Anything is and everything is possible for as long as we push forward, regardless of what challenges we may encounter. Sometimes, these challenges bring out the best in mankind. This is the story of John Philip "JP" Magtoto, an AirAsia flight steward and also the breadwinner of his family.
The covid-19 pandemic has brought the airline industry to its knees where commercial flights were suspended for months, prompting airlines to put many of its employees on unpaid leaves in order to cut costs and survive.
For JP, it was also about survival for him and his family.
JP's cabin crew story started with a dream 7 years ago. This guy is battle hardened, having to face 10 rejections when he was applying as a cabin crew but finally got accepted on the 11th attempt, hence, challenges is nothing new to this guy. "I may have failed 10 times BUT the Lord picked me up on the 11th time. It made me cry. Tears of joy for those 7 memorable years in pursuing my dreams," JP remembered.
Then the pandemic came, followed by lockdowns around the world including the Philippines when the government placed the entire Luzon under "Enhanced Community Quarantine" or ECQ. This however did not stop JP for providing for his family especially that he sends his sister to college. Even if flights were suspended and many of the crew had to go on unpaid leaves, this all-star decided not to allow these challenges "skin him alive".
JP then thought of selling fruits around his area, Floridablanca, Pampanga. However in order to maximize his earning potential, he got a tricycle and drove it around selling his fruits and snacks! "It started when I approached my cousin and asked for her assistance since I wanted to start a small business. I thought of selling different kinds of fruits and instead of just putting them in one place and sell them, I decided why not go and roll the fruits in our town. That way I can be more proactive in selling them."
He filled his tricycle with baskets and boxes of fruits. He also sold snacks placed in cartons and drove around the different Barangays in Floridablanca in his 'rolling fruit stand'.
"Since we have lesser flights than the usual. I decided to do something during my day off. I used to roam around the globe and see the world. I just missed to roam around our beautiful town and see it's beauty through it's people. Those genuine smiles on their face when I sell fruits is priceless. Those simple gestures of appreciation makes me want to sell more quality fruits for my suki," JP fondly shared.
All this time I never thought that I could be this resilient as a human being. I knew that I was strong. I just never thought that I could do more." -JP Magtoto
Challenges like this bring out the best in us, where we will do everything even if it goes beyond our comfort zones in order to achieve our goals and to push forward. For JP, his resilience and perseverance to make things happen even started when he was pursuing his dream to be a flight steward.
JP reminds us that to succeed in life, it takes "the right balance of perseverance, hard-work, dedication and tons of prayers. With God nothing is impossible."
For JP, this is what being an AirAsia all-star cabin crew is about. Rising above the occasion and not allowing challenges from stopping us from achieving our goals. Challenges present itself as windows of opportunities not only to earn but to grow as individuals and as human beings.
"I believe that everyone of us is already a champion in our own way. We just have to believe in the power of our dreams and make them a reality. Always put God in the center of everything and all things will fall into the right places," said JP.
Be proud of what you are doing for as long as it helps others and it serves God's purpose for us.
Thank you JP for sharing your wonderful story! May this story inspire others to keep pushing forward and to be resilient. Indeed, hardwork, determination, focus, prayers, and of course, "diskarte" always pays off!