By: Mond Ortiz
Every flight attendant out there were once dreamers, simple individuals from different walks of life who had a dream to be a flight attendant. No one was born a flight attendant, but these individuals were born to be a flight attendant. Each and every one of them have their own share of different stories on how their flight attendant journey began, but at the end, they all got to their one goal.
Last January 25, I was one of the 5 speakers in a conference organized by the "It's a Crewlife" team entitled "The Journey Begins: A 5-Pillar Conference". Well honestly, I am shy when it comes to facing a crowd! Yes really! Unbelievable but its true. I may seem not so shy when you watch our vlogs, but its easier to face a camera than an audience. What convinced me to face my fears of speaking in public was the very fact that many future flight attendants are looking forward to hear from us.
The It's a Crewlife team is an independent group composed of Mayie Carballo of Festejo & Carballo Development and Training Consultancy or Hello FA Mayie, Amor Maximo of Amor Speaks, Yna Ramos of WanderingMom.ph, Me-ann Maximo, and I. Obviously, I was the only one who is or was ever a cabin crew but I simply knew that there was a mission, and that my presence will complement the 4 other speakers.
Amor, Yna, and Me-ann are present flight attendants of Philippine Airlines whereas Mayie was a flight attendant for Etihad, Saudia, SEA Air, Asiana, and Oman Air. Indeed, their vast experience in the industry would allow them to deliver more than enough knowledge and inspiration to all our aspiring cabin crew who have dreams of earning their own wings one day. The information they would be sharing were non-airline specific information, but more on general information.
Each speaker represented a pillar, traits that desbribe an ideal flight attendant. They are "aspiring", "confident", "competent", "exceptional", and "selfless". Me-ann represented "aspiring", Yna was "confident", Mayie was "competent", Amor was "exceptional" and I represented "selfless".
There were more than 70 participants in this conference, all carrying with them their hopes and dreams to be flight attendants one day. You can indeed see in their eyes how they desire to be a flight attendant the moment they stepped in the Concept Lounge at the Savoy Hotel in Newport City.
As each entered the room, I greeted them personally. At 8:00am on a Saturday, you would expect people to be a tad sleepy. Its the weekend, add the gloomy "bed" weather that day, buto not for these aspirants. They were enthusiastic, excited, and full of energy. They were focused on learning, and they were indeed prepared to gail a lot of knowledge and insights on becoming a cabin crew from us 5-pillars.
The sequence to be followed was "aspire" would go first then followed by "confidence" then to "competence" then "exceptional" then the last would be "selfless" basically to wrap up everything. Though I was really nervous as all other 4 speakers are used to facing different people and are also very familiar to talking to a lot of people, I drew courage from the aspirants who had that passion to learn that day.
Each speaker talked about different topics on becoming a cabin crew with a focus on their assigned pillar or trait. We gave tips, advice, inspirational messages, and important thoughts. Trust me, you will not see a flight attendant conference were you have seasoned speakers like Mayie and Amor in one room! Both have regular talks and seminars for future flight attendants but it is indeed rare to have them in one. Wow!
All participants were no less than fully prepared. They were very well dressed as though they were to attend a cabin crew hiring event. One even flew all the way from Iloilo to simply attend. We had no choice but to deliver our very best as these aspirants were expecting a lot. They did invest to learn and as a team, we had to deliver more than just knowledge, but also a feeling family among us and them.
As the conference went along, I saw how focused all the participants were. They were intently listening, taking down notes, laughing, and smiling. They were participating, enthusiastic all throughout the day.
More than just building knowledge, they built a community together. a community with one dream, and that is to be a flight attendant. They now have a support group from one another. They didn't see each other as competition, but as an inspiration to one another.
Not all will earn their wings right away. Some will earn it soon, and some would do in a much later time. What's important is they keep that fire buring in them that they will each be a cabin crew soon.
These future flight attendants see us as their role models, having pictures with each of us speakers. I felt very flattered and more pressured at the same time. Never in my life have I experienced having people take pictures with me, but at the same time, I felt more pressured because I know clearly that I now have a much bigger responsibility to carry out, and that is to continually be around for them anytime they need help. Yes I may not be able to give these aspirants advice on the technical portion but I definitely can help them to keep focused on their goal to be a flight attendant one day through this website and all our other social media accounts.
I myself learned a lot from these participants as well. No one is too old nor too young to dream. Libre mangarap. All these participants are of different ages, different backgrounds, different walks of life, and different life experiences, yet, they were here because they want to be a flight attendant. They did not just dream, they took action.
Second, despite whatever happens to us in life, there is always hope. All these participants went through different life experiences. Some already experienced rejection when they were applying to be a cabin crew. Yet, here they are, pushing themselves to learn. They want it badly, and they will do all to fight for their dream.
At the end of the conference, we had a pledge where they shouted to the top of their voices "I will be a cabin crew, I am a cabin crew, flying with you soon!" Most were brought to tears as their hopes to earn their wings one day were reignited. It was a touching moment for each participant. Seeing their tears got some of us emotional too.
These future flight attendants did not just take home knowledge and inspiration, but a new found family as well. As they go out to push for their dream to become a flight attendant by applying in the different airlines, they now have a support group all cheering for each and everyone of them. They are each other's fans, and we are their coaches. Every one of them who would earn their wing will be a celebration, not because they attended "The Journey Begins", but because they are now family to us.
Each flight attendant started out by having a dream, and these participants now have that same dream each flight attendant had before. I am confident that they are our future flight attendants, our future safety professionals, and our future generation heroes of the sky.
To our future cabin crew, take care of your dream like your life depends on it. Nurture it and take action. When you get there, do not forget to look back and be an inspiration to those who want to be in your shoes one day.
I am excited to post all your pictures in uniform on our page. Please do stay in touch, stay humble, always pray, work hard, and trust in the Lord. Good luck and do not forget to stay in touch.
It was indeed an honor for me to be one of the speakers alongside flight attendants who are aspiring, confident, competent, exceptional, and selfless. I learned a lot from you and thank you for believing also in me.
It was indeed an honor for Flyhigh Manila to be a media partner in this great event.
To all our future flight attendants, your journey to your wings has begun!
Flying with you all!