Monday, July 29, 2013

Flight Attendant: The Glamorous Job

Being a flight attendant isn't as glamorous as we have perceived it to be, nonetheless I'd still choose it to be my profession. Most people are so prejudicial. When a woman works in a ship, she isn't as glorified compared to those who fly as a stewardess. "Glamour" is attached to those who are working in the sky but let me tell you that there's a lot of beliefs to broken, a lot of factors to be realized.

Back in college, me and my classmates would talk about how we'd want to be a flight attendant, earn a huge salary and travel the world for free. We were blinded by the thought of how easy it is to become one: having a pleasing personality, acceptable height and the willingness to serve passengers with a smile.

X Beauty as a Qualification

Whenever we see a clique of flight attendants walking in the airport, isn't it irresistible to turn our heads and follow their direction? They're all so pretty and sophisticated in their matching uniforms, luggage and crew bags. No wonder they're one of the airline's front liners.

After a few weeks of training, I've had several more reasons to look up to those women. You don't become an FA in an instant. You don't get hired because you're beautiful or tall nor because of Padrino System (though I've heard some who got away; they won't last anyway). They got the position because they're capable, willing, deserving and because they worked hard for it. I don't know with the other airlines but that's how it goes for the country's flag carrier.

I've been basing my statements with how we were taught in training. As I've mentioned before, we are supposed to meet PAL's very high standards in terms of passing our exams. Not just that, we're only allowed to fail twice or else we'll lose our lifelines and say good bye to the dreams that's almost within our grasp. 

What I'm trying to say is that those FAs passed a very rigid training which got them to where they are now. They're not just some pretty faces who were fortunate but I'm  definitely sure they have the brains and they know exactly what they are doing. PAL trained their attendants to be knowledgeable to know what needs to be done given different situations and act on it gracefully without losing composure.

Glorified Waitresses

What do flight attendants really do? Most people think that FAs are just glorified waitresses because of their responsibility in serving food up there. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but they're not. Yes, a part of their duty is to be a service provider but first and foremost they are your trusted security and safety professionals up there.

At a cruising altitude of 30,000 ft., there's nobody else to aid you except your dear FAs so I suggest that you do not think of them as glorified waitresses only. It's a very humbling and versatile profession. Nowadays, they're are expected to be the luggage handler, cleaner, psychologist, security guard, first aider, fire fighter, mid-wife, psychologist, tour guide, entertainer and so on and so forth as long as you're in-flight. 

The next time you see one, you should appreciate them more.

ICCT 13-06 with Ms. Divine
ICCT 13-06 with Ms. Roan

ICCT 13-06 with class adviser, Sir Arys Obeso

I'm grateful for our mentors: Ma'am Divine Divinagracia, Ma'am Roan Guanlao and Sir Arys Obeso. All the trainings and insights we got from them will all be remembered and treasured.

Easy and Repetitive Job

It's a part of a flight attendant's job to look presentable: hair in a bun, well pressed uniforms, polished and un-chipped nails with full make up. They'd be picked up from home, fly to their destination, do the safety demo, serve passengers, get back to their jump seat, back to their domicile station then taken home by a service car. It goes on and on for the rest of their flying career.

It does sound easy and repetitive but it's not.

As I've mentioned above, ang mga flight attendant pang all-around na ngayon. Passengers would normally rely on cabin crews for their luggage; imagine 136 passengers (depending on the aircraft) relying on them for assistance and that's just for a one-way flight. 

Carrying heavy luggage often lead to back aches. FAs experience motion sickness and even breathing and skin problems due to working in a pressurized cabin. It's their duty to face hot tempered, irritated or even agitated passengers. In case of a strong turbulence, they're there to reassure you with a smile even though they are already scared for themselves. Since they fly all the time, they are always far from home and most of the time they'd miss special occasions because FAs do not have holidays.

It's really not that easy but it becomes a lighter job for those who enjoy it.

Based from what our mentors taught us, the word repetitive never even crossed my mind. It's always exciting to try new things and with this profession, new is an old word. FAs get to visit different places, experience different cultures, meet different kinds of people and work with different set of crews.

The only repetitive thing is the flight routine (e.g. safety demo, service, smiling and greeting. . .) but of course it's a part of their duty.

Repetition is a part of specialization. Cabin crews are on top of what they're doing because they have done it over and over again.


