Number one in my list is to conduct a photo-shoot! then eat, chit-chat with other crew or passengers, then nap (just kidding) lolz! Have fun flying! =)
Number one in my list is to conduct a photo-shoot! then eat, chit-chat with other crew or passengers, then nap (just kidding) lolz! Have fun flying! =)
I know I haven’t’ been posting about my travels for more than a year now and many has been questioning me already – but Yes! I’m still a Flight Attendant. I still do travel. I’ve been to Cairo-Egypt, Copenhagen-Denmark and Verona-Italy this year and a lot more. It would be the same reason why I haven’t posted anything lately. It’s either I’m busy with photo shoots, gym, too lazy or no time because I always go home to Manila during my long day offs to see the development of the renovation of my Condo unit.
For many, a desire to explore the world is hard to ignore, but for me I’ve always have a desire to see the place whenever I saw it in movies, series or even history book or travel channels. I love places with so much stories. It fascinates me. It makes me want to be in that place wherever it is. Thank God for this flying career that sends me to almost any destination I want.The canals and architecture of Venice make it especially cinematic that made it one of the favorite location for movies like The Tourist- stars Angelina and Johnny Depp in a romantic thriller that takes place almost entirely in Venice. It’s a beautiful look at the city of Venice so worth watching for the scenery and who can’t forget about Venice’s role in Indiana Jones third installment? Venice is one of several locations featured in the explorer’s quest for the Holy Grail.
Connecting the districts of San Polo and San Marco across the Grand Canal in the heart of the city, the Rialto Bridge has always been busy crossing in Venice.
The crowd there will convince you that you are at the most famous square of Venice. It is the largest square in Venice and you will see people sitting and enjoying their wine, artists drawing portraits, and notorious pigeons flocking around the tourists. The impressive St. Mark Basilica is a must-see.Get down at Rialto Bridge, the oldest bridge to cross the Grand Canal. There are a variety of restaurants here. Have your Lunch and wander about lazily on the streets of Venice. Cross the tiny bridges and have a peek at the real Venice, You will feel that the city seems to exist for tourists alone and most of these houses are either hotels or empty.
*** Again please be aware of impostors and scammers who keep using my pictures! –https://starvillanueva.com/2011/04/30/beware-of-scammers/
I have been postponing for ages to write the good news. Maybe because until now, I’m ecstatic and overwhelm with all the blessings that keep coming. I’m now an image model/endorser of Bunny Jeans or better known as BNY. I’ll be modeling their clothes in Philippines and in Middle East. My first photoshoot using BNY clothes was held in Doha, Qatar. I love all the clothes, it’s so comfortable & classy. I’ve already attended one of their events and then they introduce me in the stage as one of their endorsers. The feeling was so surreal, I’m so glad. Thanks to “Doha Trensetters” – The Company that imports brands such as Hammerhead, Dickies & BNY in Doha. They have a showroom in Montazah st. in front of Montazah Health Center. So readers from Doha, please visit their shop! They have variety of wardrobe collections from jackets to pants, shirts, polo and dresses.
I’m so excited to see myself on another magazine, but this time I’m in the cover. Honestly, I haven’t seen the layout yet but they said it’s now for printing and might be published next week. It is really something!
Ok, too much of being in the modeling side, here comes the other side of me. I’m so proud to announced that I now have a regular weekly column at Philippine Star Today (Pilipino Star Ngayon) my articles will be about beauty, fitness & health and yet another feature at Health Today Magazine is also coming out. I really consider it a milestone in my life that I will treasure and forever will be proud of.
I grew up reading health, beauty and fitness magazines and newspapers and here I am now. Having my own column in a real and well-circulated newspaper. God is so good. He will always give more than I asked for. I’ll be forever thankful.
So anyway, I shall finally post the pictures I got off the net for the BNY Catalogue and from my Intagram account at #StarVillanueva
I had shot this more than a week ago during the peak of summer season, Yes! still having photo shoot under the heat! So imagine the humid and I was wearing BNY checkered collection polo shirt but still looking so comfy! Good thing I shot some of it in a covered area, at least there wasn’t any direct sunlight all the time so no need to retouch my makeup often, since I’m doing my own makeup, it’s not that I don’t trust makeup artists but I just personally preferred to apply it on my own. I personally think that I did a job well done! Cheers!
“Despite of sleepless nights, turning day into night & having abnormal sleeping patterns, I honestly feel so lucky & privilege having all these things so I might as well share it with you…” Blah Blah! It’s an excerpt from my article that I published 5 years ago. I can still say those lines till now but Life as we all know is full of ups and downs. We have summer & winter, day & night and there’s always a sad part in someone’s happy life.
Whenever I told someone, I’m resigning soon. They’re always giving me a shocking look with the big question WHY!? (Maybe because It’s a given fact that I have a very positive job description) and whenever, they asked WHEN? I kept saying anytime! I’m definite with my answer. Yes, you’ve read it right, ANYTIME. Don’t nod your head left & right while saying NO, till you read my recap, this is not just about “Missing Home“
Being an International Flight Attendant for almost 5 years now. I still believe that everyday is a new learning experience. Flying from one continent to another is still something I considered new to me! Yes, I’m still not used to it! How will I used to a lifestyle that is not considered normal? Yesterday, I’m in New York, Today I’m in Kuala Lumpur, tomorrow, I’ll be in Zurich for the nth time. If I were to elaborate the stories in between, believe me it will fill a hundred page book or more. I’m not complaining and don’t accuse me of bragging here, I’m just innocently telling you my daily not-so-typical lifestyle.
So, here I am came back from a 14hrs flight. My feet are swollen from prolong standing, I feel bloated, my muscles hurts, I’m tired and very sleepy but hey, that doesn’t end there! I still have to unpack then pack again my suitcase for my flight tomorrow. Okay I’ll call it a night! I took shower and ready to sleep, and now guess what!? I’ve been semi-dependent of melatonin sleeping pills for more than 2 years now, Thanks to Jetlag! Iterax, Advil PM, Panadol night even cough syrups named it – I tried it all! Now, Tell me, is that sounds normal to you?
(Every flight usual scenario): visiting a destination I’ve never seen before with lots to do and see. I absorb every minute of the tour take lots of pictures, bought some souvenirs. The next day comes need to wake up early and get ready. It’s time to return to the aircraft!
(pre-vacation Leave usual scenario): bought a 90% discount airfare tickets, day has come, excited to have a holiday! Voila! Flight is FULL Better luck next time! bye bye! (Excerpt from what I wrote 2 years ago: The Truth About Flight Attendant on Travel Benefits.
(During Vacation): Time Flies When You’re having Fun & Adventure! Do I need to say more? I wrote about it last year – same title. Woooh! Pamper galore in my very own Star Bliss Salon & Spa – Time to turn on my Spoiled but not a Brat Mode! Setting aside all of that, anxious already whether there will be a seat available for me! (I twice paid on the spot – full fare business class ticket already! Just to have a seat!)
(Post Vacation) Reminiscing a day in the life of an FA on vacation leave, looking forward for next Manila flight <— That’s one of the things I also considered on my resignation. I stopped bidding other destinations, I only request Manila flights, and whenever they gave me only 1-2 Manila flight it’s still not enough, I still make an effort to swap my nice layover destinations. “There’s no Place Like Home!”
Life has so many turning points. Each turning point involves a choice, a decision to be made . My decision to resign anytime soon is never easy as I still enjoy the perks of travelling and inevitable 6 digits salary! I’m aware that it will cause me to have a major turning point in my life. But I think I’ve had enough, it’s time to welcome a new transition! I agree that the only thing in life that is constant is change! I know that my lifestyle will never be the same, but change will give me more opportunities to grow & develop more!
