“Our success went beyond hard work and financial management. We are also fortunate to have children who are truly intelligent and capable of handling life,” he said.

When asked what advice he would give to his fellow seafarers, Manalo emphasized practicality.

“You really must save. Our job is temporary; we are contractual workers. The moment our shipboard contract ends, we will spend months on shore as jobless professionals. There is nothing to go on with but our savings, unless we have side jobs or a business. You also must take care of your health because that is your investment. Medical examinations are getting stricter, and we can’t let our lifestyle get in the way of our job,” he said.