The 'Unroutinary' Routine

One time during briefing, we were asked if we consider being a flight attendant a routine profession. That made me think. Now that I am flying for four years now, I am certain to the answer to that question. Yes it is a routine, in an 'unroutinary' way. Let me just pretend that the word exists in the dictionary. :)

We basically do almost the same thing every time we fly. 

1. We participate in pre- flight briefings with the supervisors and/or pursers and cockpit crew to establish relationship and communication prior to starting the flight. This is where introduction is being done, refresh ourselves with emergency procedures, discuss flight details and cabin conditions. 
2. We go through immigration, customs and body checks.
3. We reach the aircraft and stow our bags to the compartments.
4. We conduct pre- flight check of doors, emergency equipment and everything else in the cabin and galley like ovens, coffee makers, chillers to make sure everything are working.
5. Once all the ground staff (catering, cleaners, maintenance) are out of the aircraft, we start our security check to make sure there are no suspicious items on board. We open compartments, crew rest areas, lavatories and its mini- compartments, carts, under the seats and everywhere else our hands could reach and and eyes could see. 
6. We board passengers with a smile, guide them to their seats and assist as much as we could.
7. When the boarding is complete, we start our ground services like giving out towels or refresher tissues.
8. When the screens are not working for passengers to see the safety demonstration from there, we manually demonstrate the use of safety equipment (seat- belts, oxygen masks in case of decompression, life-vest when flying over water, exits, and safety cards).
9. We secure the cabin for take off (seat- belts fastened, tray tables stowed, seat- backs upright, window shades open). We ensure bags are secured properly (under the seat or in the overhead compartment) and see to it that aisles and emergency exits are free of obstruction. Galleys are to be secured as well. Carts secured and compartments latched and locked. 
10. We take our seats for take off.
11. When the seat- belt sign is off, we start our services (newspapers, headsets, giveaways, child and infant gifts, landing cards, beverage, meals/ sandwiches, coffee/ tea, collection, candies).
12. For the remaining duration of the flight, we attend to passenger's needs and requests. We keep the aisle and lavatories clean.
13. When the seat- belt sign comes on for landing, we do the same thing as No. 9.
14. We take our seats for landing.
15. After everyone has deplaned, we ensure no one leaves anything behind. 

Those things all the time! Now what makes me consider my job as unroutinary? The answer is 'everything in between'. Now I will use I, instead of we. :)

1. The schedule- It's not a fixed 9- 5 during the day or a fixed shift at night. I wake up and sleep anytime of the day depending on the time of my flight. If my flight requires me to prepare at 8 in the evening, I will try to sleep in the day. 
2. The people I fly with is not the same everyday. Some are colleagues I've already flown with. Some are people I'm flying with for the first time. It's nice to reconnect with the old crew and learn something from the new ones.
3. Pre- flight checks and security checks are things I never consider routine. I do it as thorough as I could. I don't want to put my flight to a certain danger because of my own negligence towards my roles.
4. Passengers are something new each time- a hundred and twenty for the smallest plane and almost three- hundred for the biggest one. Someone will be unruly. A few will try to irritate you. I will give them the treatment they still deserve but makes face when I'm hiding in the galley. :D Some would smile back and say thank you. I think I deserve that. While the rest will remain silent throughout the flight. I handle different passengers in many different ways, basing on the situation. And sometimes that way of handling may not work to a different person. 
5. During the flight, I sometimes face colleagues who are difficult to deal with and I have to deal with them, anyway. :)
6. Death on board, rejected take- off, fire and/or smoke cases, decompression, unlawful seizure of the aircraft, bomb on board, emergency landing and/or ditching, and all other cases are things I was trained initially and every year. I know what to do by heart but I don't get to face them everyday (God forbid!) to make me skillful. 

The list may not end from there.

For me, to be unroutinary, it takes to have full responsibility to the serious matters (safety) and be accommodating, flexible, happy and spontaneous to the rest of the flight. 

I realized any other jobs shouldn't be considered routine but it all depends on someone's personality, preferences and likes or dislikes. If anytime you feel like you have a regular way of doing things in a particular order and you get bored to the way things are always done the same way, that means you are stuck. Try to change the pattern and try to do things differently, sometimes or when needed.

I Will Go With You (The Flight Of A Lifetime)

Today, I finished reading the book "I Will Go With You" by Priya Kumar. The following are my favorite quotes from this book full of inspiration and personal growth. The author simply inspires her readers. 

Success means different things to different people. Those who have it, think they can buy the world with their power, people included. Those who don't have it, think they can scrape it off those who do. There are those who don't care about the result of what they do and are disconnected from success. And then here are a select few, who don't care about what they get, as long as they love what they do.

It's funny how people look for signs outside even when their heart is signaling them the way all the time. There are no signboards in life; your inner voice and your inner knowledge are enough to lead you in the direction of your highest evolution.

Energy is infectious. It pervades everything it touches. Just like a person with a positive vibe has a positive impact on people around him with his presence, so too does a negative person. Even when they don't mean harm to you, negative people, with their more energy, infect you with their negativity. And like an idle housefly, you are caught in their sinister web of destruction.

Why don't relationships last? Relationships don't last, purposes do. As long as the people involved serve their purpose of being in a relationship, the relationship will continue to grow. When people's purposes drift apart, so does the relationship.