* Photo of myself with the view of Manhattan Sky Scrapers while inside a ferry tour
Manhattan is a picture-perfect city, with modern movie sceneries (yes, NYC is possibly the most filmed city ever). Who can ever forget classic movies such as Maid in Manhattan & Serendipity both filmed in Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Maid of Honor & Autumn in New York’s Bethesdan Fountain in Central Park, SATC-Day After Tomorrow-Spider Man’s New York Library, Kingkong’s Empire Estate… among others…You can visit most of these must-see tourist sites for free.
* Grand Central Station
You can spend the whole day if you explore Central Park, an oasis amidst busy New York streets. But it’s worth the time. And make sure you go inside the majestic Grand Central Terminal. Most likely, you’ll find yourself gawking in glitzy Times Square, which you have to experience during both day and night time. The great thing about Manhattan is that it’s truly a “walkable” city. It’s best experienced on foot but remember to avoid or shall I say DO NOT repeat the worst thing I ever than in my whole life! ….and that is to walk in Manhattan with my 4inch high-heels shoes! (See The Picture/ Evidence here)
* Grand Central & Chrysler Building
Visit famous skyscrapers and churches such as Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, New York Wall Street Journal, the United Nations headquarters, Radio City Music Hall, Stock Exchange, Yankee Stadium, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Museums, among others. And while it costs about $20, you might as well as go up the observation deck of the Empire State Building to get a bird’s eye view of the city. (haven’t tried going up there yet, still waiting for someone special to accompany me there! Haha!)
Once you’ve taken the bus tour, it’s time to try the two other popular modes of transportation – the subway and taxis. The MTA New York City Subway is certainly the fastest and cheapest way to go around New York City. One trip costs $3 Get the Fun Pass for unlimited rides for the day for only $8 Of course, a trip to the Big Apple wouldn’t be complete without taking one of the city’s 10,000 yellow cabs.
The other must-eat in New York is steak. There are plenty of high-end steak houses in NYC like TGI-Fridays, Hard Rock and Bubba Gump but if you just want really cheap but really good snack while walking, try Sabrett Hotdogs! It’s all over Manhattan and all kinds of people are buying those! Tourist or not, Ladies in all races, Gents on a necktie or Tshirt, young or old, named it. I even have the guts to encouraged the crew with me on a layover to try it too! And Guess What!? Sabrett is now available in Philippines!
New York is also the mecca for shoppers. For high-end and fashion-forward shops, simply walk the entire length of Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Soho. Visit “destination” stores just because their famous or are attractions by themselves such as huge department stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, World’s Largest Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.For Youngsters, go to Nintendo World or M&M’s World to see the Word’s biggest Wall of Chocolates!
* You may Shop with your Trolley bag if you’re tired of carrying loads of baggage or shop with your Freezing gear outfit, there’s no excuse not to go for shopping in New York! None!
…and last but not the least, if you’re too tired with the buzzing city why not try to hibernate in the Greeneries of Central Park, bring your iPod, favorite book or pair of sneakers and Viola time will just pass without you noticing it, did that already and it’s truly relaxing! I blogged aboutCentral Park Before: Read it at: https://starvillanueva.com/2009/06/28/central-park-new-york-usa/
My colleague on his early 40’s just passed away after a massive heart attack and later on died. The co-pilot flew the plane and diverted to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A new crew boarded the plane and left Malaysia 2 hours later.
I could have been in that flight. Luckily, I was in New York Flight instead… Indeed, Life is so short, better live life as it was your last day in this world…
More details @ The Peninsula News
One Sunday morning, my family and I didn’t have any plan but it turned out to be my favorite day of the month! (August) Headed to Serendra & Market Market Mall in Global City during its SALE day so we we’re inside the mall from morning till evening without noticing it. Spent the whole day, fitting clothes & shoes! And satisfying our cravings in some food chains such as Zagu, New York Fries and New York Hotdogs! Then later on had dinner in Kamayan buffet restaurant! I think I totally forgot that there’s this word called “Diet!”
Then saw the wall climbing it’s kinda cool, but gravity is something that everybody should be scared of. This kind of activity is easy but even with the gears, there’s still a chance for these gears to malfunction so, you just have to be careful everytime you do this kind of stuff.
It was my brother who climbed first. Then I accompanied my sister. While looking at how steep the rock was, I fearlessly started to hit the rock and grab anything I can hold on to with my hand. Though I’m a first time climber, I wasn’t scared at all because I love heights! and it was actually safe because of the gears that they let us use. The wall also has certain stages of varying difficulty depending on your experience and capability. There is what they call the 90-degree wall, for beginners. The wall is just flat and doesn’t have many obstacles all you need is to power lift and push yourself up.
I wasn’t wearing the right clothes and shoes (just rented proper shoes) because it’s not planned at all. I really had so much fun! I wish I can’t go to different wall climbs as often as I want to!
As we walked around Serendra, I’ve been spotted to do a 10 seconds commercial and mini-photoshoot for Fox Channel! I’m glad my mom also have her camera with her the whole time because my Sony digicam kept on vibrating like a cellphone on a vibrate mode! It produces blurry pictures!
The happenings didn’t end there! Also went to McKinley Hills to check the developments of my condo. I love the ambience in Venetian Mall though it’s a mimicked version it still reminds me of Venetian Mall in Las Vegas that I visited early this year and Venetian Mall in Macau.
There’s more! The night didn’t end there. Before they start calling me “Indianera” for not showing up every time they invite me, I’ve decided to meet my friends at Starbucks in Rockwell Makati. We spent more than 3hours of non-stop laughter! Abby – my colleague from the airline just arrived that time, I’m glad she didn’t forget to bring the Alviero Martini passport holder & wallet that I asked her to buy during her recent flight to Rome, Italy.
Related Post: All The Pictures from my Recent Leave
It’s been awhile since my last post. Lack of time and interest has been solely responsible for this but actually there are tons of things to write about and happenings to share.
Flights have been great. I’m so thankful that I do fly to Manila more than 4 times per month plus the additional other flights that they will give me. I don’t care about the new destinations and new routes we fly to anymore. Whether I already been there or not it doesn’t matter anymore. I just want to go home, period.
I’m not in the mood to post a really long post, so will just briefly list out some things that I have done in the last few weeks. Just last month I’ve had another vacation leave. It was supposed to be 6 days but luckily I was given additional days offs and a night departure flight (That makes it almost 11 days).
Everyday I’m dropping by at Star Bliss Spa in Timog Ave. Corner Scout Torillo to get some pampering. Be it to start my day with a mani/ped or to finish my evening with a soothing massage or to accompanied the other FA’s on the flight. One time I was there at the spa, my staff saw Sen. Chiz Escudero on the nearby parking lot waiting for his car to be fixed. They called him and insisted to just wait inside the spa! Since he already went there before he agreed to have a back massage while waiting! Mr. Jojo Alejar & Jay Manalo is also our regular customer but I’m not around every time they visits.
My college best friend Riva also visited me then the later on another friend (Emgie from Singapore) surprised me too! “Pag talaga hindi planado natutuloy!” Riva,Glacie & I we’re having dinner at Off The Grill just accross Star Bliss when Emgie came, Then we started calling Ayi, Rina & Em if they can drop by din coz we were the ones na super close since day one of college! We enjoyed catching up and reminisce the good old days while Emgie’s kids are having a kiddie massage treats in the 2nd floor…
The next few days my cousins Ate Arlene & Andrea came over. Now my spa also serves as a good place to chill & hangout while being pampered! Mainly for the convinience of the location with lots of Parking space and because of the establishments around the area. If you want the place to be rented (6-15 person) Just message us at http://www.facebook.com/starbliss.spa /
* Related Post: Pictures From my August Leave
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
Early Morning of March 26, My family and I drove off to NAIA to catch Delta Airlines Flight from Manila to Los Angeles with a stop over in Narita-Tokyo, Although they were using B747 that can accommodate 400+ passengers it was still full load! As a standby/chance passenger -I didn’t make it. Only my family went through because they paid full fare thus prioritized.
