Seacrest Maritime Foundation Inc., or SMFI, held its Fourth Recognition Rites and Pinning Ceremony last Thursday, March 22, 2013, at the Aznar Ballpark. The one hundred and twenty cadets comprising Batch Tagumpay braved Cebu’s afternoon sun to mark the culmination of the academic portion of their training.
There to congratulate the cadets were the chairman of SMFI, Mr. Andrew Aznar, and his wife, Mrs. Gina Aznar the president of SMFI. Capt. Jeffrey P. Solon, COO of Centennial Transmarine Inc. was one of the guests of honor and delivered the keynote address. Another guest of honor, C/E Antonino Gascon Jr., the President and CEO of Sembawang Ship Management, gave an inspirational speech. The speakers addressed a crowd of about a thousand proud cadets, instructors, parents, and sponsors who had gathered to celebrate the occasion.
Academic awards were given out to the top 15 of the 46 marine transportation cadets as well as to the top 15 of the 74 marine engineering cadets. Of these, cadets Wen John Verdida, Dwilon Belena, and Arlo Ursal garnered the top 3 spots in the deck department while cadets Junel Bojos, Julito Postrero, and Lenard Abistado took the top 3 places in the engine department.
In addition to his place in the top 3 of his department, D/Cdt. Wen John Verdida was also awarded the Matias B. Aznar III Medal for Cadet of the Year, with the award given by the dean of SMFI, Capt. Reynaldo Abella, and Mrs. Eleonor Aznar.
Also recognized was E/Cdt. Robert Manayaga, who was awarded the Juan Miguel Zubiri Medal of Excellence in Service, bestowed by former senator Zubiri’s chief of staff, Ernest Herrera Jr.
In addition to delivering a very inspiring address, C/E Gascon also announced the names of the cadets who have been accepted for apprenticeship at his company, Sembawang Ship Management. It is the foundation’s hope that they and the rest of their cohorts in Batch Tagumpay will be able to match the 100% board passing record of Batch Masigasig, the latest batch of SMFI graduates to take the Marine Engineering and Marine Transportation Boards.
Established in 2007, SMFI has now produced 470 maritime graduates under its Study now, Pay Later Program.
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Photo Credit: Oscar Machacon