Lately I have been hooked watching You Tube videos uploaded by Filipino seafarers. In these videos they vlog about their life on board ship. I must say, I am intrigued and I enjoy watching them live their day to day life. I also feel their joy and excitement when they finish their contract. I delight in watching them excitedly pack their belongings and gifts into their suitcases and back packs as they leave the ship and head home to be reunited with their loved ones.
One episode I watched recently was uploaded by a young man who goes by the name of ONIN. In it he showed his disembarkation as well as that of the rest of the Filipino crew from the Grand Princess in Oakland, California just last March 2020. The Grand Princess ship was big news here in the US since it sat off the coast of San Francisco for a long time while the state government had to decide what to do with the ship and its crew and passengers sickened by the Corona virus.
With the cruise business now in turmoil due to the pandemic, many Filipino seafarers have had to cut short their stint on board ship with their employing cruise lines and are now back home unemployed. I worry so much about these workers. I know for a fact that they depend on their earnings to feed and clothe their families. $500 might not be big in other parts of the world, but back in the Philippines, it goes a long way in supporting a family.
With talk about cruises not going back to normal operation until 2022, I wonder what will happen to all my kababayans who work on these ships. I honestly hope better days are near and that life will return to normal soon so that everyone who has been left jobless by this horrific pandemic will get their employment back.