Working as an actor, this seaman has one of the coolest sideline jobs ever

During vacation, some active seafarers still work part time to earn a living. I, for one, facilitate seafarer and seafarer aspirants’ Basic Training in one maritime training center in Manila.

Related reading: How to be a maritime instructor and assessor in the Philippines.

Before I became a maritime trainer, I even worked as an online customer service agent selling Philippine-made products to some Filipino migrants in Japan.  Yes, when others are sitting pretty during their two or three-month vacation, I just can’t afford to do so.

Hindi naman sa sobrang masipag tayo, matindi lang talaga siguro ang pangangailangan. 😂 lol

Bottom line, I think a seafarer should not really depend on a single source of income (pagbabarko). Not to mention that the times he’s waiting for his re-embarkation, as long as he’s happy to do it, is a good time to develop his business or a shore-based career – an “ideal” thought I think I share with Mr. Ace Vergel Malabag.

Ace works in an international cruise ship. But when he’s not sailing, he is a business and a TV and film actor in the Philippines.

Since he’s #petmalu, let’s point over him the klieg light.

Read on. Ace’s time to know our lodi! 😊

I. A seasoned seaman



Ace started his seafaring career in 2001. Together with his hopeful friends, he applied for a job at C.F. Sharp, a recruitment agency for cruise ships in Manila.

Luckily, he was hired to work as a snack steward and got a promotion merely 4 months after he joined the luxury ship Celebrity Century.

I started my career on board way back 2001. I just assisted before my two good friends at Sta. Cruz, Manila to enrol SOLAS (Basic Training).

I don’t have enough money at that time but they enrolled me also. I was glad we all passed our training.

We all together submitted our resumes to manning agencies, but only two of us passed the initial interview of CF SHARP.

I joined CELEBRITY CENTURY way back January 21, 2001 as a SNACK STEWARD.

I worked as a SNACK ATTENDANT for 4 months and had been promoted to ASSISTANT WAITER.

Looking back on his start up years, Ace recounts his personal struggles and success.

Same as other crew members, I also encountered a lot of trials during my career especially regarding working hours.

We don’t have any time card nor time and attendance policy at that time.

I was working as ASSISTANT WAITER (ACTING WAITER) for 4 years and luckily has been promoted as fully pledge WAITER.

Since I am eager to learn more, I started to study all paper works like reservations, requisitions, scheduling, etc.

Since then, they decided to put me at the office during day and has stationed me as waiter during dinner.

I also opened some of the SOLSTICE CLASS ship of CELEBRITY CRUISES and became ASSISTANT MAITRE D’.

Ace worked in smaller passenger ships upon leaving Celebrity Cruises.

In 2013, he toiled onboard a Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) ship in Miami, Florida as Service Captain while a year after, he was a Waiter in a private yacht for 9 months.

Then 2016 came, he decided to return to massive cruise ships by joining the MSC Cruise Lines, a Mediterranean-born cruise company.

Year 2016, my co-managers from CELEBRITY CRUISES called and advised me that MSC was looking for an ASSISTANT MAITRE D’.

I decided to report and at that moment, they asked my SKYPE address and they scheduled me for an interview.

Yes! I have passed the interview but unfortunately I don’t have any other foreign languages to speak.

MSC hired me as WAITER but promised me to put me in the office.

I joined MSC last March 2016 as waiter. And on the next day, they change my position to DINING ROOM ADMINISTRATOR.

Presently, Ace is newly promoted Head waiter of his company. He is rejoining his ship, MSC Divina on May 2018.

Actually ka popromote ko pa lang at nirarush ako kasi sa MSC Divina ako sasampa.

Bumaba ako ng March 28 then pinapasampa na ako ng May 24 kasi need na ako sa Divina as Head waiter.

II. A versatile actor


After our short Facebook chat last week, I learned from Ace these interesting facts about his show-busy-ness.

A. He joined the hit teleserye ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ as a “rebel”.

Rebelde ako sa ‘Ang Probinsyano’. Okay naman siya (Coco Martin) katrabaho, may time na nung umulan andun kami sa kubo niya tumuloy…and that time ay kasama na namin siya sa Pulang Araw.

B. He appeared in Imbestigador & Tadhana of GMA-7 in lead roles.

Lead role naman ako sa mga re-enactments gaya ng Imbestigador at Tadhana. Last time nakatrabaho ko si Angelu de Leon and Epi Quizon (for Imbestigador re-enactment).

C. Lastly, he is “kumpare” of some Pinoy kontrabidos we love to hate (since they act their villain characters well).

Madami na akong nakatrabaho na mga sikat na artista, mostly mga kumpare ko. Jeric Raval, Jethro Ramirez, Jethro De Castro, mga kontrabida, Telly Babasa, etc.

Si Telly Babasa ay fight director nila Fernando Poe before. Si Jethro de Castro ay makakasapi na sa Hagibis soon.

For those who would like to enter the show business world and aspire for stardom too, Ace has this friendly advise:

Kung passion mo, go lang kasi mahirap…puyatan, parang barko din na mahahalintulad.

Kailangan tiyagaan din kasi hindi porket nasa camera ka ay bida ka.

Dapat maging flexible kasi madami ka din makakasalamuhang ibat ibang kapwa mo talent at specially mga artista.

III. A star entrepreneur


Aside from his acting stints, managing two business ventures makes Ace busier during his vacation.

He owns a seafood store and co-manages the Maartist Talent Production and Entertainment, a talent development and supply agency, together with Mara Maranan (Janet Napoles Kalokalike of ABS-CBN’s It’s Showtime).

Kahit nasa bakasyon ako akala ng mga TV Networks and network supplier nasa Pilipinas parin ako kaya they keep on asking me when I will take their offer for tapings and shoots.

Kaya kapag nasa bakasyon, eto na din ginagawa ko and I organize workshop here with my co-partner in business. They are the coaches from ABS-CBN’s “Kalokalike” show.

Kaya nagmamanage din ako kada vacation.

Although Ace is already going places both in his seafaring and showbiz careers, he’s still cruising for the next five years, or up to the time he calls it quits.

I think for the next 5 years, I will still work onboard kasi may dalawa ako magcocollege then may mga projects pa ako.

Pero I will try to retire kasi so far okay naman ang seafood business ko aside from (holding) talent workshops.

🌟 Shine brightest, Ace! Our Sailing Republic is proud of you !!!


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All photos screen grab from Facebook / Ace NFounder Estong. Cropped from the original.

What can you say about Ace Vergel Malabag’s seafaring and showbiz endeavors?

Let us hear your thoughts. Post a comment below!




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