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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

'Museo Marino' in Manila a tribute to Pinoy seafarers

Here's a new must-see for students on educational trips or families on a weekend break: new museum in Manila — Museo Marino.

A non-stock, non-profit institution, Museo Marino is one of the very few museums in the world dedicated to the work of a union or association of workers, specifically seafarers.

That union is the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), which works very closely with the All Japan Seamen’s Union (JSU).

In an interview with GMA News Online on Tuesday, Lilibeth Cordova – laO’ said, "The museum talks about the union, AMOSUP and the benefits for the members and how it has helped not only the members but even their families."
Some of the features of the museum are:
Walls of seafarer stories - This is a changing exhibit built from the life stories of AMOSUP seafarers.
AMOSUP timeline – The museum features the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) successfully negotiated by the union with shipping companies.
Bust of Captain Gregorio Oca - In 1960, Captain Gregorio Oca established the first marine officers’ union in the Philippines — the Associated Marine Officers’ Union of the Philippines (AMOUP). In 1972, the membership of the union expanded to include rank and file seafarers  (ASUP) Associated Seamen’s Union of the Philippines. The organization then came to be known as the Associated Marine Officers and Seafarers’ Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP). 

A short documentary on Oca's life, work and passion for organizing workers is featured in the museum.
JSU video kiosk – This kiosk show the partnership of JSU and AMOSUP through the years.
AMOSUP video kiosk – This features an audio-visual presentation on how AMOSUP helps provide the world’s merchant marine with able officers, continuing the Philippines seafaring heritage.
Wall map - This map provides a recent count of the numbers of Filipino seafarers working in the world’s ocean.
Floor map - This map gives a recent count of the number of Filipino seafarers from different regions.
Model ships - The JSU gave the museum four state-of- the-art model ships which are mini- versions of the some of the ships Filipino seafarers work in.
Portholes wall – These are portholes or windows provide a glimpse into the past, the history of seafaring in the Philippines
View deck – This area gives a whole view of the museum. It also provides visitors an experience of how it is like to be on a real view deck of a ship. 
Wall of vitrines – This wall shows the kinds of equipment seafarers have used in the last 50 years.
Mini-theater – This room is built for small group presentations, complete with audio-video facilities.
Collective bargaining agreements
La O' told GMA News Online, "Here in the museum we’re showing the collective bargaining agreements of the museum. These are because of Captain Oca, because he was the one who put AMOSUP together."

She said it was Oca's "passion to give the seafarers and their families better lives."
"He believes that they should have equal dignity of labor for the Philippines that’s why this museum is here," La O' said.
Oca forged strategic partnerships with local and international organizations so AMOSUP can be an active stakeholder in the international maritime industry.

AMOSUP has a membership of  more than 85,000, making it the largest and most consolidated seafarers’ union in the Philippines.
Still being developed

La O' explained that the museum is just new and many other sections are still being developed.
"We just opened on April 16 of this year but today (August 28) is the first day that we’re really having a big public visit," she said. "We’ve had schools coming to visit but we’re not really all finished, marami pang plans to make more sections."
La O' said "the museum is not only for seafarers its also for the public because most of the public don’t know much about the union."

She also said the museum was "for the family of the seafarers so they can appreciate the hard work that the seafarers are doing for our country." - Andrei Medina, Veronica Pulumbarit, GMA News
Museum Hours: 
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday    
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to noon 
Address: 814 J. Nakpil corner 
Pilar Hidalgo Lim Sts., Malate Manila      
Tel No:  ( 02) 353-81-80
Free admission.

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