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Going Local and Global

Part 3: Sarong Marinero sa Kada Pamilyang Bikolano

In sum, since 1974, the local school has gone global. Tens of thousands of its graduates have successfully ventured and excelled in their specialized courses for local and international employment – on land, on sea, and air. From school to ship, business, and enterprise worthy of a competent and dedicated professional workforce, the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges in Naga has gone full circle.

The MPCI prides itself as the pioneer high educational institution that introduced the first maritime, naval architecture, customs administration, and hotel restaurant management courses in the Bicol region. It brought forth two separate SEC-registered globally competitive maritime colleges, the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation in Canaman, Camarines Sur, and the Mariners Polytechnic Colleges in Rawis, Legazpi City in Albay. Together, they comprise the Mariners’ System, which is united around the philosophy of academic excellence and holistic development to develop the Total Marinero -intellectual, spiritual, moral, and social life- among the students towards competent and responsible citizenship. The Institution believes academic excellence and holistic development are essential for graduates to compete in the world market. Holistic development means graduates must be competent in their chosen careers and imbued with the core values of discipline, loyalty, honesty, social responsibility, and competence.

What began as a small fledgling school with short-term, vocational, and technical courses 50 years ago is now a recognized quality and competency-based college whose graduates now stand at par with long-established institutions of learning in the region.

Guided by its honor code, “Do not lie, cheat or steal,” through the decades, the school’s success with its graduates and their families is one that the MPCI Alumni Association is proud of. Its Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management prepares graduates to become global leaders and managers in the hospitality industry. In contrast, its Tourism Management program prepares students for a career in Tourism development. Its BS in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing, Financial Human Resource Management, and Customs Administration, has produced quality graduates and Board passers.

Much sought after

MPCI’s graduates in these fields of endeavor count among the most sought-after in the local industry. Their Marino counterparts in the maritime schools -MPCF Canaman and MPCF Legazpi –are said to enjoy comparatively higher pay packages for employment. The maritime profession – seafaring and related jobs that serve the ship manning industry- provides better opportunities for high-paying jobs aboard ships and overseas.

The adage “Sarong Marinero, sa kada Pamilyang Bikolano” may or may not be accurate. But in reality, every barangay with a Marinero residing began to be comparatively better off than most. Mariners’ students generally come from the rural poor but typically live comfortably after working onboard for a while. They navigate through life struggles to finish college for local and international employment to seek the so-called greener pastures.

In the 70s, the Founder, Jaime Chavez Jimenez, anticipated and foresaw its coming. It was a period of national crisis and uncertainty. The Philippine government was dealing with brewing social unrest, especially in generating employment and revenues. The martial law government under Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. enacted the 1974 labor export program to relieve the country of these twin problems by promoting overseas employment and generating foreign currency revenues from the remittances received from Filipinos working abroad. That was when labor exporting began.

As if in reflex, that same year, the licensed marine and mechanical engineer, Philippine Navy Captain and teacher Jaime, responded to pursuing his lifelong dream to set up a school for seafaring. With his beloved wife, Elisa, he brought the Mariners’ vision and drew up a unique career path for the Bicolano youth in the way he knew how. A visionary, he devised a curriculum with a spectrum of engineering, maritime studies, customs, port administration, and the erstwhile Vocational-Tech short-term courses. Enrolment grew by leaps and bounds. Seafaring became in vogue, and military parades with the intelligent and beautiful MPC majorettes, MPCF drum, and bugle bands marched during the Penafrancia and other festivals—awards for culinary, food, and beverage competitions. The school opened, and the rest is history.

Today, MPCI hopes to develop leaders and professionals from among its students to be socially responsible, protective of the environment, and gender-sensitive; deliver quality instructional programs through updated standards of competence per CHED Memorandum Orders while considering emerging trends, technologies and methodologies; produce relevant and innovative research through a more developed research journal UKTAW that addresses emerging trends and challenges in business industries; contribute actively to the needs of the partner communities through extension service programs, community-based projects and strengthen local, national and international industry linkages.

The next generation is continuing the legacy of service as they bring in their expertise through the Board of Directors/Trustees and in various other ways where the essence of a more meaningful education means integrating the school programs with the development needs of the poor and marginalized communities towards the nobler goals of resiliency and sustainability.


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