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'Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind': 31 out of the 40 winning photos are from Filipino seafarers

'Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind'
Yashika F. Torib October 20, 2021

The cover photo taken by Filipino Ordinary Seaman, Aljon Manlangit, entitled ‘Papa is tired, but Papa will never give up’. PHOTO FROM ITF
"A man's propensity to greatness truly lies in his ability to adapt to whatever situation he finds himself in. With the looming threat to our day-to-day lives due to the pandemic, seafarers are finding it even harder to cope with the constantly changing policies set by political governing bodies. We may be hardened by the difficulties we were able to overcome, but at the end of the day, we cannot set aside the fact that we are still human."

This quote by Filipino Third Officer Duncan Torres captures the essence of "Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind", a photo book produced by International Transport Workers Federation's (ITF) Seafarer's Trust.

Torres is one of the photographers of The Manila Times-Maritime Section and his photo entry was also chosen as one of the top picks and included in the book.

The photobook contains 40 portraits of seafarers, taken by seafarers to mark the 40 years of the ITF's Seafarer's trust. It was culled from nearly 3,000 images submitted to Seafarers' Trust for a photography competition.

31 out of the 40 winning photos are from Filipino seafarers.

The cover photo was taken by Filipino Ordinary Seaman, Aljon Manlangit, entitled 'Papa is tired, but Papa will never give up.

"[This is] a portrait shot of my colleague wiper Wendell Pineda, a native Filipino citizen, after work on the Inert Gas System together with the engine crew. The story behind this photo is a bit sad. One of those father-sacrifice stories that some of us seafarers are experiencing right now. After his first contract as an engine boy, [Pineda] embarked again for the second time, with less than three weeks in his country, staying only in the quarantine facility in his province," Manlangit said in his caption.

The global campaign aims to promote the living and working conditions of seafarers and make sure that although they are out of sight, they are not out of mind.

"[This] echoes the IMO's intention to ensure that even when in the middle of the ocean onboard a tanker, bulk carrier or container ship, our seafarers feel valued and cared for," Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), said.

"Last year brought the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, and with it, the crisis surrounding crew change. It has been disappointing to discover that, despite considerable cooperation amongst and between maritime stakeholders, the critical position of seafarers has not been adequately recognized. We need to talk more about the undervalued work of seafarers and to share the stories of those who transport essential food, fuel, medical supplies, and consumer goods around the world," David Heindel, Chairman of the ITF Seafarers' Trust, said.