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An Escolarian’s Voyage to Success

1 March 2017

“My journey started here in CEU”.


Marvin Libao began to feel nostalgic as he shared his experiences during his college days and how Centro Escolar University became the starting point of the long road he has taken, leading to where he is now.


Reminiscing the good old times, Marvin described himself as vigorous, active, and a student- leader. Being the only student from the Performing Arts Program of the CEU School of Education, Liberal Arts, Music and Social Work (SELAMS), he was the former President of COMPASS, SELAMS Chapter. He also became the Stage Manager of the Search for Mr. and Ms. CEU 2007.


Who would have thought that Marvin’s fate from being a simple Escolarian will sail over the seas.  


February 11, 2007 was a remarkable day that changed Marvin’s life. It was during the Job and Career Fair of the University when his attention was caught by the Magsaysay recruitment team. He approached the booth and was directed to show his dancing, singing, and hosting skills. Having impressed the recruitment team, he was hired immediately as cruise staff and told to process his papers.


“It was not an easy journey,” Marvin said.


From being a Cruise Staff, Marvin became a Cruise Activity Manager then the Assistant Cruise Director, and soon he may probably become the Cruise Manager. He may be living his dreams now, but before he could do so, he had to go through many struggles and adjustments like getting used to the life at sea and working with people of different nationalities.


Moreover, life in the cruise ship is like being in the brink of death, for the ship may sink or extreme storms may hit it. Aside from this risk, he had to go through a lot of adjustments, a lot of trainings in hosting and singing, most especially, safety trainings that need a lot of hard work and discipline. He wasn’t also spared of racial discrimination on board. Not only do foreign guests who’d know he’s a Filipino remark, “Oh my God, you’re a Filipino, why are you here?”, his salary is based on his nationality.


These adverse situations prompted him to resign in 2013. Fortunately when he decided to go back to work after two months, he was rehired by the company, and he has been with the Princess Cruises for ten years now.


“Pinakamahirap na trabaho yun sa akin. Why? Nagpapasaya ako ng tao,” Marvin said. As Assistant Cruise Manager, he is in charge of the events, introduces performers, a Zumba and ballroom dancing instructor, a voice coach, and hosts various game shows on board. He does all these to almost 4,000 passengers with ages 40-100 years old and teenagers. He works from Monday to Sunday with a broken schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. including holidays. He said that if one wants to stay long in the job, he has to be versatile; if not, get a land-based assignment.


It may be a challenging job, but according to him other nationalities like him and he often receives a standing ovation from the crowd for his good performance.



Marvin is a truly a proud Escolarian. He strongly believes that CEU was his training ground that honed his skills and refined his talents through exposures in university and college-wide events and participation in extracurricular activities. 


Despite the success, Marvin remains humble. 


“May sampung maniniwala sa’yo, pero may dalawampu na hindi maniniwala sa’yo,” he said.


He learned that to be successful one just needs to have perseverance and determination. For him, if one has talents, he should constantly practice and should never get tired of improving his craft.


With the right attitude, Marvin has survived 10 years inside 14 cruise ships, traveling back and forth in 80 countries.


Contented and happy with his career, Marvin was able to invest in real estate property in Metro Manila.


Even with all the hardships and trials in the cruise ships, it is the joy of seeing the smiles on other people’s faces that keeps him going.

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