"Wag ninyo ikahiya ang ginagawa ninyo kung ito ay para sa ikabubuti ng iba," someone once said. Today's coronavirus pandemic took a toll everywhere, especially for the aviation industry where people in the industry face uncertainty. Flight attendants do not just face uncertainty, their income has depleted due to limited flights due to the plummet in air travel demand. They have two choices, do nothing and let the pandemic destroy their dreams, or find ways regardless of what it is to make ends meat, we mean, meet!
This is Philippine Airlines flight steward Gabriel Nerbes Siat, one of those cabin crew members greatly affected by the pandemic. He also happens to be the breadwinner of his family, hence, he carries a huge responsibility on his shoulder.
The crisis has caused airlines to reduce capacity by a huge percentage, amounting to losses as a result of the pandemic. Many cabin crew members had to take unpaid leaves in order to save their jobs and the company. This resulted also to a huge drop in the income of these flight attendants.
Being the breadwinner of the family, Gab had to find a way to make ends meet, regardless of what it is. With resources at his disposal, Gab placed up a meat store right in front of his house in Iriga City, Camarines Sur, to sell meat in order to augment his income. "Since there's no regular flights yet, I decided to put up a meatshop business with my mother-in-law. We also have a meatshop in the public market," said Gab.
The crisis did not serve as a deterrent for Gab to help his family, in fact, it even pushed him more to find a way. "It made me push this business because I'm the breadwinner of the family and I need to help them in terms of our finances. And for me to have another career to take," he shared.
It was not an easy journey, shared Gab. "I learned that it's hard at the beginning but it's fulfilling because you have a pure purpose which is to help others. And challenging yourself to be more responsible." This is the reason why you have to stay determined and focused.
Do not allow others to ruin your dreams and goals.
Gab's determination and dedication paid-off. Now, his small meat shop and being a proud meat vendor has helped him in continuing to be the breadwinner of his family. The revenue generated from the pork business is huge. There are enough to pay bills, to address daily needs like food and medicines, plus, there is even enough for savings!
Despite also all that is happening, Gab is very proud of being a cabin crew of PAL. He shared that he learned a lot from how the airline honed them as individuals. "Being an airline cabin crew helped me a lot in terms of customer service. It's more like you offer what they need and like," said Gab.
As PAL gradually increases capacity and flights, Gab is excited to be back in the sky to be of service to the flying public. His meat shop will also remain operational as it has been giving his family good income. Who knows, that small meat stall will grow throughout the years.
Gab wishes to inspire more people especially his colleagues in flying through his story of determination and "diskarte". Diskarte lang, walang arte. Para-paraan lang yan para matustusan ang pangangailangan ng pamilya.
Despite of these difficulties we are facing right now, let us learn to be more productive and imaginative of how we can help others, ourselves, and especially our families because they are the reason why we keep pushing ourselves to do better. And to be a good example for the future generations. To my co-crew, we can survive this pandemic. Let's embrace first the new normal and start a new bright beginning after all of this." -Gabriel Nerbes Siat
Let this be a lesson for everyone. In a time like this, diskarte diskarte lang yan para maka-ahon. Arte will not bring you anywhere. Wag nyo isipin kung ano ang sasabihin ng ibang tao, isipin niyo lang ang mga taong tinutulungan ninyo.
Thank you for sharing this very inspiring #asensocabincrew story, Gab! We hope this would inspire more to push forward amidst challenges in life.