Next day, March 27, Delta Airlines is Full flight again! My vacation is really short kaya dapat sulitin! But then, I have no choice but to buy a full fare ticket! Shocks! My eyes are literally close while signing my credit card receipt! I can’t believe it cost $466 USD for a one-way-ticket to Narita! (Less than 4hrs away!) Grrr!
In Narita, there are 2 airlines that accept Zed Tickets (Airline staff discounted/reduced fare ticket), which is Korean Air & Delta. Korean Airlines is full and Delta is 2hrs-delayed departure but the passenger load is quite ok. It was 9 ½ hrs more before I reached LAX Airport, the Flight Attendants were friendly even managed to have pictures with them.
In Los Angeles, I immediately received a text message! That I should just take a shuttle bus to the hotel from where they are staying! I’ve been to L.A a lot of times but it’s my 1st time to land in that airport without anyone to pick me up!
Though once again alone and independent, I just think on the positive side that my family trusted me so much to let me search for them! Hahaha! But anyway, they are staying in Katella Ave. in Anaheim which can easily be found coz it’s just 5mins. walk from Disneyland.
After more than 14hrs of travel time, there I was asking around… and find a good deal in primetime shuttle, it was a door-to-door shuttle from the airport that cost $18 USD.
Guess what!? After the long waits, tiring delays, no sleep long haul flights, I still managed to walk around and enjoyed the rides in Disneyland! Like what I’ve said: My vacation is really short kaya dapat sulitin!
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
November Roster gave me 4 Manila flights – This month of December I have 3! Yehey! Such a Good News!
I really cried when I saw my December Roster because it’s what I’ve been praying for (Tears of Joy!) – to spend Christmas with my family and fortunately, I have flight to Manila on 24-25th! Just in time for Noche Buena. Further more, I’ll also be in Manila on my Mom’s Birthday on 27-28th! God is so good! I’m so thankful for all the blessings!
We only have 9 days OFF in Doha each month because most of the time we are out of country, all over the world or simply flying but it’s always good to know that at the end of the day, after a tiring flight you’ll go home to a clean and homey atmosphere so we’ve decided to makeover our flat. (Flat is the common term used for Flight Attendant accommodation here in Doha, just like buying a condo unit you have a choice whether Flat or Loft.)
We want to convert our boring spacious living room into a lively area and our common dining area to a special one but that will not happen overnight because we have to clean first, do some laundry, lots of vacuuming, then my favorite part “Shop” for home accessories, Christmas ornaments and a Christmas tree!
A beautiful, symmetrical tree is a perfectsymbol of the Christmas season. But simply by decorating it you’ll create a one-of-a-kind memory of the season…
* This is our ordinary and not so lively living room, we rearrange it and transfer one sofa to another location in the flat near our rooms.
* The Dining Table used to be there, now it’s our welcome/chill area since it’s directing towards the main door and that’s our little Christmas tree. It may not be as big like the ones back home in Manila but what’s more important is to feel the essence of Christmas… It’s the thought that counts! =)
The long day started at around 6:30 am pick up from our accommodation then went straight to the airport. Who would have thought that we would reach the triennial training knowing how homesick we are when we left NAIA 3 years back!?! But anyway, I had a great time to be with my batchmates again and Camille was also there – My closest friend here in Doha.
After a very quick flight, we arrived in Dubai where we were taken by bus to the Emirates Aviation College. The facilities inside were impressive. The ditching and evacuation training area also had a Boeing 777, Airbus A330 and Airbus A380 full size section mock ups to practice all the evacuation procedures.
Then we were given many scenarios and act as if we were really on the real situations like Thick Smoke in the Cabin, Emergency Landing on Water, Fire on the overhead bins, Fire inside the lavatory. (All drills can also be monitored in the LCD Screens.)
Next stage was to jump down the evacuation slides. All of us just evacuated quickly from one door, go down barefoot or with socks. The slides give off a lot of friction to slow you down at the end.
The final part was to crawl onto the large slide raft with our inflated life jackets on and practice assembling the canopy. Once we had done that, we had to drop into the (very cold) water and form into groups of six people so that we can stay together and stay warm. Although it was very cold in the pool, it would be fair to say that the mid-Atlantic would be a lot colder, so it was a valuable lesson to learn that forming a group in water were the most effective ways to keep warm.
We left the training center learning a lot about how to handle ourselves and the passengers in all of the various emergency situations, Fully qualified to be released into the real world of flying again!
Aside from being the heart of the Catholicism, it is also equally attractive to other tourists since Vatican is home to one of the world’s most spectacular art collections. St. Peter’s Square is the one of the main destination in Vatican City. Situated right in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, it is the central nerve of the Vatican. Every day, hundreds of Christians, Catholic pilgrims and tourists of all stripes came here to visit this popular tourist attraction. I felt holy being here!
The Eternal City of Rome is famous for its mind-blowing monuments, remarkable churches and magnificent museums but the squares in Rome are the best places to enjoy the vibrant city life and the perfect spot to laze away your day surrounded by people and history.
Roman Forum from the Capitoline Hill In this post we started by walking though the Capitonline Hill. Many of the current structures on the Hill are from the Medieval period or designed by Michelangelo during the Renaissance. Along the way, you’ll see people in costumes that will let you have a souvenir photo for an amount of 2 Euro…
After several pictures, we get to enjoy dinner at a very nice restaurant near the Fountain di Trevi. It was along the side of the street, with umbrellas and they were preparing candlelight dinner for evenings. When in Rome, we surely did as the Romans do. We had gelato, as there are shops in every other corner of every piazza. I could not get over the number of delicious flavors of this creamy Italian ice cream.
We Reach through taxi the lively Piazza di Spagna from where you will immerse yourself into beauty, history and mystery where the combination of a monumental staircase, the world renowned Spanish Steps. They said a trip to Rome would also not be complete without a visit to the – Spanish Steps, the most famous square in the city then Climb its 138 steps!
Singapore is simply amazing! Our 2 ½ stay in Singapore is not enough. There is much more to see and do. From the famed Chili Crab and Hainanese Chicken Rice to Sentosa Island and the Singapore Zoological Gardens. Experience for yourself the towering skyscrapers in the business district, the hustle and bustle of the Orchard Road shopping belt or the friendly chatter of Singaporeans going about their daily tasks in the heartlands. The number of activities that can be packed into this pulsating island, day and night will astound you. And the best part is that you can visit Singapore at all times of the year as its tropical climate means sunshine all year round.
After 8hrs 20mins travel time from Doha to Singapore, Finally arrived at the Hotel (Holiday Inn Atrium) around 3pm of Sept 28. Jero was then waiting for me in the lobby since 12 noon, he arrived on the same day, from Manila via Philippine Airlines and he just booked his ticket online on the last minute because he just knew that I have a flight to Singapore.
From the hotel we made arrangements for our tour in the Night Safari. Minutes later, a shuttle service came at the hotel to fetch us and all the other tourists from other hotels in downtown, it was $58 Singapore Dollars per person. But next time I rather go to Sentosa, it’s more enjoyable and picture friendly unlike Night Safari where it’s not allowed to take pictures to the animals because they said camera flash may cause blindness to the Nocturnal animals, etc.
