Of mega-yachts and Belinda-A A +A
Monday, March 4, 2013
BELINDA CUIZON WONG is a nursing graduate who has found for herself a different niche: that of recruiting seafarers for yachts and mega-yachts through Eurasian Maritime Corp. which she founded in 2009.
She relates that at age 24, she worked in a similar agency. After four months in the job, her boss resigned and she was left to carry on with all the work of the agency.
She learned all she had to know on the job: how to recruit prospective personnel, how to make sure they are qualified for the position they applied for, how to deal with the ship owners, how to deal with government agencies. She was with this company for 13 years but quit when she got married.
After the birth of her children (she now has three), she decided to go into business.
Her husband, Hong Kong-born Wong Hung Fai (he carries a British and Hong Kong passport, but has been in Cebu since age seven so he knows Cebuano well) advised her to go into a business that she knows well. She has never worked as a nurse but she knows everything about seafarer recruitment and so she started Eurasian Maritime Corp.
She specializes in recruiting crewmen for yachts and mega-yachts in Europe and Asia.
She deploys chief mates, second mates, bosuns (boatswain), deck hands and whatever other ship crew a yacht owner may ask her to find.
Belinda says that with yachts and mega-yachts, there is less headache for her recruited seafarer (and therefore less headache for her), they are usually better paid and have an easier time in that yacht owners do not sail their yachts on a year-round basis—but the crew gets paid for the whole year. Because yachts are her specialty, she goes to Monaco every September for the Monaco Boat Show to look for more clients, as well a sometimes, to meet some of her clients, the owners themselves or their managers.
Her company’s mission and vision is “To be a leading source of Filipino crew to ship owners… to maintain a pool of dynamic, competent and disciplined Filipino crew committed in pursuing global competence while maintaining a strong sense of social responsibility… and to create a mutually rewarding situation for all parties involved, our clients, our seafarers and Eurasian Maritime Corporation.”
For this she keeps a pool of crew candidates who have met all the requirements of the Philippine government. When the yacht owner or manager decides to take a candidate they want, the office does all the necessary paperwork for that person to be deployed, including complete medical and dental check-up, physiological testing, processing of contracts, securing visas, arranging flight schedules, facilitating monthly allotments of the crew and other accounting matters, remitting government-mandated contributions and other related services. All this at no cost to the hired crew.
Belinda loves what her company is doing, bringing in dollars for the country, helping fellow Filipinos get decent jobs that make them afford a better lifestyle for them and their families.
To de-stress herself, Belinda is into an exercise regimen. She also plays badminton, goes biking and runs. She has joined three Cebu City marathons. She is also with the Beautiful Cebu movement as corporate secretary and donates to causes like Operation Smile, as a way of giving back to the community she is in.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 05, 2013.