Non- expression is a dangerous approach. Express both love and disappointment. When someone is expressing themselves to you, acknowledge it. Sometimes disappointment becomes a necessary outflow to protect love, which is temporarily shaken up. If you don't express yourself, how will the other person know, especially when you are hurt? Don't leave it for the other person to figure out. Express it. Shunning it or leaving it unresolved will break two hearts.

When you first met, you were free, free to fall in love with anyone you so wished. You chose that one person. Later, when that person slowly clips your feathers to ground you, all you want to do is fly away. Not because he is grounding you, but because that is what you were meant to do- fly. Therefore, it is important to know in that first meeting if your destinations are the same. For if they aren't, then clipping your wings is the only way of keeping you together.

With you in my life, I want lifetimes.

It's difficult to restore love when it is clouded with layers and layers of misunderstanding. I don't mean misunderstanding between two people. It is about misunderstanding oneself.

Taking trust for granted is hanging your relationship on a fragile thread of misunderstanding.

If the attraction is purely physical, then love is a camouflage for lust. The attraction must be at all levels, emotional, mental, intellectual, spiritual, and physical. If I like how he looks, but I don't like how he thinks, then how long does one honestly expect the relationship to last? If I like how he thinks, but I don't like how he restricts himself emotionally, then how will love bloom? If I like his intellect but not his mentality, then what future awaits us both? Falling in love is like winning a jackpot- all the numbers should match. Even if there is just one number missing, you do not get the prize!

Looking at where one went wrong relieves the other person of the need to defend his stand. You invited him into your life; you gave him permission to mess you up. In other words, you chose him despite your better judgement, on poor intentions. Any way you look at it, you did it.

Letting go is sometimes a better way, but doesn't have to be a cruel way. Let go, not because you hate the person or because it hurts. Let go because you want to create a better future.

Compromise in the beginning and be ready for heartbreak later.

So how does one attract the right partner? How does one find him or her? By knowing what to look for. If you are clear about who you want, then recognizing the person becomes a lot easier. When you aren't clear about whom you want in your life, then your mood decides your selection.

While you are looking for your soulmate, keep yourself busy and keep yourself productive. It is always a good idea to estimate what kind of woman your dream man would want and prepare to live up to that standard. It's easy to expect the best and not consider what you have to offer in return. And even if you don't find him soon, you will love yourself while you wait. It is when people stop loving themselves that they become desperate to find it in others. Desperation leads only to despair.

Instead of killing each other by changing them, and changing them, and changing them, and then making them feel guilty about who they are, it is better to let go. It is better to leave them to find their individual happiness than to suffocate them with your love.

Before you tear your heart apart, prepare yourself with the antidote. The best antidote to the fear of losing, the fear of being left alone and whatever fear it is that keeps us living small and loving smaller- is a compelling purpose. Define what makes you happy, explore your strengths, consider what you would love to do, and then construct a future with it. Purpose is a potent solution to all the ills of the mind and heart.

What is the big deal about letting go? We fear it so much that we would rather suffer than face an alternate future. We fear that when the relationship ends, love will die, but love does not need to die. The context of a relationship can change, the love remaining constant and does not necessarily need a relationship to hold it.

Need for physical intimacy is not love. Need for financial security is not love. Love transcends all needs. Love is what you feel beyond any physical evidence of its existence.

In the end, if your love empowers those you claimed you loved, if your love brings hope and inspiration to their lives, if your love surrounds  them long after you are gone, then you have truly loved.

When there is a purpose, there must also be an urgency for its fulfillment. You don't just have other people's counter intentions and various other circumstances as obstacles, you also have time as your greatest barrier. If you have something important to do, the time to do it is now. If you have something important to say, the time to say it is now. If you have something important to be, then be it now. Tomorrow doesn't show up for everyone. 

Love makes it through the thickest darkness, it makes it through the deadliest games, it makes it through the material, the non- material; heck, it makes through everything.

May Days Off

May 23, 2016 (Monday)

My days off officially started the moment I stepped out of the aircraft from an operating flight. At the Flight Operations, my flying partner, Krati and my friend, April, patiently waited for me while I unpacked some of my things. I gave my uniform trolley and handbag to Krati. Inside were my uniform shoes, manuals and things I won't be needing in Manila. April gave me some of my stuff which I requested her to keep in her suitcase in India since I no longer had space in my bag. 

It's complicated. I know I could have given my things to April so I could let Krati go. Since April is living in another compound, I'd have hard time getting back my things from her. Aside from that, she's also going home to Manila and has longer days off than me so I couldn't fly with my trolley, handbag and manual stuck in her apartment by the time I get back. While Krati and I have the same length of days off since again were flying partners, I left my things to her.

After changing from uniform to my own clothes and abaya, I headed to the airport and checked in for my flight to Doha. I waited for 45 minutes before I was given a boarding pass.

At the transfer desk at Hamad International Airport, I was given another boarding pass to Manila. I don't know how they figure it out but she already knew I was a staff using my zed fare ticket. She then asked if I was going home for vacation. She was surprised when I said I was only going home for a five days off. The Filipina staff was really helpful. The airport was really huge and I had to walk a really long way to reach my next boarding gate. 

