Being a seafarer has given Filipino Galvez Samuel courage, hope and motivation in difficult times. 

This was what Galvez shared during an email interview, in the lead-up to Day of the Seafarer 2020. “I’m proud to be one because working at sea has made me courageous. One must never lose hope even when times are difficult,” he says. “Remembering why I became a seafarer 29 years ago also motivates me to carry on.”

Currently holding the rank of Bosun, Galvez embarked on his seafaring career in search of financial stability. “It pays relatively better as compared to some other professions. It has enabled me to provide for my family.”

Over the years, Galvez has visited numerous countries and places. “Each place was unique, offering its own memories. It is difficult as such for me to single out one. Every port call was smooth; I’ll consider every single one as part of my happy memories in my seafaring career.”

What stood out however for Galvez was the first time he boarded his vessel; one that would mark the start of his sailing career. “My emotions at that time were mixed,” he said. “I knew that there would be bouts of loneliness as I was going to be away from my family and loved ones for an extended period of time. At the same time, I was also happy and excited as my dreams of being a seafarer have come true.”

When asked for what advice he would give to someone embarking on a seafaring career, Galvez said: “Be humble and always remember that your role is not just to move cargo. You also have a big contribution in keeping our environment (sea) safe and clean. Be determined to focus on achieving your goals and once you’re already there, dedicate yourself to be a more productive employee.”

Galvez, who celebrated his 27th anniversary recently, mused: “I am grateful for my seafaring career. The financial stability that it has brought has enabled my wife and I to bring up two wonderful children. I’m looking forward to the arrival of my grandchild. I feel extremely blessed and very happy.”