The Night Safari (they call it Singapore Zoo during the day), where it has been much acclaimed for its open landscape and spaciousness wherein the animals live in enclosures simulating that of their natural habitat. The zoo is filled with exotic animals like white tigers, polar bears, and Asian elephants etc. It is the world’s first such attraction. We experienced wildlife on a 45-minute tram ride, we refused the Walking Trails to get a feel of the park in eight geographical zones covering forty hectares of forested park. The sight of watching over one hundred different species of nocturnal animals (including leopards, lions and tigers) is simply amazing and something you will always remember.
At Underwater World in Sentosa Island, the hidden life of the sea unfolded before our captivated eyes as we plumbed the depths of the underground living museum that houses some 2,500 marine and freshwater animals of 250 species from various parts of the world.
Inside the oceanarium, a travelator moved us along a submerged glass-encased tunnel from which we watched at close range a plethora of underwater creatures including stringrays, eels, turtles, jellyfish, sharks, sea cow (also known as dugong) and other fishes.
Also tried Singapore’s tallest observatory tower, still located in Sentosa offering guests panoramic views high above sea level across Singapore even up to neighboring Malaysia and the Indonesian islands. The Tiger Sky Tower has a capacity of 72 in its enclosed, air-conditioned cabin.
No trip in Singapore is complete without Shopping. Singapore is a Shopping haven for fashionistas around the world. It has the best brands, the best shopping malls, at fantastic bargains and if Saks Avenue or Beverly Hills needs a little competition, Orchard Road it is! There is just way too many great shopping malls not to be missed and our friend can spend hours shop, window shop or just walk around the Orchard Road area to soak in the city’s atmosphere.
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
I can’t believe how fast time flies, Q’ways Magazine is celebrating its first year Anniversary on this month’s issue!
Over the year, it’s fulfilling to be a part of Q’ways Team, I’m proud of the people who have helped us climbed the ladder of success by continuously sharing their skills and articles 13 From 8 Pages to 12! We owe the growth of the magazine to everyone. Thank You.
First of all, free or reduced rate travel is always based on space available. Whether you are the crew or employee’s family traveling at a discount, you will only be issued a seat after all of the revenue passengers, including standby paying passengers. They are always the priority so if there’s no seat available they will ask you to just try your luck on the next flight which has always been a problem for me because all Qatar Airways employee must be back in Doha 10 hours before the next duty time but still I usually try my luck to go to Manila on my 3-4 days off. (What to do in Doha on 4days off!?! I’ll be crazy!)
What this means is that you must be very aware of the available seats on any given flight. This requires some legwork by using the company computerized reservation system to determine which flights are best for you. In my case, it’s always hard to get a seat because Manila Flight is always full or overbooked! Even if it’s not vacation period or holiday! There’s no off peak seasons in Manila flight because there are lots of Filipinos all over the world! And even if there’s a vacant seat, those seats are for senior ones! It’s better to have a full fare ticket as a back up, or else you’ll end up buying a business class full fare ticket!
* The Picture shows there’s no more passenger on cue but me, sitting near the subload check in counter, the other picture is while waiting for the delayed aircraft. There’s no more seat available on the waiting area so the rest are just standing. I’m sitting on my trolley! This inconvenience were just making me decide to resign sooner!
Last April, I flew to manila on my 4days off, August 17-19, I went to MNL again on my 3 days off and same dilemma happens! Fully booked! There’s one jump seat available but there’s one crew who’s more senior than me got the seat.
What makes it worst is that the departure should be 17:30 but the aircraft arrived at 19:40 from Doha! Super delayed! I waited in the check in counter for more than 2 hours sitting there like a beggar and 2 hours again in gate 10. I finished eating 4 BreadTalk’s Cheese Floss and Chef Tony’s popcorn because of boredom! There’s no sign of chance whatsoever but still I stayed there. Just a minute before I call someone to pick me up at the airport, I heard 3 people arguing, they sounded dismay about something. I never knew what is it all about until the ground staff told me that they have been offloaded from MNL Flight! Because they have visa problem. I feel sorry for them but at the same time thankful because their situation gives me a vacant seat! Yehey! Then I arrived in Doha around 12:40 am of August 20 – Just in time for my next duty at 10:50 am (Pick up time).
* After all the inconvenience, this view from the aircraft window simply draw a smile in my face for a minute! I’m glad to see my condo unit nonstop construction and The Venetian Mall as my View from the Top!
Technology has made life easier and comfortable. Not so long ago, we had to check the hotel front desk for faxes or use Internet in business centers. Those days are over because today’s electronic gadgets definitely make business travel more efficient. There are different models of mobile phones available with lots of features for the people to make use of it. Gadgets are indispensable part of traveling whether you are traveling for business, pleasure or both. Some of them are necessary to help you get out of trouble and some are for entertainment. Here’s a list of my travel gadgets which you musn’t miss when you’re heading to a layover:
Iphones serve as a best travel companion for me primarily because of built in WIFI but it wasn’t just useful in a mobile context, Back in the hotel I received an e-mail which required me to write a reasonably lengthy letter in this case laptop are better. Also have little iPod Nano and I find it better to bring on the gym rather than iPhone. . Another best travel companion would be a mini laptop or netbook because they are convenient and lightweight to bring and they are very useful for frequent fliers of the world. With the help of laptops and the Internet facilities life has become so easy.
Whenever I travel, I try to pack as lightly as possible so that I will have more free space for my shopped items. Despite this, there’s key items that cannot be left behind like power adapters, to get all of my items charged and because different countries have different voltage ratings. Another gadgets that is included in my list are another mobile phone from where my local sim (From Philippines) are inserted. Next is Tungsten T5 Palm (My handheld financial organizer) since 4th year High school! I’m used to its features and applications that’s why I can’t let go of it .
I was invited as a guest speaker at NCBA (National College of Business and Arts) for their 3rd-4th year HRM (Hotel & Restaurant Management) student with Tourism subject. The discussion firmly focuses on my travels to different countries, International Tourism, customer related information and life as a flight attendant.
My seminar only last 40-50 minutes but the question and answer portion made my stay longer. At first they were hesitant to ask, Later on they started calling Ma ‘am Star! Ma’am Star! Ma’am Star from each corner of mini theater room even some professors asked few questions too. It turns out to be a conference!
I actually had fun speaking in front of a crowd while sharing my stories and of course with pictures along with my stories because I’m not the type of person who keep telling things what they have but no evidence or proof at all (but words). I’m just laughing in my mind while listening every time I’m hearing stories such as I have this-that, Bought this at and there. haha! But I rather be quiet. I’m used to those kinds of personalities already. Oh come on, words are not even considered hard proof evidence in court hearings. The Judge may just condemn you right away. What I mean is, if you have it SHOW it. End of story. Not just by words. As the saying goes, puro kwento-walang kwenta! Again, I rather be quiet and let you boast your exaggerations and that’ll make me a good listener. Hehe!
After the Seminar, The College Dean personally thank me and told me that I should come back, etc. Then we proceed to HRM room to have lunch because they prepared lunch for us. After that went to Gateway Mall, then had a soothing massage at Blue Water Day Spa in Capitol Hills. The spa has a great ambiance and greenery view of a golf course, it’s like being away from the busy life of Metro Manila but it’s just actually in Quezon City near Celebrity Sports Club. (See Their Website)
I won’t summarize my speech anymore because it’s so long, but here’s my final message to them “Never get afraid of things which are achievable by you. Nothing is Impossible in this world. Many individual who’ve had a dream in their
childhood and succeeded in achieving those dreams has proved it. So I suggest we should aim and dream for a goal and try to succeed them without any laziness & losing control of ourselves. Let’s make every time worthwhile because Time is Gold!”