I got really excited having to fly with another airline. Qatar Airways has great customer service and is living its title as a 5 star airline and the World's Best Airline. The flight to Manila was light so I got to transfer seats and I got the whole row of seats for me alone. 

I watched the movie How to Be Single in between sleeping and eating. :)

I reached Manila at 10:30 in the evening and I was excited to see him and Aunt Tess.

May 24, 2016 (Tuesday)

An hour after I reached the hotel in Cubao, Jeff has arrived from work, too. He had his favorite zinger burger from KFC for me to eat. :)

Then it was time to sleep and had to wake up early for a long day at Vivaldi Residences and the bank, the main reason why I had to come home. 

After breakfast at the hotel, we went to Vivaldi. They were able to show us the building and some units. We went to the rooftop and saw the city surrounding us. There was a pool and I just loved the view of the city from it. I can't wait until the whole building is completely done!

We then proceeded to the RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Center in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig for the opening of account and signing of bank loans. There goes a bigger responsibility now. There were a lot of things I heard for the first time. I am thankful Jeff and Auntie Tess were present or else I wouldn't know what questions to ask from the bank officer. Actually, my aunt and Jeff did most of the talking and asking. :D

The three of us went to Eastwood for him to start his work again. Auntie and I went to see the movie, Just The Three of Us in the cinema and we all had dinner together before aunt and I headed back to the hotel. 

He followed after a few hours and I know he must be very tired from a day at the bank and straight to work. I'm happy it's his leave the following day. 

May 25, 2016 (Wednesday)

Auntie Tess left for Tacloban. Two weeks ago, Jeff opened up about going to Baler in Aurora. But when we looked up the bus trips in the internet, the schedules were tight. We might not catch our flights back to Cebu and Jeddah on Friday so I decided we could go to Puerto Galera via Batangas Pier. 

We packed our things and headed to the bus terminal. After a 3 hour ride from Manila, we reached the port and took another 1 hour ride to Puerto Galera via fastcraft. 

We reached the hotel at 7 in the evening, took some rest and headed out for dinner.

May 26, 2016 (Thursday)

We started our water activities right after breakfast. We went jet-skiing, parasailing, snorkeling and fish feeding. It was our first time to jet- ski and para- sail and we both had a great time. It was a fun trip. And I would love to do them all over again. :)

We caught the last trip back to the port in Batangas and made it back to Manila at 9 in the evening. 

May 27, 2016 (Friday)

And it was time to part ways again. :( I just hate this feeling the most! Urghh. 

May 17, 2016

I initially had a pick- up time today at 1630 so I had my alarm set to wake up at 1500, just in time for me to have a quick lunch, shower and then grooming.

When I woke up at 1500, I saw a notification on my phone that my flight has been changed to 1530 pick- up. I saw some missed calls, too. Those must have been our crew planner. But since my phone was in silent mode, I wasn't notified earlier through text or call.

At 1530, I was already on my way down to the Check Hostess. My roommate said I was quick and my flying partner waiting for me in the bus (who also sent me a Facebook message to notify me) said it was commendable for me to prepare in a span of 30 minutes. Haha :D

Now in the bus on the way to Flight Operations. :)

May 12, 2016

I lost 4 hours the other day for a cancelled flight but I got it back plus two hours more for operating four legs today. I wanted to complain because I stayed at the Flight Operations for 2 hours before I was given a duty. Another 2 hours, and I should have been on my way back to the apartment.

Anyway, looking at the brighter side, my flying hours this month is almost 74. And I'm happy I got to work in Guest Class galley with a cool and amazing crew.

My last decent meal was breakfast before I left for work. I had a little shrimp salad and some vegetable sandwich after service. I'm too hungry now. I'm writing this on my way home and I couldn't think of anything else but FOOD.


May 11, 2016

So I had my alarm set to 7 in the morning today and my sleep must have been so good it kept on alarming until past nine. The reason why I had to wake up early was for me to process my exit/ entry visa so I could get it and my passport back in the afternoon. 

Without breakfast, I hurried to the office only to find out that I could already process it even a day before expiry. I was told that it's still too early to process a new one and I could come back first week of June until 28th. Well, I've been processing my visa a month before expiry and they've been accepting it, but not this time. 

I spent a few minutes at the new Alamad Cafe drinking some fresh orange carrot juice while waiting for my vegetable chopsuey order. 

Today, I finally emptied my SLR and GoPro of photos. It had too much pictures of my Jordan trip, my April vacation and my last layover to Kochi. I've already organized them in my laptop and waiting for the time that I'd have interest in uploading them to Facebook. I've basically lost interest uploading albums and Instagram has been my gallery for almost 2 years now. When I get to create albums in FB, I hide them after a week or so. 

I've booked my zed fare tickets to Manila through Qatar Airways. I initially wanted to trade my Bangalore flight arriving back to Jeddah at 0045 on 23rd this month. At exactly the same time, a Saudia flight departs to Manila. It's such a bad timing, I know. I was able to look for girls to trade flights with me with an early release but when I saw QR's flight departing at 0410a on 23rd, I disregarded the trades and took the opportunity of time, without losing my good BLR 57hrs layover. 