Would you still like to have this glamorous job? Share your thought :)


Sunday, July 21, 2013

PAL ICCT 13-06: Bound For Tagaytay

This day stirred my emotions. I was excited, pressured, scared and freaked out all at the same time. Excited because I'm moving a step closer towards reaching my dream but also pressured because I'm entering another battle ground that concerns my future, my life. Boy, I was also scared to finally go out to the real world where maturity and responsibility plays a big role. Though freaked out, I still feel blessed. Thousands aspired for this opportunity and I'm glad to be one of those who got the chance.

On July 21, 2013, ICCT 13-06 got completed for the first time. We were bound for Tagaytay for our 2-week Basic Training. From PAL In-Flight Center, we were brought to San Miguel Training Center, Tagaytay via two Philippine Airline coasters.

Here's the main building where our daily classes were held. I'm thankful for the very appropriate and relaxing amenities of  San Miguel Training Center that were lent to us. I've been in the corporate/media world in a short period of time and I learned a lot but I knew I wasn't meant to stay long there.

Not sure if I'm going to pass or fail, I immediately left my former job when PAL called. I am very fortunate to have been able to experience Basic Training in Tagaytay. Other classes didn't have this setup for it only started with the ICCT 13-01 batch (1st batch for the year 2013).

In addition to that, we are all flying international right away since domestic flights are slowly transferred to PAL Express. Everything seems to fall in its rightful place.

There's our room/meeting hall and my classmates who are all hyped to learn. It's like having another back-to-school syndrome. The only difference is that we get to study in Tagaytay, we have free accommodations and meals, corporate attires for uniforms and a very strict grade policy. You see, we're expected to get a 90% grade (for safety) and 85% grade (for services) to pass an exam. 2 failure calls for a removal. Parang PBB lang. House Rules is to Class Rules and Ratings/Rates is to Exam Grades. Haha!

Just like normal students, we get to spend the weekend for ourselves. We have a basketball court, jogging field, a couch with a television, billiard table and a gym. I forgot to mention the wi-fi. Everything is provided for us and I don't think I can ask for more.

We were asked to study, paid to study when in fact it was the other way around in college. My parents pay tuition fees for me to study. Other companies would ask training fees from their applicants and would have them pay for their uniforms and other stuff. 

PAL has provided all that we need and I'm trying to do my part by studying very well.

I've just graduated, just turned 20 but I'm looking forward to being one of the best flight attendants in the country even if it means going back to class again. So far, I don't think that the training is redundant because I've been learning a lot of things I've had no idea before.

It's another set of sleepless nights, countless cups of coffee and dark circles under the eyes but this'll all be worth it.

Flying with you soon :*


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Iko's Garden: A Visit to One of Davao's Best

As I was trying to revive my food blog, I stumbled upon these pictures in my laptop. These were taken a few months ago and this is something one shouldn't forget writing about. It's one of my most memorable dining experience with my fellow Davao Bloggers.

Iko's Garden has been in the business for 3 years when we got invited for a dinner. We were all very astounded to have been known it that late. There were clearly no marketing or advertising strategy that was implemented to attract  more customers. Only word of mouth. 

This is owned by Mr. Ferdinand Galeno who named the restaurant after his youngest son Rico hence the name "Iko's."

He shared that more than profit, what he really cared about was to provide a convenient and relaxing place that can offer great dishes. He wanted to make people happy. Iko's Garden truly lived up to its name. Indeed, the place seemed like a paradise and people would definitely be joyful to experience such place.

The moment we arrived at the place, the first thing we recognized was he owns a huge piece of land. It was very spacious from the parking, to dining area up until the garden section. He definitely utilized the land and made a paradise in it.  

The garden looks magical at night. It is very  soothing to drop by in a place like this every once in a while. There's a lot of green and the air is seemingly fresh. We had a breezy night.

The place is rated G. Anyone can enjoy. If you're having dinner with your family, boyfriend or girlfriend, hanging out with friends or even meeting with your officemates, the place is definitely perfect. There are tables inside should you wish to face the television while eating, there are table fronting the garden and most especially there are those super cozy pavillions where me and my colleagues relaxed.

And yes, they have a function room and it can cater 12-18 person.

I almost forgot. There's also a bar wherein you can sing through the videoke machine, order alcoholic drinks and converse with whomever you are spending the night with. Their beer cost P38.00 and there's also a variety of wines to choose from.