3 Manila Flight: I swapped my 4 days roster Munich-Germany and 2 days roster Milan-Italy while the 3rd one is pulled out from Standby! It’s my 1st time to be pulled out to operate Manila so I 19m so happy when they called unexpectedly! I had a nice time during the flight because of Filipina Mafia, around 9 hrs flying time is not that tiring – but for sure I gained weight because I can’t stop myself from habitual eating even if I’m not hungry! And everyone has food to share, from Najji 19s Pichi-Pichi & Puto, Tanj- Adobo, Michelle, Chicken Tocino, Giony- Ensaymada, Clarissa – Cheddar Popcorn and my Cinabbon Roll we just ate, munch and laugh whenever time permits!
While in Manila, I just do my usual errands, church visit, grocery, massage, facial, manicure, bought another shith zu with Jero in Tiendesitas, dinner in Burgoo-Timog. And because he knows I felt bad for not being able to attend Levi’s Sale in Greenbelt, he just surprise me with one. The next day, ate in Aristocrat-Roxas Blvd.
Then I went home, my family didn’t know I was coming. We celebrated my little sister’s pre-birthday at 10 in the evening, Gave my post Mother’s day gift and my belated birthday gift for my sister all at the same time. What a Cabin Crew life!
After trying my portable steam bath went to our new house in Casa Milan but the renovations are still going on and my mom are still busy enhancing the house’s security, completing the appliances, furniture and repainting the exterior and interior of the house so there’s no much pictures yet but a sneak peak!
Then on my 3rd Manila flight, I went to Global City – The Fort to see the model unit of Megaworld 19s Mckinley Hills I’ve been eyeing that project since December 2007. Now I’m torn between McKinley Hill, The Fort and Century City in Makati. Anyway, I’ll just blog about it some other time when everything is finalized already. My Journey to buying a perfect condo! Hehe!
Another interesting meeting has been held last 5th and 18th of May. Our roster indicates that the meeting should starts from 7am-2pm but because there’s tons of stuff to tackle, delegations, and brainstorming about what should be in or not, cover, features, articles, etc. The meeting always ends passed 3pm. It was fun though. It’s getting better and better as the team are becoming at ease to one another. Present in the meeting are the editors Frances & Vhon, along with Hema, Maheleqa, Istana, Lim and I.
There are lots of exciting features to watch out for June Issue. Manila will be featured in Q’world section, different types of massage that we can avail on layovers all over the world, Hotels with free internet & wifi is also included, and a lot more of surprises!
As early as now we are already preparing for the anniversary issue on September. We will featured an article entitled “StarStruck” it’s all about cabin crew who has encountered a celebrity on board. Fellow colleagues, if you happened to know someone or you have a picture with one of those Hollywood Celebrities that has been on our flight please send it to my email: Star.Villanueva@yahoo.com
* Q’ways is the in-house magazine of Qatar Airways for the crew members. Published by the cabin crew department of Qatar Airways.
What Keeps me busy,My new Career!
I told my colleagues that it’s my 1st time to do the flight because I keep on swapping it for Manila! But since I already swapped my 2 days Milan for a 24hrs Manila, I guess it’s time for me to explore Munich!
The signage was pretty good and I had no trouble finding my way around even though German names (double ss’s and double ff’s) were a bitof a challenge! Because I was with Sandy & Jennifer (my tour guides) they always have Germany Flights (Berlin, Munich & Frankfurt). Through a €9.00 tram. We went to Marienplatz Central Square. The ride was about 20 mins.
Marienplatz was full of nice boutiques, shoe shops and eating places. The Rathaus-Glockenspiel is also there it plays to visitors from all over the world. There are figures mechanically danced around the clock tower. (usually around 5 past the designated hour).
Also had a very huge snack of grilled veal sausages in Old Town then went to Galeria Supermarket to buy some food while on the hotel and my favorite comfort snack –CHOCOLATES!!! As I munched my way around the supermarket I realized it’s no wonder the German’s call Munich Munchin’… I mean "Munchen" Then later on had gluttonous pork dinner on Weisses Brauhaus Restaurant in front of Old City hall.
It was 16hrs direct flight from Doha, but they gave us 5hrs 45mins rest. We arrived in Renaissance Hotel around 17:30 similar to arrival time whenever I have Washington & New York flight, but Houston layover is longer stay! 2nights/3days! Sarap mag inter-state! Knowing Vegas is just around 2hrs away & Miami is just an hour away! (Via plane.)
Since Houston is the newest destination of Qatar Airways, I might as well share these infos…
· There’s no public transpo available around the area. Puro lang for hire Limo & shuttle bus. (The best parin maging commuter sa Washington/Virginia)
· There’s a food court located in the ground floor inside the hotel pero exagge ang closing time ha! 2:30pm Close na! Pati Starbucks close narin! Pag weekend Close din!
· Since mahilig ako mag grocery because my pantry should always be fully stocked coz I don’t cook, isa nnman itong magastos na layover, dahil kung ang Virginia ay may 24hrs walking distance na Harris Teeter or Target Supermarket while New York has 24hrs din na Duane Reade or CVS Pharmacy/Supermarket or K-mart. Houston naman has Kroger Supermarket located just in front of the hotel!
· There’s ATM Machine located in the Ground floor.
· Free wired Internet connection – Same as in New York wherein you’re being asked to sign in with your name & room number but they will remove the charge when you checked out. Wifi is only available in the lobby.
· Meron dun Much talk about NASA Space Station it will cost you $60 to go there by tour 9-1pm, but I suggest If you already went to National Air & Space Museum in DC. No need to go there kasi pareho lang ang makikita. (View it here)
· Free USA Today Newspaper! Gusto ko lang I-mention.. Hehe! sa IAD & JFK kc wala…
· The best parin ang sales tax ng Virginia 4.something lang… Eh dito 8.something parang N.Y but in Fairness, meron silang Tax Refund parang sa Europe! Pero Hello!? As if naman may time ka pa mag refund sa airport… If delayed departure cgro…
· As I was watching CNN, I noticed there’s QR short Commercial every 5-10mins!
· Qatar Airways’ huge Promotional Tarpaulins are scattered all over Galleria Mall, pati sa elevator, Ice Skating rink at food court.
*** Hope this helps.., Add nlng ako ulit ng info next week coz April 15-18, I’ll be in Houston, Texas again.
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A FLIGHT ATTENDANT’S BOYFRIEND?
by: ARLENE LEGASPI
You think you have what it takes to be a flight attendant’s boyfriend? Here are FEW things you have to put through. And that’s why they say these jet setters are the Top 3 Most Spoiled Girlfriends in the World. If you’re in a relationship with one: man, we give it up to you…. And If you’re planning to have one:
Be prepared, Be very very… prepared.
1. Do Not expect her to drive the car. She’s most not likely to have a driving license, she’d say “Babe, I only have a passport.”
2. Familiarize yourself with SKYPE, YM’s. VoIPs. She worships those amazing discoveries.
3. DO treat her like a princess before she can treat you like her king. Get ready for statements like “Buy me food, or else Ill break up with you!”
4. DO NOT be surprised if she wants you to take several shots of vaccines: Hepa B, Hepa A, Meningitis, Yellow Fever etc. etc.
5. Stay away when her roster comes out. That’s the next worse time to PMS.
6. BE grateful of her smile. You get it for free. IN the skies, it’s worth 6 digits.
7. BE READY to see yourself 5 to 10 years from now. She wants a man who knows his direction.
8. DO give importance to time, preferably Military time. 21:16 is NEVER the same as 21:17
9. DO NOT wake her up when she’s sleeping, even if you wonder “ she must be hungry after sleeping 18 hours already!” Again, LET her wake up by herself.
