Cheers and applauds were heard all over the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) Campus in Kamaya Point, Alas-Asin, Mariveles, Bataan on the 27th of May, as MAAP held a graduation ceremony for their first batch of graduates on this year, 2022, marking a joyous occasion for all.
Representing the first batch of graduates belonging to the Dracarheas Class of 2022, 152 midshipmen and midshipwomen were honored in this year’s graduation rites. Of which, 78 of the graduates were granted their degrees for Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation, while the remaining 74 received their degrees for Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering.
The event started through the invocation headed by Oblates of Saint Joseph’s (OSJ) Reverend Father Ponciano G. Balmes Jr., blessing the ceremony and offering a prayer to commemorate the grandiose event, which was followed by the singing of the National Anthem.
Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) President and MAAP Chairman, Dr. Conrado F. Oca was the next speaker, providing his welcoming remarks. Though known to be a man of great prestige, Dr. Oca did not fail to exercise his usual friendly humor to the masses while he continued with his speech. He stood confidently, greeting the guests, sponsors, partners from different shipping companies, other responsible stakeholders, the faculty and staff of MAAP, the graduates and their families and friends. He imparted his gratitude to the parents, instructors and leaders that assisted the graduates in their journey towards becoming skilled and educated professionals. Proud of what the graduates have become, Dr. Oca emphasized the vision of his father, Capt. Gregorio S. Oca.
Afterwards, MAAP Dean of Academics, Captain Daniel S. Torres Jr. introduced the graduating class and commended them for successfully concluding their academic requirements. This was followed by MAAP President, Vice-Admiral Eduardo Ma R. Santos who declared and conferred to the graduates their degrees, congratulating them for their efforts. Finally, The Guest Speaker and new International Mariners Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ) Chairman, Mr. Toshito Inoue, together with Dr. Oca and Vice-Admiral Santos started issuing the diplomas to the Dracarheas Class of 2022 and the two CAMS graduating students.
Lastly, Dr. Oca introduced the Guest Speaker, Mr. Inoue who shared his wisdom to the graduates. He thanked all his constituents, the audience and the graduates for all the efforts they gave, whilst bringing up how difficult the challenges were during the pandemic. He then enlightened everyone with the responsibilities of IMMAJ and what they stand for, providing them insight into the training facilities they have donated for the students. “On behalf of the general membership of IMMAJ, I sincerely congratulate you, all the graduates, for earning your respective degrees in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering.” He advised them to be proud of themselves for what they have accomplished especially through the hard times the pandemic has brought.
“Welcome Aboard!”, the Chairman said, addressing them to keep learning and improve their skills and competence. “Never give up.”, Mr. Inoue added, telling them that it is never the end of their story and they need to always keep their heads up. Wherever they may go, whatever may happen, he believes they should stay humble and vigilant, and to always live by their principles, advising them to never be afraid of failure and to always take on new challenges. “I hope I see you all as captains. Bon Voyage, Maraming Salamat po, Mabuhay.”, bestowing them his final wishes and hoped nothing but the best for the graduates.