Filipinos have a proven track record of dedication to their profession and exhibiting strong moral and ethical values. They exhibit high tolerance for difficult situations and are used to giving their best while working in remote locations even under stressful working conditions. These traits are what endeared Mr. Pete Pela, CEO of Tall Ship Adventures and Singapore based operator of the luxury Tall Ship Royal Albatross cruise ship to his Filipino Crew.
The Royal Albatross is the Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired yacht that offers sunset cruises around Sentosa. It started its operations in Singapore in 2015 and is considered a leader in the Asian Super Yacht industry, providing luxurious cruises, hosting corporate events and entertainment, and organizing private charters.
“The Royal Albatross is a product of Filipino craftsmanship and artistry who meticulously toiled in transforming the yacht to achieve its pirate-inspired look. We hired around 40 Filipino workers who were instrumental in the design and carpentry that is featured throughout the ship. Master Rigger, Jim Barry, the designer behind the ships featured in the Hollywood blockbuster films, Pirates of the Carribean oversaw the work of our Filipino workers from the mast and rigging design, fabrication, apprentice training, and production management,” shares Pela.
Eduardo Yusi, one of the original carpenters of the Royal Albatross recalls their humble beginnings. “We were hired in Malaysia to work on the construction of the ship. Like any other job, there were difficulties, like missing your family back home and working with different nationalities but the management were very accommodating and very kind, they made us feel at home. Thinking of the welfare of our families in the Philippines made us all persevere.”
THE BIG BREAK
Upon arrival in Singapore after completing the massive 5 year reconstruction and revamp project, the management decided to retain 8 Filipinos to be trained as full time crew given their familiarity with the ship. More than half of these Filipinos were carpenters.
“We only have admiration for our Filipino crew. They are very resourceful, resilient they have this sunny personality that makes them adaptable to their work environment and employers. They also have a good command of the English language, which facilitates an open communication and smooth day to day operations. I believe that we made the right decision in keeping and training our Filipino workers. Although most of them were carpenters, they showed us amazing dedication and the willingness to learn and excel in the traditional and highly specialized skills that are required to sail a squared rigged tall ship,” Pela added.
Mr Yusi who is now Royal Albatross’ 2nd Officer, added that he will forever be grateful to Mr. Pela for the trust and opportunity. “Who would have thought that a carpenter like me will be given the chance to work and progress to an officer on one of the most beautiful and unique cruise ship in the world.”
Allan Bruno, another Filipino worker, who is now the Associate Director for Support and Systems shares the same sentiment. “I have been with the company for almost a decade and I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else. I consider my job and my colleagues as my home and family. Looking at the Royal Albatross now makes me feel so proud, not only because of my contribution to the reconstruction project; but as a Filipino because I think we were able to show that Filipino workers can really excel in any industry as long as they put their heart into it.”