It will be my first time to fly with QR and I am looking forward to it. My Aunt's fights to Manila from Tacloban are ready, too! And also his flights. He booked them the other day. The main thing why I'm going home is to sign some house loan documents that has been approved by RCBC during the last part of my April vacation. The turn over of the condo unit will hopefully be soonest. 

There will be a day or two of free days in Manila so I suggested to him today that we could go hiking to Mt. Pico de Loro in Cavite. And it turned out to be a little argument because he doesn't want to spend time hiking to some mountains after tiring shifts and sleepless nights. :D Okay, then.

Will be out today to buy some Clarins foundation at Sephora because mine is almost empty.. Ciao!

Trip to Amman, Jordan

It started by telling Lady I wanted to go to Oman for two days or three to see the Bimmah Sinkhole. She said she's going to join me but later on suggested to go to Amman, instead. Since we are flying partners for the month, it means we have the same schedules, days off and all. So I said yes! I have some friends working for Oman Air in Muscat so I could go there some other time. Going to Amman is much better with a a company rather than going solo. And I will tell you why in this post. :)

Only few days before our days off, we booked our zed fare tickets through Royal Jordanian. It was actually 25 percent cheaper than flying with our own airline. :D With a suggestion from an Indonesian colleague, Marintan, who recently went there, we bought the Jordan Pass which includes the tourist visa fee to save time and money on Jordan's top sights and attractions. 

We arrived at our apartments past 11 in the evening from a Lucknow flight, and our flight to Amman was scheduled to depart the following morning at 0730. We had to unpack and pack our things. And it was a bit of a struggle. Haha! I had to make sure I only carry two bags with me- a trolley and a handbag. Successfully, I did it after eliminating a few things I won't really be needing for four days. I only slept for less than 2 hours before I had to hit the skies again. 

Day 1 (March 16- Wednesday)

0900 Queen Alia International Airport is a very huge terminal, clean and modern. Immigration was quick upon being asked what our professions were while presenting our Iqama IDs.

It was a cold windy morning. Every time the automatic exit doors at arrival open, we can't help but quiver. The types of clothes we wore under our abaya and even the clothes we brought with us in our trolleys weren't enough to protect us from the cold weather that welcomed us on our first day. We didn't have fixed plans on where to stay and though we had list of places to visit, we didn't know where to head first. With the use of the airport wifi, we decided to stay nearby Dead Sea on the first day. We booked a one night stay at Ramada Hotel. We then hired an airport taxi to take us to an hour drive to the hotel.

We arrived in the hotel ahead of the check in time but the staff was very nice to check us in early and gave us the room without having to wait long. Before resting, we had enjoyed the view from our room- Dead Sea from afar and the hotel's beautifully designed pool.

Five minute drive from the hotel, a shuttle took us to our first (and maybe last :D) Dea Sea experience. We expected the cold winds like what welcomed us in the airport that morning but the weather was different. It was a clear afternoon. The sun revealed itself and the panorama we witnessed upon getting off the bus just made that experience one of our most unforgettable travel moments. Yet, that doesn't even include floating around the saltiest body of water on earth and covering our bodies with Dead Sea mud. The feelings were just indescribable!

Day 2 (March 17- Thursday)

After a short breakfast at the hotel, we decided to go to the downtown area. We already had a place to stay in mind as suggested by Marintan. We asked the taxi driver to drop us off at Jordan Tower Hotel. We met Jehad, the friendly receptionist who speaks English very well and was very welcoming and friendly. (He also helped me figure out how to get my refund when I realized I was charged twice in my credit card. I had to communicate with him when I discovered my bills after coming back from days off.)

The hotel accommodates tourists- traveling solo, with their partners or in groups. There were times that we had to come down at the reception area to use the internet and so, I've seen so much people come and go. That's when I noticed we were the only Asians staying at the place. We've met a lady who asked us what our itineraries were. And she gave us some helpful tips.

That afternoon, we met our driver, Mohammad. He took us to see some beauty's of Jordan. First we went to Ajloun Castle sitting atop a hill. and to Jerash, an ancient city in Jordan famous for its Roman ruins. While on the road, we enjoyed our trip to those places with great and wide natural views of the surroundings. Jordan is truly enriched with dramatic landscapes and amazing sights. And oh, I can't forget our driver. He made that journey at its best, too. He never ran out of things to say and share! :)

Mohammad took us to a restaurant named Artemis which served Mansaf, the national dish of Jordan. The taste is just perfect! Mansaf is made of lamb chunks boiled in yogurt sauce and served with bread and rice. The rice that came with it was also perfect. It wasn't plain and ordinary. It matched the taste of the meat. Adding more yogurt sauce to the lamb while eating every part of it was a taste I still couldn't believe. It was truly a taste to behold. :)

Here's the funny thing about dining there, though. After eating, a guy at his 30's went to our table. He said his name and introduced himself as the manager. He then looked at me and said that he really likes me and he wanted to take me out to dinner that day while reaching out to give me his calling card. And I was like... (oh, this is happening too fast) while I reached for his card and thanked him. :D I don't know where that calling card is now. Haha.