10. DO NOT mess with how she arranges her suitcase. Boots are for Boots sack, shampoos are for toilettries, undies are for undies bag and so on.
11. DO NOT expect her to remember names of your friends in one sitting.
12. DO NOT accuse her of bragging when she says she went to Paris for Coffee or just hit the gym in Berlin. She’s just plainly, innocently telling you a story.
13. Do not get intimidated by the beautiful men around him, chances are she’s already used to/sick of seeing hotness in form. Those men have lost their beauty.
14. DO NOT call her on the phone when she’s on Standby. DO NOT… ever.
15. Do NOT question why Half of the dresses in her closet has never been worn, and she still complains, she doesn’t have anymore.
16. Do Not remove any clothes you think is too much in his suitcase, remember: she has four sets of outfit in her suitcase: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Fall.
17. She expects you to learn how to read an Aviator watch.
18. And when she gives you that expensive Aviator watch, Do not Ask her: “ what time is it there in Khartoum?”
19. The next best gift to a Limited Louis Vuitton bag is a fancy Dual Time Watch.
20. She carries a First Aid Kit with her and 26 kinds of Supplements: Vit C,E,A,B, anti-Oxidants, Gingko Biloba, Evening Primrose Oil, Horseradish Capsules, etc. etc. even those Pills (damn-those!) you request her to take everyday!
21. At least buy McDonalds before your holiday flight, she prefers it over aircraft food, and yes even over the caviars in first class cabin.
22. Understand that discovering a designer dress on the clearance rack can be considered a peak life experience.
23. Make sure of the inaccuracy of your bathroom scale.
24. Remind her which country she is in first thing when she wakes up in the morning
25. During dinner, when she asks you whether you like chicken or beef… Oboohooy! you better think fast!
26. Begin to be scared when you oversee a long line in Immigration, she has zero tolerance on airport queues.
27. Work your muscle for a trip together, you’ll be carrying at least four baggages for her. A Gucci make-up bag, a Paul Smith, a World Traveller Trolley, and a Burberry Laptop bag at least for a Domestic Flight.
28. A bouquet of flowers is THE if not, THE ONLY way to say “I missed you” when you pick her up at the airport.
29. Prepare yourself for her jetlag, otherwise known as the PFS or the POST Flight Syndrome. You should be awake when she is and asleep when she is . You don’t want to see a whole 72 hours of tantrums.
30. And lastly, it might seem like she thinks she is overqualified for love. But DO remember that in reality, she feels like she is just an ordinary girl standing in front of a boy, asking him…
For a foot rub… after a damn…long flight. ☺
Once again I experienced the usual dilemma in every Manila flight – It’s either fully booked or no seats available, but I have my back up ticket with me so I went to Bahrain and catch Gulf Air flight to Manila.
Arrived Manila the next day around 11am, I went home to surprise my family but instead of surprising them I was the one who was surprised because nobody’s home. I called my mom then she told me they are all in Tagaytay. From Fairview to Tagaytay (North to South) Jero & I were able to go there in less than 3hrs because there’s no traffic.
Finally, I was able to meet "Lucky" our new 2 ½ months Shith zu that they just bought in Tiendesitas recently. Cute and Cuddly puppy. Then we visited our lot in La Excelsa Subdivision. It seems like my mom is planning to construct another house there because she always wants to have a rest house. This is the exact phrase I told her. "Huh!? Mama one at a time! You just bought a house & haven’t completed the furnishings yet! Hay nko mag pa parlor na lang tayo at kumain ng Buko Pie, mas masaya yun kesa magpatayo ng bahay!"
Finally the month will soon be over… I don’t like my roster this month… Too much turnarounds all minimum rest – departing evening – arriving morning – departing evening again & again… and for the 1st time after more than a year I don’t have any U.S flight! When I was in Economy minimum of 3-4 Washington or New York flight each month, but as Premium class crew no more!? Waaaah! I earned more at the Aft Cabin! hehehe! Joke.
Then, I supposed to go on a 7days Beijing Flight. I was ready. All set. My transport pick up arrived but when I was signing in for the flight in Qatar Airways technical bldg. I was like “Hmmm, how come it’s different flight number?” OMG! They just change my flight without any notice at all… That evening I flew to Manchester, UK. I don’t mind doing the flight since I haven’t been there because I keep swapping that flight for MNL but how can I go shopping?! My suitcase is filled with gym attire, Jackets & boots. The Hotel in Manchester is Midland. The location is perfect for shopping there’s H&M, Zara, Mark & Spencer,Topshop and “Primark” is just 5mins walking distance yehey!
I really wanted to buy lots of stuff but my suitcase is packed for 7 days stay in Beijing. (No much space) But still I managed to bought lots of stuff like 2 Jackets, Lingeries, Tops, lots of warming tights, (good for winter) & some pasalubong. Spent about 70 pounds.
Back in Doha, I have Roster changes again!!! They gave me Delhi – Bahrain – Delhi back to back turn around flights!!! Waaah!!! Best word to described it – Damn Tiring!!!
I also had Tripoli – Cassablanca (morocco), I don’t have picture there because I didn’t go out, I just went to Spa for a relaxing massage & tried the much talk about “Hammam” service. (Their term for body scrub). Unfortunately, it wasn’t relaxing at all. My skin has a lot of nail scratch afterwards & the way they massage is not gentle. Ouch! Nothing beats Thai Massage or Swedish Massage in The Spa, Fitness First or City Lifestyle QC.
“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have ”
* Wag magtaka kung may muscles ako sa arms ah.. sa bigat ba naman ng mga overhead bins with whole weight of passengers bags in it…hehe!
*B777 mid Galley – flight to Washington with my lil’ sis-Kristine, Ivy & kissey
* Aibus 340 Lounge bound to Hongkong
* Airbus 330 – Aft Galley during my leave last May 2008
*Airbus 330 Emergency row
*B777 Aft Cabin
* My Office in the Sky..
* My August Flying buddy! Ji hyun.
* My 5th dubai for the month of August..
* My 6th Washington,USA for the month of August…
* Definitely better than being inside the office…
Home is where one feels complete, whole, safe, happy & satisfied. But there’s a big question I have in mind. Why do people leave home? Why do people leave their comfort zone to embark on a journey trudging on foreign soil? Bearing the cold, slumber less night and the scorching heat of the day?
Many will say they had no choice but to do it. Others will say they chose to follow a dream. For whatever reason one has, they were seeking something, seeking opportunities elsewhere, seeking realities to their dreams. Seeking to develop & find themselves.
Why does one have to leave in order to find something? Why can’t it be that a person stay put, search, find what they’re looking for and remain where they are? Is it because that in order to find “that something” one would have to take a few steps. and then a couple more steps. Until before one knows it, they are already far.
This is not always bad. Moving forward means that you are doing something for improvement. Knowing that you are not idle can mean something. But knowing that where you are headed towards will lead to find your way back home (at the right time) gives one purpose.
I’m still enjoying the ropes of independence and if I were to ask the most important thing one should realize out of this whole circumstance is that every single one that’s physically away from home establishes a deep relationship with oneself. You only have yourself to count on. Surely you may be surrounded by many people, few good friends but at the end of the day your just by yourself.
