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Live from CrewConnect Global

Meet Ivan Guzman the seafarer influencer with 2.2 million followers

Photo: Marcus Hand Ivan Guzman seafarer influencer
While speakers at Seatrade Maritime Crew Connect Global 2023 grappled with how to reach out to the younger generation a Filipino cadet turned up at the conference surrounded by fans and with a reach on social media that most in the industry can only dream of.

Ivan is a cadet serving onboard with Pacific Basin Shipping and has found fame in the Philippines with educational content about life at sea in the form of videos narrated in Tagalog posted on his TikTok channel @ivangodsman

“I'm more focused on creating educational content with the scope of the maritime field,” he explains in an interview on stage at the conference with Felix Pace, Head of Growth for Kadmos.

Ivan says he takes what he learns onboard the vessel and compresses his thoughts into short videos for seafarers who want to learn something or those currently studying.

His most popular video might surprise some readers – it is 1 minute 46 second explanation of the ballast water exchange process which has racked up some 10.6 million views and 503,100 likes.

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Ivan says he does not like to sugar coat what is like to work in the maritime industry.

“What we learned on the university are just theoretical knowledge, and when we go on board, we will be experiencing the real truth of the maritime industry, the real workload that we are going to tackle.

“I think that's the biggest cultural shock I go with that, and I realised that I thought it's very important for me to show to people what a seafarer’s job is really like.”

He notes that while at university students learn about different forms of navigation his first job on board ship was chipping off rust. “It's not all about the work of an officer you need to start from the bottom,” he says.

Ivan started making and posting his videos about life as a seafarer while on a 10-month contract at sea and says when he returned to home to the Philippines, he expected to be just a “normal human being”. Instead, he experienced the shock of being approached in fast food restaurants and on the street by people wanting to take pictures with him and asking if he was the one explaining about the maritime field and seafaring on social media.


Ivan Guzman meet and greet at Seatrade Maritime Crew Connect Global 

Asked if there limits from Pacific Basin about what he can post Ivan explains, “I am proud to say that because my questions are more focused on educational aspect and that it benefits majority of our seafarers the company actually allows me to show our logo.”

He adds that he received permission from the head of the company to make videos on board provided that he did not degrade its brand.

Ivan is soon to set sail on his third contract on board. “I can say that I am still a youngster in this industry but with what I'm doing right now is living my life as a seafarer with a purpose.”

TAGS: Asia