JumpSeat Stories: My Dubai Experience

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I recently travelled to the United Arab Emirates on days off a week ago and I can say that the experience was beautiful. I wished that I was able to do it over and over. I meant, I should have done travels on days off within the vicinity of Saudi Arabia. I could have gone to few places when Jeddah is driving me insane.

To be honest, I was at the point of losing my head, my schedule was not busy, and my standby days were not that heavy. I felt like I am getting crazy over the drama in my work place, the negativity of people around me and I didn’t like waking up to constant depressing mornings. I have always believed that when you wake up in the morning, you should always look forward to the day and you should always feel good so that it will emanate all throughout the day. With what was going through around me, I decided to just pack and leave. Well not literally. I actually had pending job interviews so it was like hitting two birds with one stone – mini vacation plus job interviews. So I requested for days off dates, booked my tickets and visa and hopped on to my escape.

I left Jeddah with no sleep at all since I operated on a flight and when I arrived, I only had four hours left and I have not packed yet; and I slept in the aircraft with a creepy guy in the opposite aisle staring intently at me. I really don’t know what his problem is. Maybe I looked funny as my head was lolling like a retarded seal when I slept. Or maybe I opened my mouth and I looked freakish. But I am too sleepy to care anymore so I continued my mini sleep to la-la land.

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When I arrived in Dubai, I was met by my best friend D who was my personal guide all throughout my UAE experience. We travelled to Abu Dhabi where I marveled at the two hour bus journey with high speed wifi connection. I did not feel sleepy, I enjoyed the city lights. We arrived at the bus station to bring us to the hotel where I was booked and we were starving so we decided to eat at the nearest mall called Al Wahda. We were petite yet we had huge appetites. Over dinner, we exchanged some stories about jobs, families and basically everything that has happened over the six months that we have not seen each other. After our sugar rush, we felt groggy and we felt the need to hit the bed so we took a taxi all the way to the hotel.

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Upon arriving at the hotel, in Premier Inn, I have failed to book an extra day so I paid it in cash, only to be given a cabin crew discount for Etihad as they thought I am an Etihad cabin crew. *BLUSH*

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When we arrived in the room, D couldn’t help but gush over the hotel’s interior design. She looked cute taking pictures and jumping straight to the bed. Well, the hotel is very nice, not bad for an airport hotel. It was very posh, and elegant. I have met Moon, a hotel receptionist from Myanmar. She is so sweet and accommodating, even telling me that she also mistook me for a cabin crew for Etihad. *ANOTHER BLUSH*

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We went to a mall the next day so I can have my nails done. Afterwards, D has to go back to Dubai for her duty. I was left alone to figure out the entire place myself. Luckily, I was able to return to the hotel on time for my preparation of documents and make up sessions.

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The next day was the actual interview day. Arrived at the place too early, with so many candidates and other trainees. And again, I was mistaken for a cabin crew in training. *BLUSH* I will not tell you about the entire process because the purpose of this blog is to share to you about the fun that I had.

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I went back to Dubai after my interview. I met D and some other friends. I told D that I was craving for pork and some local dish we have back home and she was gracious enough to make food for me. She actually made me walk under the blistering and scorching sun to get to her apartment. I wasn’t complaining that much. I can deal with the heat of the sun, but I hate the sweat that trickles my face and body. Haha! Sweat in the sun equates to formation of acne for me. And I hate that. Anyway, we reached her apartment and she made this delicious food for me.

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Later on, we head to her workplace and I was introduced to Z, another beautiful soul I met. Actually it was an overdue meeting. I have known Z during D’s stint in the UK. We also met L, my long time friend and high school classmate whom I have not met for 12 years, in Dubai Mall later on when D finished her shift. We had dinner in Katsuya, a Japanese restaurant over sushi and the beautiful water dancing just outside our balcony view.

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Later on, Z had to leave to meet her other friend and the gang decided to chill in Starbucks and decided to watch a movie. Spiderman was overdue to watch and so we chose it and later on, the girls went with me to my hotel to pack and head back to the airport for Jeddah where I operated a flight later on with no sleep – at all.

Over all, I can say that I had so much fun. So much that I don’t ever want to go back to the sandpit. It was like whenever I crave for something, it is so easy to hail a taxicab and head to the mall, chill in the coffee shop and just have fun anywhere without the need to wear abaya (a black, flowy garment worn by women to conceal their body and skin), or be apprehensive about going out alone because the men here are somewhat ignorant of women.

To date, I miss the place. I miss being in Dubai. I miss being in an open country. And most of all, I long to be free. Well, on a happy note, I got hired by two major airline companies. Indeed I am blessed. ❤ So, see you soon Dubai. I am definitely coming back for good. ❤ Happiness!!!

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Jumpseat Stories: My Flight Attendant Journey

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I have not blogged for a while because I have been very preoccupied by some things and I am flying. Well, I haven’t actually spoken about my job as a flight attendant, but in the light of the recent tragedies in the airline industry involving some well known carriers, this blog is dedicated to the unsung heroes inside the metal capsule.

Let me tell you how I became an unexpected flight attendant.

