Jeryl Leo S. Mabaquiao (30)
I wanted to be a sailor to see the world. It is great to visit different countries and discover different cultures. In addition, I earn about four times more on a ship than I could in the Philippines.
It was very special to see snow in Finland. It never snows in the Philippines. That continues to amaze me. The trees, covered with snow. I went sledding, really fast down the hill. It was amazing. If I wasn’t a sailor, I could never have afforded it.
Last year I came on board as a sailor. This fall I was promoted to full seaman and a few weeks ago I became a pumpman. The work is stressful. I have a lot of responsibility. But if you make it fun on board after your working hours, and don’t think too much, you can keep it going.
I have a girlfriend at home. In December we will be together for ten years. I miss her very much. Today you are better off as a sailor than in the past. The old sailors often felt homesick, because communication with home was not possible. Today we have it less difficult. On board this ship there is internet 24 hours a day via satellite. I can talk to my girlfriend and family whenever I want. So I feel less lonely than the sailors used to do.
I don’t want to be a sailor forever. If we ever have children, as a father I want to be closer to my family. Provided it is financially feasible. I want to give my children a good future. So it depends on the situation how long I keep doing this.