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Odfjell cadets graduate with flying colors from the Philippines' premiere maritime education

This year's Odfjell cadets have successfully graduated from the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), and are now a few steps away from signing on as full-fledged Odfjell seafarers.

First row, from left: Gian Clyde Bagano; Camilo Escorial, Jr.; Nathaniel Deane Gonzaga; Miguel Lumiguen. Second row, from left: Jaian JV Ramirez; Vince Jean Rivera; Daniel Asumo; Reggie Songgay; Melvin Tabangay.


PMMA, the pioneer institution in maritime education in the country, held its 198th commencement exercises at the PMMA Complex in San Narciso, Zambales in the northern Philippines on July 28.

We congratulate our graduates:

BS Marine Transportation (BSMT)

Deck Cadet Gian Clyde Bagano
Deck Cadet Camilo Escorial, Jr.
Deck Cadet Nathaniel Deane Gonzaga
Deck Cadet Miguel Lumiguen
Deck Cadet Jaian JV Ramirez
Deck Cadet Vince Jean Rivera

BS Marine Engineering (BSMarE)

Engine Cadet Daniel Asumo
Engine Cadet Reggie Songgay
Engine Cadet Melvin Tabangay

In addition to the Odfjell Cadets, the company also supported two female Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) cadets, Deck Cadet Celrose Tito and Engine Cadet Mona Catherine Manuta.

Flying colors

Deck Cadet Gian Clyde Bagano, who topped the BSMT graduates of PMMA's Sinaglakan Class of 2021, said: 

“With our style of education together with the rigorous training at the academy, I am very proud to say that I was able to overcome the hardships and challenges thrown right at us and climb up the ranks and be at the top. I couldn’t reach the very top without the support of my colleagues, family and most especially Odfjell.

On behalf of my batch, I would like to thank Odfjell for giving us the opportunity to be part of the company and for the company’s continuous guidance for us to be competent merchant mariners. Thank you for molding us into what we are today. Thank you for the experience during our shipboard training that taught us valuable lessons and gave us a glimpse of the lifestyle awaiting us.”

Gian Clyde Bagano, Deck Cadet

Opportunity of a lifetime

Out of 186 cadets who took part in the company’s selection process, only 14 cadets were chosen for the four-year residency courses of BS Marine Transportation and BS Marine Engineering at PMMA.

The first two years of both programs are allotted to academics, where the students also learn the knowledge and skills they will need as cadets on board. In their third year, the cadets spend their shipboard training on board Odfjell vessels, putting into practice what they have learned during the first two years, while at the same time learning more about the company, our culture, and our operations. After one year of sailing, the cadets go back for their final academic year at the academy, where they are prepared to be professionals at sea.


“My apprenticeship in Odfjell set the pillars of my skills as a seafarer, which I will never forget. I can’t wait to go back on board and put to use what I’ve learned the past four years, and learn a lot more. I am much obliged for the opportunity that the company gave me.”

Nathaniel Deane Gonzaga, Deck Cadet


Vince Jean Rivera sailed on board Bow Lind for his shipboard training.

Gian Clyde Bagano as a cadet on board Bow Lind.

The cadets spend the months following their graduation preparing for the board exams, and taking mandatory and company-required trainings. While their education has prepared them to sail as junior officers, the cadets spend their first contract on board as Ratings so they can familiarize for their next position. Like all other positions on board, promotion among Odfjell-sponsored cadets is earned.

Since their acceptance to the program until they are launched as Odfjell seafarers, these cadets are supported by the company. Maritime Personnel Manila ensures that they are up-to-date with their requirements, and that they receive the necessary guidance as youngsters navigating uncharted territory. By experiencing Odfjell’s values from day one, they are well prepared for their future leadership roles in the company.


“We are very grateful to have been selected as Odfjell’s sponsored cadets. Many of my batchmates envied us for the support our company has provided us throughout. Thank you for accommodating us during our stay in Manila and for processing all the necessary documents for our apprenticeship onboard.”

Camilo Escorial, Jr., Deck Cadet


Stringent process

Odfjell first enrolled Filipino cadets from the Norwegian Shipowners' Association (NSA) Philippines Cadet Program in 2004. Since then, the company has sponsored an average of 25 cadets every year. In 2021, Odfjell enrolled a total of 25 cadets – 15 Deck and 10 Engine. Of these 25, ten are female cadets.

Getting into the Odfjell–NSA Cadetship Program is a stringent process. The first step is to apply to the NSA Philippines Cadet Program. If an applicant passes the testing, profiling and medical examination administered by NSA, they are endorsed to the company for the final interview. If they fit Odfjell’s qualifications and demonstrate the potential for excellence and world-class seamanship, they get the scholarship at an NSA-accredited maritime education institution.

Since its inception, the Odfjell–NSA Cadetship Program has produced 364 graduates, many of whom now hold leadership positions onboard Odfjell vessels.

“The Odfjell Cadetship Program was created by the company to be the melting pot of our future officers. This is where we develop their sense of belonging and start inculcating the Odfjell culture from their first day at school. These cadets are not only taught by the best academic institutions; they are also honed into committed and loyal mariners with the best behavior and professionalism. With the products of this program comprising majority of our current Operational Level and some of the Management Level Officers, we can claim that the cadetship program is a success.”

Captain Remigio Zamora, Odfjell Philippines, Inc. General Manager, in charge of the Odfjell-NSA Cadetship Program

Congratulations to all graduates, welcome on board! 

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