We rested for a few minutes back in the hotel. (Well that rest was actually to update our Swarm account for the places we've been that day and to upload new photos in Instagram :D) We then walked towards Rainbow Street in downtown. The area is known for its lively shisha bars and cafes at night for locals and visitors alike. I previously showed Lady a photo of a beautiful umbrella art showing set of umbrellas coloring the streets of Jabal Amman, off in Rainbow Street. On our way, we looked for that art and when we didn't find it, we started asking some locals on the streets. We didn't right away hear the answers but someone later on told us it had been ruined. We ended up having dinner at one of the restaurants there.

Day 3 (March 18- Friday)

At quarter to nine, we had breakfast at the hotel. We've seen people came to check in and people who were also about to leave to discover more treasures of the country just like we did.

We started to hit the road at nine for Wadi Rum.

It was a long drive, almost 5 hours. We were thinking it could have been 4 hours or less if the driver sped up a little bit. It was somehow a slow ride to the destination. And it took another 2 hours to reach our camp site through a 4x4 desert tour. That two hour drive honestly seemed boring but every time we stopped, there was something so fascinating to see. We saw the best lookouts in the desert. The dramatic landscapes and massive rock formations were something that will forever remain in our memories.

Once, we climbed a dune. We struggled in every step we took because we would sink and find our shoes covered by the red sand and we'd slide back down and we would take another step again to continue the climb. My white shoes transformed into a sandy red afterwards. :)

When we arrived at our camp sites, we were welcomed by a Bedouin. A Bedouin is a nomadic Arab but I don't think these Bedouins in Wadi Rum desert camps still move from one place to another. I'm thinking they are already inhabiting the area. I didn't get to ask, though.

We enjoyed our somehow modern camp site. There were a number of small tents and one big tent. The Bedouin showed us to our tent where we stayed for the night. It had two beds for my friend and I. It was made to protect us from the heat of the sun or the cold night. Actually, not really for the cold night because despite of our huge and thick blankets, we weren't able to sleep well trying to find a warm position. :D We woke up the following day laughing about our experiences and how we tried to stay silent despite our complains and how we finally survived it with the sun coming out again.

Tired from a day in the road, we simply relaxed and enjoyed the feeling of being isolated in a desert far from the city. We realized it was time to get up and enjoy the outside more when our camp guide started shouting for us to come out to climb some rocks in order to see the sunset. We saw one of the most stunning sunsets in our lives. Its colors seemed to extend to every horizon making everything more beautiful in front of our eyes.

We headed back to the camp with hungry tummies and the big tent was where we had dinner that night and breakfast the following day. Dinner was being prepared while the campers were inside the big tent. That's where we saw the rest of the other tourists.

Before dinner was served, everyone was called to go outside to see how our foods were prepared the Bedouin way. In a hole in the ground, that's where our dinner was being cooked. Underneath were meat, potatoes and other sort of vegetables. It was covered and the moment they opened the covering, we smelled the dishes in the air making our tummies grumble more.

After dinner, we tried looking up at the night sky through a telescope. Somebody showed us Saturn. It is a jewel and exquisite.

Day 4 (March 19- Saturday)

It was time to leave our camp and say goodbye to everyone to head up to our next stop, Petra, the red- rose city ("a name it gets from the wonderful color of the rock from which many of the city's structures were carved.")

We spent time discovering Petra through a horse ride and lots of hiking. We had less than a day but we made sure it turns out to be an incredible experience. Our guide made us climb rock mountains to reach to a high hill where we could see The Treasury from above. Seeing it through a different view from most of the tourists made us say it was all worth the climb. The Treasury is Petra's most magnificent facade. It is 40 meters high and beautifully decorated.

We had to walk down again to go back to where we left off and walked all the way to The Treasury itself to see its view from how most of the people were seeing it. It's amazing how this building which was believed to be constructed in the 1st Century BC stood still despite time.

Leading us back to the main entrance again, we walked through The Siq. "The Siq resulted to a natural splitting of the mountain and it is 1.2 kilometer long."

We left Petra temporarily exhausted but the times we spent there are memories that will live in our hearts, permanently. :)

We headed back to Amman and we asked our driver to drop us off a mall nearby our hostel. There we shopped for a few items and had dinner. We are supposed to leave Amman today but we couldn't get enough of the place, yet. We haven't been to all the other spots. Since we had an open ticket and looking at our flights back to Jeddah with Royal Jordanian, we didn't think the flight is full yet to leave on Sunday evening, so we took the opportunity to extend one more day.

Day 5 (March 20- Sunday)

This was our last day so we spent the whole time doing the city tour and to some more places outside the city.

We went to see the Roman ampitheater and the Citadel Hill of Amman with a gorgeous view of the city. We also went to the Bethany Beyond Jordan where Jesus was baptized. The guide showed us the Jordan river and the baptism site of Jesus. We went to visit Mount Nebo, a place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. I felt excited and blessed being able to visit these Holy places mentioned in the Bible.

Since we still had time left before we needed to go to the airport, we bought some mud mask and had tea and shisha in one of the coffee shops in Madaba. We visited a church a walking distance from the cafe before finally heading to the airport.

I couldn't forget how my friend called me Miss Jordan. Haha! There were lots of instances where people would just come near me and ask a photo to be taken with them. :D Actually, mostly locals and a few tourists. :)

Having to visit Jordan- its city Amman and its all other beautiful places, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and Petra is one of the most beautiful travel adventures I ever did in my life. It was a vacation in a place where I felt like time stood still. It was a journey full of awe- inspiring sights, thrills and moments of joy. I'm a happy soul with travel's countless wonders!

