Döhle Seafront honors retirement of long-time crew

As posted by Buhay Marino Online on October 30, 2022

As a testament to 40 years of strong ties between Germany-based shipping giant Döhle Group and Filipino seafarers, Döhle Seafront Crewing (Manila), Inc. celebrated the retirement of 24 seafarers that has served the group for more than two decades.

“This celebration is symbolic not only to the retirees but also to our long partnership with our parent company – their unending trust, loyalty to our shore and sea-based partners, and the continuous employment they bring to our maritime community,” shares Döhle Seafront President lawyer Iris Baguilat.

Ten were able to attend the ceremony held last October 28, 2022, at The Galley, 2/F Döhle Haus Manila, Makati City, along with their families: Oiler Danilo Antonio (20 Years), Bosun Jaime Bragat (20), Oiler Romeo Escritor (22), Bosun Cirilo Briana (22), Fitter Vivencio Manalo (22), Oiler Ricardo Bolo Jr (22), Chief Cook Dante Ligo (22), Bosun Rolie Diopenes (23), Able-body Seaman Rudy Murillo (24), and Oiler Romeo Patano (25).

While several of these crew took early retirement in 2019 because of the pandemic, all had a fulfilling life and tenure as Döhle seafarers and were expressively grateful for the opportunity to work with the group that gave them stable employment and allowed them to provide for their families, send their children to school, invest on properties and, to some, explore and establish business ventures.

Among them is retired Chief Cook Dante Ligo who joined the Döhle fleet in 1996 as an able-body seaman. But after several contracts and as pre-employment medical examinations tightened, he was found color blind and unfit to continue his work at sea which included navigational watch. On this down point, Ligo did not lose hope and decided to apply and restart his career at sea as a mess man. He eventually got his medical clearance and continued working with Döhle. After seven contracts, intending to progress his career, he wrote a letter to the Döhle Group in Germany asking for a chance to be promoted into Chief Cook, to which they responded favorably.

As a new chief cook back then, Ligo shares that he would regularly bring volumes of cookbooks and self-studied recipes to his crewmate’s liking. Fourteen years later, he happily and with a chin held high retired as an excellent chief cook.

“Masaya at tumayo ang balahibo ko habang tinatanaw ang mga nakilapas kong taon sa PD (Peter Döhle). Malaki talaga ang ibinigay nila na opportunity sa akin. Maganda din yung trabaho ko; tuluy-tuloy at may magandang sahod. Hindi nila ako pinaghihintay ng matagal tuwing babyahe ako pa-Maynila. Malaking-malaki ang tulong sa akin at sa pamilya ng Döhle at maligaya ako sa naging buhay ko sa PD group. Maraming salamat. [I am happy and gets goosebumps as I look back to my years with PD. It has given me a very big opportunity. I had a good-paying and continuous work. They never made me wait for too long to get onboard everytime I fly to Manila. Döhle has greatly helped my family and I and I am very happy with the life I had with PD. Thank you very much!]”

Another retiree, Oiler Ricardo Bolo Jr., who joined the group in 1998 as an ordinary seaman, also shares his appreciation for the group.

Döhle has become a big part of his life sharing, “sa simula’t-simula pa, parang pamilya ko na ang PD kasi yung mga tao diyan kahit na anong lahi lalo na ang mga Germans, friendly sila; mababait, propesyonal at maintindihin. Sa kanila kasi natuto ng trabaho kahit baguhan lamang ako noon sa pagbabarko… Dyan na ako namulat, dyan na lumalaki pamilya ko, dyan na rin nakapagtapos yung mga bata. Malaki ang pasalamat ko dahil dyan na nabuhay pamilya ko. [From the very beginning, PD has been a family to me because of the people: my crew mates, especially the Germans that I have met onboard were friendly, professional, and understanding, even when I was new to the job onboard. I am always proud and thankful to be with PD. I learned the ways of life with them; my family grew, and my children graduated with PD.

The Döhle Group has been employing Filipino seafarers since 1982, starting from being a principal (shipowner) to their first local manning partner to Midocean Phils. in 1987 where Döhle was the primary principal. Their ships then migrated to Dohle-Philman Manning Agency Inc., before finally establishing their premier Philippine manning arm Döhle Seafront Crewing (Manila), Inc. in 2009.

The retirees witnessed the trust that Döhle Group has given its Filipino partners throughout the changing times.

“Malaki po talaga utang na loob ko sa PD. Sa mga nakasama ko noon na naupo na sa opisina sa Germany, kahit papaano ay naaalala nila ako; kinakamusta nila ako hanggang ngayon. Sa opisina po natin na nag-umpisa sa Midocean, napunta ng Philman hanggang kay Dohle Seafront na po kung saan ako nagtagal hanggang sa magretiro, malaki po talaga utang na loob ko sa kumpanya – sa kanila po galing lahat nang naipundar ko ngayon. [I am very indebted to PD. To my former crewmates who have eventually been seated in the office in Germany, I appreciate and value that they remember me and check on me until today. To our office, from Mid-Ocean to Philman to eventually Döhle Seafront where I retired, I am very much indebted to you – all the success that I have now came from you],” shares retired Fitter Vivencio Manalo.

Döhle Group’s head honcho, executives, and colleagues from Hamburg, Germany remotely joined the retirees at the celebration online.

Döhle Seafront Board of Directors Tore Henriksen, Cesar Drilon, and Capt. Mayronilo Padiz also joined Atty Iris Baguilat during the ceremony.

The retirees who were present received tokens, gifts, and compliments from the Döhle Group, and Döhle Seafront’s local partners BDO, Berjaya Hotel, and Windsor Medical Clinic.