived believing – With God on my side, I will always win! Let me take this chance as well to add someone, second to God, to whom honour is due – our parents. Next to the almighty, love your parents for they are our only earthly inspiration that will always be irreplaceable. Wala gid ko mahuya maghmbal na back in high school and college, I always bring my mother with me I whatever event or competition I join. My father is a seafarer but he goes with me as well if he is at home. I offer to them all my performances, win or lose. Actually I bring them with me still up to now, today midshipmen I am accompanied both by my Nanay and Papang. To our graduates, let us not put our parents’ efforts to waste.

Congratulations to you, our first K to 12 graduates, JBLFMU – A’s first batch of Senior High School. See you in the coming years seafarers of tomorrow, I am positive that this is not our last meeting.

Good afternoon everyone.