My Younger Sister's Confession

Yesterday, I told Jasmine about one of her high-school batch mates who recently tied the knot. She said she knows. She doesn't have Facebook to know about what's going on with her friends but somebody at home must have shared the news to her. I told her after some time that I saw a post in Facebook that she's pregnant so that must have been the reason for the quick wedding. 

Then she asked if I was envious. I said yes, because I'm already 28! Haha. And that's when she suddenly said she is pregnant, too. Seven weeks. I didn't believe her. I even said this is too early for April fools. :D Believing that she was joking, I told her that if it's a baby boy then it's fine. When she said she was serious, I still didn't believe her until she sent me a photo of her pregnancy test and a doctor's appointment. I got emotional. I couldn't help but cry. I am so happy for her, really happy. She wanted to break the news on my vacation this April but I think she had the courage to tell me when I mentioned about her friend. I knew she was a little afraid of telling me because I've always told her I should marry and have a baby first since I am the older one. But now, it doesn't really matter. I love my baby sister and I'm happy when she is. 

Everyone at home knows except for our father. She broke the news two weeks ago and since then she haven't seen him. She wanted to tell him the news, personally. Jay-r and Susay are happy. They wanted to have their own, too. :) My Auntie Tess and Ate Sheila are the most excited and her boyfriend who just left for Muscat is the happiest when she told him. She's expecting her baby in 6th of October, just a day after our youngest sister's birthday. 

When asked, my younger sister said she doesn't have any plans in getting married, yet and she wanted me to walk in the aisle first. Haha. She could marry first or after me, but whatever God's plans are for us, I am willing to take them. God has higher and better plans and His will, will always be done. Then she asked me when my turn will be. :D I said I have to carry on for two more years before I am allowed to have a baby. Then she called me 'career woman'. Hahaha. 

The doctor advised her for bed rest since she had experienced some bleeding and she is at risk. Now, I don't want anything else but for her to be safe and deliver her baby safely, too. 

Lord, please bless my younger sister for a new life is living within her. Please allow her to keep herself and her baby away from danger or pain. Please grace her with a healthy mind, body and spirit that she may share it to this wonderful creation coming to our family soon. 

Butter Garlic Parmesan Chicken

I've cooked Butter Garlic Shrimps multiple times. In fact, it's now one of my favorite dishes aside from Fried Chicken. Haha. Now, I will try it on chicken and this time with Parmesan cheese and potatoes. Here's how:


chicken breast fillets
salt and pepper
red chili flakes
Parmesan cheese
boiled potatoes


1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. On medium heat, add butter. Pan fry the chicken until the surfaces are browned.
3. Remove the chicken and set aside.
4. Saute the garlic.
5. Add the chicken.
6. Lower the heat and let simmer.
7. Add the potatoes, some salt and pepper to taste, parsley flakes and chili flakes.
8. Top the chicken with Parmesan cheese.
9. Remove from heat and broil the chicken in the oven until the cheese melts.

Yum! :)

Acting Supervisor

Today was an open day for me which I turned into willing to fly and was eventually turned into a home standby from 3am to 3pm. I was sleeping when my phone rang at 440a. I was upgraded to a turnaround Alexandria flight. When I checked the crew list, I was the most senior and so, I am expected to be the acting supervisor for the operating legs. Thinking about the tasks of a supervisor by seeing them during the flight made me say it's easy. It's easy but whatever goes wrong, I know the responsibilities are mine. 

I conducted a briefing like how it normally goes. I met the other four girls. Two of them were only 5 months flying and the other two were almost 2 years. And I am a few months away to 3 years. That actually made me ask if I was legal to lead the flight with all our seniority dates. I didn't check and look for answers in our manuals but the Captain did when we were all on board, making sure we were following standards. I appreciated how thorough our PIC briefed us in almost all safety procedures. 

The flight went well. I received so many papers from ground personnel to the point of not knowing what to do with them :D. I had to press the many buttons and selections from the cabin system realizing I was already playing with them. Haha! I had to board everyone, check that everything was secured before take off and landing. I had to help in the galley especially when R1 had to attend the cockpit's needs and serve the business class passengers, too. Guest class was full but good thing the load in business was light or else I would have been here and there. I had to make sure slides were disarmed before any normal door openings. 

When we arrived in Alexandria, I handed the general declaration of the crew and the passenger manifest to the staff who welcomed our flight. In several flights, I have observed supervisors giving the empty insecticide bottle sprays (sprays we use to spray the cabin after take off) to ground staff, too, so I gave the whole thing to the man. I do not know what they do with those sprays next but the next thing I know, I was being reprimanded by our PIC for giving out those sprays. A staff went spraying those bottles in the cargo giving flight deck an indication that there was smoke going on. They later on discovered that it was only due to the insecticide sprays. Fire and smoke whether in the cabin or cargo are serious matters. Then the ground staff was also reprimanded. He said that they too normally receive those sprays upon arrival and spraying the cargo is what they do afterwards. I had no idea! But one thing's for sure. Though we all used up all the sprays, there must have been little left behind in a bottle that they were able to use up. 