Food post/review will soon follow, I can't wait to share all the dishes we've tasted because they are all so (please just fill in the blank once you've already visited Iko's)
They're open from Mondays to Saturdays (8 am to 12 mn) and 4 pm to 10 pm every Sunday so feel free to visit  what I think is one of Davao's best :)

Iko's Garden
Amina Way Business Complex,
Airport Road, Davao City
Contact No. 0922888IKOS (4567)

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PAL: ICCT 13-06

Last June 16, I poured my heart's discontent at a blog post here. It was a moment of acceptance that I may not be able to be a part of PAL anymore. It was so melodramatic but I have a basis for stating such. My schoolmate whom I processed my medical tests with already started her training for PAL, and I am so happy for her. That's when I thought that I didn't got in but I still continued finishing all the requirements.

After finishing all the requirements my schoolmate tipped me, I unexpectedly got a call from PAL last July 1. They were asking me to report to their office for final processing.


July 3: Final Processing
At 8:00 am, we're already at Macapagal Avenue. We were asked to submit all the requirements for processing (lots of filled up and signed papers) but obviously mine were incomplete.

After our medical test last May 20, all of us were asked to go back to Macapagal Ave. for the list of requirements except me. Everybody got informed except me. And that is why pala... the typical miscommunication. So there I was being paranaoid for a long period of time just because I lack the instruction others got. So anyways, Iv'e moved on. I already got my chance.

This day I managed to finish my training I.D., open a bank account for our allowance and register my account number at the payroll and timekeeping office. I'm really getting close to the realization of my childhood dream. I'm all set for my training that will start on July 15.

Come a few days before our training, it was postponed *sob* but only for a week. Haha! I'm giddy and excited. We're finally off to our training site tomorrow. That's why I have to cut this short. I need to pack my things. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who sympathized when I thought I didn't make it most especially to those who encouraged me to never stop reaching that dream despite almost being turned down. Ehem! Thanks to  Jam, Chino and my family :*

AMDG! :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cara's Food Haven: A Quick Visit

I don't know what brought us to talk about cakes but a friend butt in and bragged about a place that sells this uniquely delicious cake that he gives to his girlfriend. He even told us that if it's not from Cara's, his girlfriend wouldn't like it that much. Our curiosity grew even more because we can't just visit the place right away. It's not available in Davao City because its main and only branch is located in Panabo.

When we got the chance to go to Compostela Valley for a relief operation, we decided to drop by at Cara's Food Haven. Cara's pala is a dessert garden. When you open the door and make a first step inside, you'll be welcome by the sweet interiors and of course a display of their sweet pastries.

They also serve short orders and other meals and the fun part is you also get to choose where to stay. You can finish your meal inside where everything seems so chic or outside, in the garden, where you get to enjoy your piece of cake at a serene outdoor environment.

I really hoped that we have stayed longer, the place could have been relaxing but since we needed to travel back to Davao we just tasted a slice of their cakes and ordered some to go. The first time I encountered chocolate moist, it gave me a new perspective on how chocolate cakes should taste. When I tried Cara's oh so flavorful chocomoist it was like putting the standards for chocolate cakes to a much higher level again. I highly recommend this.

If you want an idea regarding their rates, I hope this can help:
Chocomoist Php 900 (Whole) & Php 480 (Half)
Food for the God Php 380/box
Cappucciono Bar Php 380/box
Carrot Cake Php 200 (Half) & Php 40/serving
Mugu Mugu Php 45
Banana Muffin Php 65/serving

These are just some of their product rates. They also have special package rates if you want to celebrate an occasion at their place. For a more updated information you may contact them at the given number below.

Cara's Food Haven
700 Mahogany Street, 8105 Panabo, Davao
(082) 628 6199

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Starbucks: Well Spent Rainy Days

My newest favorite, Asan Dolce Latte :)

On a bed-weather day like this, people would usually stay at home, on their couch and watch a movie. It works the other way around for me and my partner. I would recall that he would always need to do errands and me being the good girlfriend that I am would accompany him wherever he goes. It's a good thing Starbucks is there  to provide a comfortable place to stay no matter what the weather is. 

Can you remember the efforts you pulled off to collect those stamps for your Starbucks 2013 planner? Half of the year is already gone and so are half the pages and coupons of your planners. I never got the chance own one but I've been enjoying the coupon treats from my boyfriend's planner. It was thoughtful of them to provide special promos that
 could bring you and a friend together to spend time over a cup of coffee.

I've been missing Davao. Starbucks in SM Bacoor, Cavite doesn't seem comfortable enough for me. A lot of my friends are intimidated to enter it plus they charge P60/hour for their wifi. I miss the warm shout of greetings of Starbucks (SM City Ecoland) attendants and the several familiar faces I've been bumping into every once in a while. Those were well spent days even though the weather wasn't that friendly.

Starbucks, Ground Floor
SM Annex, SM City Davao
Ecoland, Davao City