The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) and the PMMA Alumni Association have started the countdown for the 200th founding anniversary of the state-run maritime institution.

The ceremonial countdown started last September 15, exactly 200 days away from the bicentennial celebration in April 2020 of the nation’s premier maritime institution, during the brief program held at the Club Intramuros Golf Course in Intramuros, Manila.

In his message to the event, PMMA Supt. Capt. Joel Abutal paid tribute to the early generations of graduates of the oldest maritime institution in Asia.

“Our voyage towards the 200 years has been such a marvelous ride.  Let us not forget that those who came before us have greatly contributed in making PMMA what it is today,” Capt. Abutal said.

It was the graduates of Philippine Nautical School (PNS), the forerunner of PMMA, and the early graduates of PMMA that showed to foreign shipowners their world-class skills in seamanship and navigation.

This development eventually paved the way for foreign principals to hire Filipinos that opened up the floodgates of opportunities for thousands of Filipino seafarers including non-PMMA graduates.

In an interview, overall Host Class chairman Brig. Gen. Melvin Ordialessaid the organizing committee for the bicentennial celebration is holding a series of activities until April 2020 to raise funds for the big event. 

Brig. Gen. Ordiales, also the president of PMMA Class ’85, disclosed the target is to raise around P12 million for the once-in-a-lifetime celebration. 

The Host Class, composed of graduates of Class ’70, ’75, ’80, ’85, ’90, ’95, ’00, ’05, ’10, and ’15, is mainly in-charge of raising funds for the celebration.

He said that hundreds of PMMA alumni who are residing abroad, would be coming home from  different countries notably from the US, Japan, Singapore, Europe, Australia to join their beloved institution’s 200th founding anniversary celebration.

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