I thought I'd already lost my job that moment on. When I said I was sorry, our Captain said no, it wasn't my fault. :) It was a safe flight back to base and I'm happy I've learned a lot of things today.

Thank you, Lord. :)

Lucknow, India

I was pretty impressed by Renaissance by Marriott hotel in Lucknow. Though I like Vivanta by Taj, our old layover hotel, this new one right next to Vivanta holds a modern luxury and contemporary comfort for everyone. 

05:00 First thing in the morning today, I was in the gym sweating out. I wanted to swim in the pool afterwards but it's not open until 12 noon. And I'd rather not since the pool is next to the Skybar where people would be enjoying their drinks with the view of the infinity pool.

07:00 Breakfast at L-14 All Day Dining

breakfast with this scenic view of Lucknow's landscape
08:00 Off I went for a quick sightseeing tour. I started at St. Joseph Cathedral School. The church was closed but the guard led me to a chapel. I was saying prayers and at the same time, I couldn't stop looking at every child who entered that mini prayer area- small Indian school children who said their prayers, too, touching the statues. 

These three sweet girls approached me as soon as I made it past the gate, telling me I was pretty. Ahaha.. They asked me where I am from. When I told them I'm from the Philippines, they all nodded. I wonder if they know which part of the world I come from. 
a few of them gathered in front of me wanting to be captured in my camera, too..
Next, the hotel driver took me to Bara Imambara, a grand Shia Muslim congregation hall, built in 1784. 

a spacious lawn after entering the gate of Imambara
a simple reward I got after passing through a complicated network of paths which were built to serve as confusion to enemy intruders before.. with my guide, it wasn't difficult to find my way out.. :) 
Lucknow's Clock Tower
Those were the places I visited for now. I hope I could go to other sightseeing spots here next time. Upon arriving back to the hotel, I took some nap, ate my lunch and prepared for a flight back to base.

February 9, 2016

23:00 Okay, so, I wanted to start this post while eating sunflower seeds which I got from a dates store, yesterday but I finished a full bowl and poured another, forgetting about this. :) I realized it's hard to do both when my concentration was on running my tongue along the salty outer shell, cracking the shells between my teeth, spitting the shells and chewing the seed. I craved for sunflower seeds since one of my colleagues brought some with her in one of my previous flights. She shared it with us and now, I have an idea of a health- promoting snack I can consume at home while watching tv or reading a book, instead of chips and other junk foods.

Sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds- I never took them before. I only started consuming them upon hearing from other girls how healthy they are. I learned to eat chia seeds by adding them up in cold drinks or juices and flax seeds in yogurt or cereals. Try them! Don't be deceived by their sizes because those tiny little things have powerful nutritional benefits. 

Yesterday, Marj cooked a butter garlic shrimp for our dinner at my apartment. My roommate, Jhen, joined us. It was a very enjoyable meal. Next time I'll put some shrimp paste on my butter garlic shrimp, too, to make it more tasty. 

Marj clicking the very first photo out of my newest travel buddy, while I was slicing the garlic and onions for our dinner.  
in love with this Go Pro Hero 4 :)
Today, I have learned the basics of this device including changing the backdoor and using the mounts. I'm happy there's now something I could use underwater and he's happier because he no longer have to carry the big and heavy SLR. :D

I'm excited of capturing and saving moments, the new way. c:

February 6, 2016

When I reached the Check Hostess to check in back from flight yesterday, I once again check my rank for the out of kingdom base and surprisingly, I'm on 103rd. I started from 200 something for more than 500 girls applying for Manila base. I opened my days off from Feb 6- 11, that must be the reason why my ranking improved. It's still a long run. Now, I'm thinking about applying for First Class since most girls say it has an advantage over the regular flying FAs. Whoa! I don't know when I'll have the guts to finally send an email to my supervisor about my interest. 

Today, I had the chance to cook Binagoongang Manok (Chicken in Salted Shrimp Paste), again. This time it is much way better than the first time I tried. :)

Here's how from a combination of two recipes I got online.


1/2 kilo chicken breast (cut into medium size cubes)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pre- sauteed salted shrimp paste
3 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion chopped
cooking oil
2-3 pcs bay leaf
1 tsp crushed pepper corns
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tbsp sugar

1. Saute the salted shrimp paste with some garlic and onions.
2. In a separate pan, stir- fry the chicken breast until slightly golden brown then set aside.
3. Using the same cooking oil from #2, saute the rest of the garlic and onion.
4. Add the chicken breast and saute for a few minutes.
5. Add the shrimp paste.
6. Add some water to prevent the chicken breast from drying up.
7. After two minutes, add the coconut milk.
8. Add the vinegar and sugar, bay leaf and pepper corns, and salt to taste.

I didn't have an actual coconut milk so I used milk powder boiled in water. One can also add chopped tomatoes and green chili. 

16:30 Pick- up. I'm thankful for almost 4 hours added to my flying time by opening my day off. Way to go! :) 

February 4, 2016

09:30 Breakfast at the Feast. I ordered for Cheese Masala Dosa. It's now my favorite part of breakfast during India layovers.

