By: Mond Ortiz
I would like to convey this message to the 150 plus probationary Cebu Pacific flight attendants who were affected by the recent lay-off brought by the devastating effect of the COVID-19 on the whole airline industry. My heart bleeds for you but I do understand also that your airline has to make decisions in order to survive this ordeal, and I pray this pandemic ends soon. So here's my message to all of you.
Most of you had childhood dreams to be a flight attendant. I believe many of you were followers of our page even before you earned your wings, drawing inspiration from the pictures of present cabin crew we post with the hope of being in their shoes one day. That day came, when you finally earned your wings in Cebu Pacific. I witnessed some of you march up that stage with that big smile, receiving your diplomas after spending sleepless nights and intense moments to pass your training. I heard your speeches, and I saw you shed tears knowing that you are finally living your dream as a flight attendant for every Juan.
I spoke to some of you and I heard your stories which never fails to make my heart melt, especially knowing how Flyhigh Manila has somehow helped you be part of our winged heroes of the sky. I am always elated every time you would send us your pictures in uniform, saying "follower kami dati ng Flyhigh, ngayon eto na kami."
Some of you even shared me stories that before, you would even go to the lavatory and imagine yourself serving passengers because it was your dream to be a flight attendant until that day came when you earned those wings.
Deep in me, I knew this was for you, you were meant to fly, and in the sky you belong.
Never in my wildest imagination did I expect the unexpected to happen. The COVID-19 is taking a toll on the airline industry, putting jobs at risk, and companies in the red. The airlines are now on "survival mode." What matters most is staying alive without having to let go of some of their greatest assets, their crew and employees, and that includes Cebu Pacific.
As the COVID-19 situation gotten worse in the Philippines which resulted to more travel restrictions and bans, airlines had to take measures in order to stay afloat. Your airline Cebu Pacific is exerting all means to stay afloat, without having to let go of anyone. Senior managers and executives took pay cuts in order to help mitigate costs. Some departments are working on a skeletal force, but unfortunately, the whole situation did really strangle the airline even further, to the point that they can no longer put you on regular status, hence, had to end your probationary contract.
I am very sure that this was a very very heavy moment and tough decision for the company and management as you were all assets to them. During the time you were flying, you showed your dedication, to the point of flying in the midst of the danger of the Coronavirus. You were steadfast to your commitment as safety professionals, as cabin crew and I am confident that Cebu Pacific did not fail to see that in you. They exerted all means before arriving to this decision. It was a very tough one for them to let you rest your wings for the mean time.
My heart was actually bleeding upon hearing the news. I vividly recalled all your faces during graduation, those exciting celebrations we had at Uno Bistro, and those times when you would really send your pictures to inspire more aspirants to pursue their flight attendant dream. Despite this, I also do fully understand the reason behind your company's decision and I am sure their hearts even bled after conveying the message to you. Your trainers and CCMs did not want this and never did they want it, no one did. There was simply no choice. Blame that helluva sh*t Coronavirus for it, that thing should be eradicated once and for all.
During these moments, know that God is with you, giving your comfort, and assuring you that things will be okay soon. This COVID-19 will not stay for long and things will be back to normal. Cebu Pacific has seen your dedication and how much of an asset you are, hence, they are ready to 'fast track' your re-entry to the airline once things are under control and the airlines are able to spread their wings once again. It is not a final "goodbye", but rather "see you again later."
Trust me, you are meant to fly and in the sky you belong. I myself heard your stories and saw your dedication to turn those childhood dream and become the 5J cabin crew that you are and I am sure you will be able to arise again from this. Always remember that what defines us is how we rise again from every downfall.
Know also that you are heroes, for taking this decision by the management in order to save others and the company. Please do remember that God sees all these and your 'sacrifice' will not go unrewarded.
You are meant to fly. When you make your return as a Cebu Pacific cabin crew, know that your company will be very proud of you no matter what, for your love and fidelity to the airline and your dedication to be a flight attendant, one who brings people from point A to B safely, ensuring every Juan are safely reunited with their families. To the company, you are a hero for helping save the thousands of employees and your names will be etched down in Cebu Pacific's history book for this.
I am excited to see each and every Juan of you return back to flying, wearing your wings, your yellow uniform, scarf, and head gear. I am excited to see this COVID-19 situation come to an end. I am excited to see the whole aviation industry rise again.
God is with you during these moments especially when things become heavy. This is only temporary, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
I am always here for you, especially during these moments. If we are friends over in Facebook, I am just a message away. Moreso, God is just a prayer away.
Kaya natin ito, kaya natin lahat ito, this is temporary, flight attendant ka kaya malakas ka!
Stay strong and do not give-up, You are a flight attendant, and forever you are. You belong to the sky and you will get those wings back once again.
I am always proud of you no matter what, and rest assured that I will always be praying for each and every Juan of you.
Mahal ko kayo, kaya natin ito! I am Juan with you!