A veteran of more than 20 years at sea, 3rd Engineer Edgar F. Nazarrea is officer-in-charge of an engineering watch, and Training Director at the Mariners’ Polytechnic Training Center.
Driven by the desire to help his family, Edgar F. Nazarrea pursued his seafaring career even as he had already started shore-based employment at the Mariners’ Polytechnic Colleges Foundation (MPCF) in Camarines Sur.
The eldest child in his family, Nazarrea assumed the obligation of sending his brothers and sisters to school, which he believed he would only be able to do if he finished his own tertiary studies. He worked his way through college and in 1987 obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the MPCF.
His shipboard employment started in 1994 when he was engaged as wiper/oiler by Tsakos Shipping and Trading S.A. through its crewing agent in the Philippines, Unlad Ship Manning and Management Corporation. Nazarrea has, since then, been continuously hired by Tsakos Shipping, rising up to the position of 3rd Engineer (OIC of an engineering watch). His longevity is considered rare in an industry where employment is contingent on the earliest available shipboard slot with whichever company may offer it. He has worked with Tsakos Shipping for the more than twenty years of his shipboard employment.
Tsakos Shipping and Trading S.A. is an international shipping company based in Greece and manages a fleet of vessels consisting of LNG and oil tankers, bulk carriers, and container ships. It has established various specialized corporate entities to carry out a plethora of services ranging from new building supervision to financing, insurance and corporate services. Currently, TCM Tsakos Maritime Philippines (TMPI) takes care of deploying Filipino officers and crew on Tsakos ships.
Joining Tsakos Shipping has given Nazarrea a most rewarding shipboard experience, which helped him hone his skills and knowledge as a merchant marine officer and maritime instructor. He joined ships flagged in Liberia, Panama, Cyprus, Marshall Islands, Bahamas, and Greece, mostly manned by mixed crews and Greek officers. He attests that adaptability to working with different nationalities helped him carry out assigned tasks with ease.
Nazarrea concurs with the general perception that seafaring is a most fulfilling profession in terms of remuneration and stature. Nonetheless, the desire to fulfill his responsibility of securing the future of his siblings made him realize his seafaring paycheck needs to be augmented. Thus, the time in between the “finished shipboard contract” and the next “joining ship contract” finds this hardworking and persevering seafarer teaching at the Mariners’ Polytechnic Training Center in Malate. To him staying loyal to the shipping company,
which consistently hires him, and to his alma mater that provides him shore-based work while on vacation is his way of expressing gratitude to those who helped him achieve his personal and professional goals. While on vacation from his shipboard job, he takes on the tasks of Lead Assessor/Instructor at the Mariners’ Polytechnic Training Center.
Nazarrea poignantly recalls getting married during the last semester in college of his youngest sister. He and wife Wilma Alto are blessed with four children, for whom he confidently says he is able to provide good education and a comfortable life.
He looks forward to his next shipboard assignment with enthusiasm, as he expects to assume a management position. Nazarrea readily attributes the secret of his success as a seafarer and a teacher to persistence and industry, two qualities that he believes anyone regardless of his chosen profession must possess.