12:00 Thirty minutes at the Sheraton Fitness Gym

18:00 April and I went to Orion Mall to have a look at some stores on sale. We stopped by Zara and I was amazed at the ongoing discounts. I was able to buy a red sweater for only 590INR. I noticed that their clothes are made in Bangladesh. No wonder! Even regular priced items have lower price tags compared to other countries. 

We also went to the bookshop. I bought The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I only read one book by him entitled The Devil and Miss Prym. I quite didn't like it so I didn't go far reading his other books. I've got his other book Eleven Minutes but I haven't read it yet. A lot of people love reading his books. I will try reading his stories again, by trying out this book I recently got from the bookstore. The Alchemist will be next to my reading list after Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult. I stopped reading Picture Perfect and only resumed reading when I finished Reflections of a Man by Mr. Amari Soul. 

I was dying to read Mr. Amari Soul's book so I've put Picture Perfect down. :) Reflections of a Man is such a good read.

"Reflections Of A Man is a book designed for both men and women to enhance the quality of their personal relationships. For the women, it encourages you to recognize the true value of your love, to reevaluate your standards and to make the decision that you will no longer settle for anything less than someone who loves you, respects you, and truly makes you happy. For the men, this book will not only encourage you to learn more about the emotional needs of a woman, but it will provide you with clear insight into what a woman truly needs from you, emotionally, to be happy. Through beautiful words of poetry, powerful quotes and advice full of wisdom, Mr. Amari Soul creates a truly enlightening experience for both men and women with Reflections Of A Man. On one hand, women gain a new perspective on the true value of their love, raise their standards and refuse to settle. On the other hand, men become better equipped to, not only understand a woman’s emotional needs, but they are better able to meet or exceed their new standards as well."

19:30 Dinner at Zaffran

I'm so lucky to have April as my flying partner on this month of February. I could say she's an answered prayer because I've been asking God for signs or answers to a dilemma in one of my life's aspects now. I knew her since I joined my first beauty pageant during my teenage years. She was one of the judges in a college beauty contest in Intramural's. I knew her because she used to join big beauty pageants in Leyte. Now this makes me remember the times I started joining contests too right after winning that school event. I went to towns especially places celebrating their fiesta. I'd compete with other girls from different towns. I also joined contests in my own town too and even barangay competitions. Haha! In most times, I was alone with my make- up artist. In some cases, my family would watch me onstage. The biggest event I joined was something unforgettable. I actually fainted in front of a big crowd. Everything went blurry, I fell on my knees and the next thing I knew, I was being carried by a bunch of people backstage. I was conscious but very pale and weak, I couldn't manage to open my mouth and everything else on my system just gave up working. I just lied down there, incapable of competing for the rest of the evening. 

Well, that's what happens in competitions. It's like life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. And rarely, you literally become breathless and fall. Haha :D

April is such a sweet woman with a kind heart. We are the same age but I look up to her. It's only our first layover together but I've learned so many things from her about life and relationships. She's a married woman for almost 4 years and from her stories, she seem to be surrounded with people who continuously give her counsels about her married life. She's full of positive energy and nothing comes out of her except for either funny things that will make me laugh or good things that will make me think and reflect about my own life. She told me to never listen to other people whose intentions are to break apart a relationship. She never runs out of good advice. Other people appearing into lives of two people not only happens when they are girlfriends and boyfriends. It happens when they are engaged. It happens few days before their wedding. It even happens when they're married. It depends on how strong their love and support is to one another if they'll allow other people to break them. 

We enjoyed our Indian dinner over a few tears that we both shed but more laughter. Thank you Lord God, for an answered prayer. :) 

February 3, 2016

I slept for 12 hours before my flight today but towards the end of it, I was already starting to feel sleepy. I guess it's normal when you fly red- eye. I also believe sleeping through the night, will help you get through the day but sleeping through the day won't give a guarantee that you can get through the night. I'm sure some people who work at night shifts understand this.

Past 02:00 (A reminder: I have to review my First Aid learning's especially CPR because I never know when I can use them. I just got lucky I didn't have to do it this time because we were still on ground and ground services were there but what if this happened after take off ? or what if they weren't immediately available?) Everyone was busy boarding passengers when an old diabetic passenger on board was being taken cared off by his family members. I didn't know what the situation was until the supervisor instructed me to get something sweet to drink for this patient. When people stopped coming in, I quickly went to the lavatory to answer the call of nature and when I came out, I just saw ground medical services rushing to attend the already unconscious passenger. They did compression's and took turns while we managed to control the curious passengers who were already standing. Eventually, they offloaded him through a medical lift with his family. What happened next is only the doctor knows. God bless him and his family!

Good job for me on the flight today because I only ate banana, apples and pancakes. (I'm not really sure if I should include apples since I was eating them with salt :D) And I got myself a lunch for dinner- brown rice, boiled eggs and Moroccan sardines. This way I won't have to spend too much for ordering room service for only a single meal. :)

On a chat with him today after flight, he had asked me:

Jeff: mag unsa man ka today?
Me: mgread lang ug book pangga
Jeff: pila na ka books nimu wala pa ma read gani?
Me: daghan (laughing)
Jeff: puno nah imung bookshelf?
Me: oo
Jeff: tigum para palit ug bookshelf

Ahaha. His simple way of telling me not to spend too much. I knew it. :D