Back home, girls from 18 to 35 vie for the coveted spot during open days and assessment days. I have encountered an open day with 600 plus of girls of different beauty, height and physique where only 30 of them are lucky to be accepted. Top Middle East carriers hire a lot of Filipinas back home, and mind you, the competition is neck deep. During an assessment day for Emirates, I backed out on the first day when I saw my competitors. They were either ex fliers or currently flying for Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, or Philippine Airlines. Some were applicants who were rejected countless of times but zealous with their aim to pass and they were very familiar with the game of group discussions, role playing and interviews. When I arrived at the interview site, the place was already swarming with beautiful girls. Literally beautiful girls. I felt out of place. My only background in terms of a competition such as that was an unexpected beauty title that I won way back and a strong conversational skill that will hopefully win me a place among them. Anyhow, I backed out, went home and did further research. Until another open day came and I braved the challenge. I did not get in though. I felt bad for a time, since my head already has played countless scenarios of places to go, strangers to meet, hotels to stay and the perks of being a flight attendant.

Fast forward four months later, my college friend informed me of an ACMI company hiring for flight attendants. I did not understand what ACMI meant. All that registered in my head was “flight attendant” and they were hiring. I chided myself that this is my last shot to a super star kind of life. After all, flight attendant for me was all about nonstop travel and beautiful countries to see. In the end, I got hired. And I was super excited I could not sleep. During the recruitment process, I was asked if I knew how to swim 50 meters unaided. I said YES even if I didn’t know how. I told myself that I will learn swimming in the public pool later. We had the training in one of the top hotels in Cebu and we spent a month learning the complex SEP or the Safety and Emergency Procedure manual. Too complex, too technical and too foreign for my taste. Yet, I devoured them all like a hungry monster. I actively participated in every activity, feeling giddy and excited to start a new chapter of my career. I said goodbye to being a nurse too hastily. I did not look back to Nursing and I never even thought about the consequence of my change of career.

Training was difficult for me to comprehend, especially when we reached the legalities of our duties and topics like Flight Duty Time, Flight Duty Period and how to count your legality. All throughout the course of the training, safety and security were repeated countless of times. Apart from memorizing equipment, their locations and uses and other details about them, we were also drilled with evacuation techniques, how to deal any possible emergency situations, and how to protect the cockpit and ourselves from acts of terrorisms and possible breaches in security. Day by day, topics by topics, those things were fed to us like morning pills. I realized during the end of our course that we, as flight attendants hold a major responsibility in ensuring safety and security of our passengers and the aircraft and ourselves. Passenger care and comfort were of least importance as safety and security. Of course, I concede that passenger comfort and service should not be overlooked but in-flight safety is critical. I did not fully understand well how significant and how can we put into practice extreme caution in our job. I thought that passenger checks and security procedures were done at airport customs and checks in every points of the airport clearances. But I realized that, we as flight attendants are the last security point when we check passengers’ passes during boarding ensuring that they are actually on the right flight, passenger profiling and taking notice of anything suspicious in the aircraft.

Fast forward to four years later, I am still here in the airline industry, enjoying a higher position and with more responsibilities. I could say that, although this is not my ideal airline, I am beyond blessed to be able to do a job that I enjoyed. I get to do the job I dreamt of and I get to see places. I meet people from all walks of life and from different places and I get to educate myself further. I have learned so many things, how culture varies from one tribe to another or countries to countries even they are only separated by borders. I have cultivated deeper respect to religions, especially from where I am based.

Being a flight attendant is not easy. And it is not all about glamour or the travels or the hotels. We are so much more. We are more than the make ups and the hairstyles. We are more of oven burns, and lavatory cleaning. We are more than the beautiful smiles and happy vibes. We are more of prioritizing your meals first even if we are hungry and putting our bladder on hold just to finish the service. We are more than the happy pictures we post in Facebook or Instagram. We are more of the lack of sleep because of frequently flying, minimum rests and altered sleep pattern, yet we strive to remain awake and do our silent reviews in times of takeoff and landing. We are more than the five star hotels and buffet breakfasts. We are more of ensuring your seat-belt is fastened securely whenever the fasten seatbelt sign is on and our nonstop announcements to take your seats during taxiing.

I am more than a flight attendant. I am more of a superhero up there making sure that your trip is safe and enjoyable even if at some point I want to strangle you because you are way too demanding, annoying or obnoxious.

To the heroes of MH370, MH17, GE222 and AH5017, may you all find peace. Flight attendants do not die. They just fly higher.

To all the flight attendants all over the world, may our skies always be safe.

Have a safe flight everyone! ❤

We Almost Dated: The One Who Won’t Go Away

Thought Catalog

You watch your phone after every text you send, patiently waiting for those three small dots, giving you a glimmer of hope he might respond. They appear for a second then stop. “Maybe he’s just busy,” you think, scrolling up to reread his sweet texts from last week for your own mental clarification that he’s interested.

Introducing: The One Who Won’t Go Away. He makes you feel special enough, but you still don’t feel like you have his full attention. He’s stayed in your life long enough to give you that pinch of hope that your hookup routine will turn into an actual relationship. Your friends ask you why you’ve kept this guy in your life for so long. Between daydreams of meeting his family and the moment he says his first “I love you,” a small demon in the back of your head named “Logic” reminds you it…

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The Makeup Tutorial Women Should Watch Before They Leave The House

Make up tutorial to be a beautiful and better you. Perfect medium to promote girl power. ♥

Thought Catalog

This girl is awesome, and I wish there were more women out there like her — we could all use this message from time to time. (And yes, I try not too put too much optimism on my eyes, either.) [tc-mark]

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Read this. One woman’s inspiring story of leaving it all behind.

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