I can say I am a bit used to this feeling of being far. But one can never fully adjust to being away from the place called home. One can temporarily forget. Or one can temporarily occupy every conscious minute. But deep within that void will always shout out for that need to be filled. A Family… A place called HOME…
The mid-afternoon crash, which occurred as the Spanish airplane left the busy Madrid Barajas International Airport, killed 153 people, officials said.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life,” ambulance driver Luis Ferreras told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
Spanair spokesman Sergio Allard said 172 people were on Flight JK 5022, which was bound for the Canary Islands, off the coast of northwestern Africa. The numbers were frequently updated throughout the day — at one point it was thought 26 people survived and 175 people were on board.
Bodies too hot to touch
Lines of ambulances raced to the airport soon after the crash as a large plume of smoke rose from the accident site.
Emergency services personnel scrambled to pull passengers from the burning plane, while helicopters poured water to douse the flames. A makeshift morgue was set up at the city’s main convention centre, officials said.
“Only the tail was recognizable,” rescue worker Herbigio Corral said of the airplane, according to Reuters. “There was wreckage scattered all over the place and dead bodies across a wide area. A lot of them were children.”
A police officer said the bodies were so hot that police could barely touch them and told El Pais that the shattered wreckage bore no resemblance to an airplane.
Spanish Development Minister Magdalena Alvarez confirmed the number of survivors was only 19.
A Spanish Red Cross official told BBC that they are providing psychological support to family and friends at the Madrid and Canary Islands airports, where many had gathered to greet or send off their loved ones. Passengers from Germany could also be aboard the flight since it shares a Lufthansa flight code, LH 2554.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero interrupted his holidays in southern Spain to handle the crisis in Madrid, while the Spanish Olympic Committee said the Spanish flag would fly at half mast in the Olympic village in Beijing, Reuters reported. Spain’s national soccer team wore black armbands at a friendly match with Denmark.
The development minister said the aircraft’s flight data recorders have been recovered.
The plane’s first takeoff attempt was delayed after the pilot reported a breakdown in a gauge that measures temperature outside the plane, Spanair spokeswoman Susana Vergara said.
Vergara said the gauge was fixed. The plane crashed on the second takeoff attempt.
El Pais reported that an engine on the plane’s left-hand side caught fire as it was taking off.
“We don’t know the reason for the fire, but that seems to have caused the accident,” El Pais editor Guy Hedgecoe told CBC News.
Hedgecoe said that shortly after the fire began, the plane then descended onto the airstrip, crashed and caught fire at the end of the runway. The plane ended up in a wooded area at the recently built Terminal 4, located on the edge of the airport grounds.
The plane, bound for the popular holiday destination of Las Palmas, was a McDonnell Douglas 82, or MD-82. Boeing, which bought out McDonnell Douglas in 1997, said it is prepared to send as least one representative to Madrid to help with the investigation, should Spanish authorities require assistance.
Spanair said the jet, which was 15 years old, last passed an inspection in January, and no problems had been reported since then.
Wednesday’s plane crash was the deadliest in Spain in more than 20 years. In February 1985, an Iberia Boeing 727 crashed near Bilbao in the Basque region, killing 148 people.
The worst plane crash in aviation history occurred in the Canary Islands, when two fully loaded Boeing 747s crashed into each other in 1977, killing 583 people.
Let this be another lesson – keep your seatbelts fastened during all phases of flight! And never get up when that seat belt sign is turned on. You never know when clear air turbulence will strike. When it does the injuries can be catastrophic.
This happened on Monday. A Continental flight from IAH to FLL. The plane was cruising at 31,000 over the Gulf of Mexico when it struck turbulence, causing injuries to all three flight attendants onboard. Each one was taken to the hospital when they arrived in FLL. Fortunately, no passengers were hurt.
Always Fasten Your Seatbelts!. Always buckle the kids up. Safety should always come first!
Few days from now, will be my 22nd year of existence in the world already! (January 25) I’ve been keeping a daily Journal spontaneously for 6 years now, After more than a month of flying, I’ve realized that I had so many good experiences that I would love to go back to, I’m glad I love taking pictures!!! (For remembrance), but how can I ever forget my 1st layover in Trivandrum, India – It was such a nice experience, the hotel was nice (beachfront rooms) the breakfast buffet was great… Then, (Dec.16’2006) Vienna, Austria- I wasn’t that prepared when I went there, I have no scarf & gloves with me because I wasn’t expecting the climate will be extremely cold! It’s also the day the ATM machine had taken my card because I entered wrong pin! I’ve also been to (Dec.23-24’2006) Cochin, India- Take lots of pictures, went to spa & ate in an Indian restaurant. Bahrain- night stop in Intercontinental Hotel, It was less than 4 hours stay and as usual I didn’t sleep, I take pictures instead… (Dec.30-31’2006) Kuala Lumpur- We just stayed in Pan Pacific Airport hotel no much scenery for picture taking but I enjoyed my duty free shopping there, bought lots of groceries & perfumes… (January 3-6’2007) Finally, I got Manila flight! After 3 months of being away to my family… When we landed NAIA, I’m so excited to go to our hotel (Crowne Plaza Galleria) because my family is waiting in the lobby… Though I’m so sleepy & tired due to 9hrs flight from Doha to Manila, still my Manila stay are worth it… 1st night went to mall & had a body massage at Fitness First then sleep for awhile went to Antipolo Church with my family to attend mass at 4am & also had breakfast… Then went to my dentist, Optical shop had a contact lens upgrades, beauty salon, groceries & went shopping again! After Manila, I had a 4 days off & Standby before my flight to (January 11-12’2007) Bangkok, Thailand- Went to Mall & went to spa for Jetlag massage, Sleep at around 2am woke up around 5am, since I can’t sleep anymore, I used the Hotels’ Steam bath & Sauna then Swimming all by myself! I went to the spa again for foot massage.. Since they don’t accept Qatar Riyals, I withdraw money from the ATM machine & forgot my ATM card! (Here we go again) After spa walk around again & bought some groceries & ate at Thai restaurant.. Arrived Doha at almost 1am of January 13, still have my Doha-Dubai-Doha turn around departure at 8:30pm later evening! Then arrived Doha at 12:30am of January 14 still have my double sectorflight! Doha-Abu Dhabi-Doha- Kuwait-Doha! My pick up time is 11:30am! Spent 3 hours in Abu Dhabi Duty free, bought some perfumes then, Arrived Doha at 11:50pm It’s my 1st time to spent my entire week flying without sufficient rest.. Thank God my double sector was delayed so they just cancelled my next morning flight to Riyadh or else I won’t be able to sleep again &
I don’t know what will happen next… Despite of sleepless nights, turning day into night & having abnormal sleeping patterns, I honestly feel so lucky & privilege having all these things so I might as well share it with you… I’m exploring different countries & being paid to do it, and because only few jobs offer the chance to work in a different environment every day, with different scenery, surrounded by different faces, Try many cuisines all over the world, shopping in different destinations & take lots of pictures in different scenery, having discounts in some business establishments- restaurants & shops including duty free with our I.D, But the biggest benefit of all is walking through the airport in uniform, head held high, pulling wheeled flight trolley, and having people look admiringly at you… If you fly internationally as a flight attendant, the world will be your playground, you can go virtually anywhere on vacation!
July 22’2006 – The day I won’t forget! It’s the day I signed my 3 years renewable contract to Qatar Airways!!! Out of more than a thousand of people who submitted resume online, only 300 were call on for the initial screening & interview, only 200 hundred applicants has been call on for an International Airline assessment, became 54 who made it during the assessment, screening, English Proficiency & exams, down to 24 all in all including other batch. I was so thankful to Almighty God for all the blessings! Prayer can move mountain…
Now my next steps are full medical exams/dental exams and full of vaccinations! As well as the authentication of NBI clearance approved by Malacanang, Qatar Embassy, POEA, etc.. During the pre-employment orientation, they were discussing the benefits while we were signing contract. We are also given an offer letter from Qatar Airways stating all the benefits & advantages, I almost cried, I really love to travel to different countries which I already start doing since I was younger… I was so overwhelm of happiness especially when I’ve read the congratulatory letter, stating:
Dear Ms. Villanueva
CONGRATULATIONS! We are very pleased to inform you that you have been successful at your final interview, you are selected to join our Cabin Crew team on the condition that the Qatar airways pre-employment complete medicals has been passed….and so on… I enjoyed every single minute of it, I even read the advantages of being a Flight attendant over and over again.
Summary of The Offer letter in my contract:
Very high salary + hourly flying pay + meal allowances depending on the country and lots of bonuses! For the uniform it’s from the luxury
European brand by ‘Jaeger’ and an impact resistant made from aircraft aluminum ‘Delsey’ 3piece luggage bag.
Monthly fair rostering system that ensures a fair allocation of trips
30 calendar days leave, ticket is provided.
Shared by 2-3 free accommodation in fully furnished, air-conditioned brand new apartments including utility. Each person has their own bedroom
Free transport between Airport & apartment
Free 5 star hotel accommodation overseas and free transport between airport and hotel.
Will undergo to an intensive 7 weeks training programme on all aircraft types.
Concessionary travel are available to you and your family members: Including 1 free ticket from home based to Qatar, 50%-90% reduced price of tickets including to other airlines.
July 23’2006- My family and I started the week attending mass at Our Lady of Fatima, then go to photo studio because I need additional 24 passport pictures in white background and 36 passport pictures in Navy blue background for Qatar, because it will be used in our I.D, bank applications, (they will publish us in an International Magazines), and other documents such as other embassy purposes, residence clearance and dual-citizenship…
July 24, 2006 – we have to leave early for my medical check up because of SONA, the major roads are closed, that’s why I slept over at Alma’s house, so that I can arrive at the (hospital affiliated by Qatar Airways) to lessen the time of my fasting, I don’t’ recall all the exact type of exams anymore (Quite expensive though) – it’s too many process and medical terms to remember, but it includes blood test for different purposes including, blood history, blood typing, std, HIV tests, etc… After the laboratory, Physical exams – The female doctor will require to undress to check the skin (head to toe), scalp, hair, nails, and to make sure that you haven’t done any major operations such as giving birth, next is Audio lab, Optometry, chest x-ray, psycho analysis, interview, etc… The whole procedures lasted more than 4 hours… The results will be out in 3 days, after Passing, should secure dental clearance, panoramic x-ray and Vaccines Certificates – including BCG, Polio, DPT, MMR, Tetanus, Typhoid, Meningococcal, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B… (It’s like a chemo-therapy process!!!)
*** “The value of waiting is a value of a lifetime, if we know how to wait, Life shall be easy because God knows what to give us in the right time”
It was April 25’2006- when I submitted my resume at International Placement Agency through email they replied after 2 days saying that I should proceed to Physical Screening and Initial Interview, April 27’ 2006- I went to the Agency wearing corporate attire as required, they checked my skin, teeth, height & weight, luckily I have no noticeable blemish & my weight are proportioned to my height. I passed the physical screening and scheduled me for interview. April 28’ 2006- I visited Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan, May 3’2006- I went back to Agency for the interview, a foreigner personnel interviewed me, Ms. Jasmine told me that they will call within 4-6 weeks if I will be short-listed. Weeks has passed and I haven’t receive any call, but I didn’t lose hope, I also applied to other Airlines such as Etihad Airlines, they called me for assessment at Hyatt Hotel in Roxas Blvd, but I arrived late afternoon and it was closed already! but that didn’t discourage me!
June 23’2006- After more than a month of waiting, while my family and I are on the way to St. Jude church in Manila, I received a text message from IPAMS saying that I should report at IPAMS to pick up my Qatar Airways assessment! The messages are still in my cellphone! =) After we visited the church I received another text message from Cebu Pacific, they invited me for exams on June 26 7:30am at Training and development Center, Pasay. The exam was so hard, it’s like entering a prestigious university. It’s strictly time pressure per exam, it includes English proficiency, Analogy/Abtracts, Problem reasoning with explanation, reading comprehension, Psychology & mathematics!!! I spent 4 hours there, we were 24 taking exams then only 3 Passed, including myself, but down to 2 because the other applicant has a tattoo in her arms. So we were just 2 who passed that morning. Thank God!
I solemnly pray and offer Novena to Mother Perpetual & St. Rita (St. of Impossible.) I really want to be a Flight Attendant, My story started when I was 5 yrs old, (1990) my first trip to Singapore, California then Hawaii. Seeing and knowing the Perks & advantages of flight attendants that was enough for me! I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, and with my almost yearly travel abroad, I have never deviated from that dream! Finally my chance came. I’m 21, old enough and just graduated a 4 years degree of B.A Communication Arts last April 1’2006.
June 30’2006- Qatar Airways workshop & Assessment held in New Manila, QC. The Flight attendant recruiters are British, Egyptian and Indian national (No Filipino). First they orient us, some discussion, Question & Answer, etc… Then they gave us comprehensive English Proficiency exam, while taking the exam they called the applicants by number, one by one… (I still recall my badge number 42!) Then they once again measure the height, weight, teeth and they will ask you some personal questions to test communication skills, They even asked if I was wearing contact lens, I replied yes, because I’m near sighted. After the exam they will check the papers then divide us to 3 groups for group dynamics, they gave us 3 situations & problems, on where we must contribute our ideas and point of views while the recruiters are evaluating us. The time has come, they will already announce the chosen applicants, I was Chosen!!! I was the last number announced! 42! Thank God! Out of 50 applicants that morning I was one of the 8 who got chosen!!! My heart is pounding, my hand is shaking, it’s like I want to cry! While other applicants who already have experiences and currently working at Philippine Airlines & Cebu Pacific and some already applied more than 3 times already but got rejected, I can’t believe I was chosen immediately… It was one of the memorable day of my life! Then I went home and pray, it’s such a big help!
July 2’ 2006- (Sunday) After filing out the application forms given by the international airline, We went to the International placement Agency for my Panel Interview, Then Executive Interview! It’s like a Ms. Universe pageant Q & A with more than 1 interviewer. Sensing how determined and serious I was, they closed the interview saying that the decision will be out within two weeks because the authorities when they’re back in Qatar will still approve it! The following day, an unfamiliar telephone number registered my cellphone, I missed the call and didn’t bother to call back, but then the next day July 3’ 2006,the exact time when I was reading a prayer book, the same number called me. If I’m not mistaken her name is Ms. Feyolla- an Egyptian. She said, “Hi, Estrellita!? If we will accept you, we would like you to know that colored hair is prohibited” I said “Oh, no Problem!” She said, Ok, great! Have a great day”.
A week came, and another week. It’s really hard to wait! Most especially when you didn’t know yet what you’re waiting… I was wondering why it took almost 3 weeks already, what went wrong, A time comes that I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer – I called the Agency to know if the results are out already! Finally, July 19’ 2006 (Wednesday) out of my despair – I received a text message that I should call the Agency regarding Qatar Airways application, I was inside the car that time, so I used my cellphone to call them, This was the big moment! They informed me the schedule of orientation & requirements that I should bring because I’m already accepted as FLIGHT ATTENDANT to an International Airline! I had finally received the answer I wanted to hear – I got the job!
*** “Prayer is a big help, keep believing, just have faith, don’t’ lose hope in achieving your goals in life, don’t let yourself be distracted because you know yourself better!!! Always remember that Everything’s happen for a reason, Time will come that it’s your time to shine so Dream big! & you’ll go far!” –Star