Friday, May 24, 2013

Some Friendly Reminders When Traveling By Air

1.) Be sure to prepare all necessary documentation needed for your travel such as passport, visa, and plane ticket before going to the airport.

2.) READ your plane ticket/itinerary beforehand. It's better that you know the details of your flight.

3.) Arrive early at the airport. Rule of the thumb is to arrive 2 HOURS or earlier before your flight. This is to prevent any flight delays or offloading of passengers.

4.) If your ticket says that you are only allowed a certain Free Baggage Allowance (FBA) for your check-in baggage, FOLLOW IT in order to prevent any inconvenience of re-packing or paying excess baggage. Make sure to weigh your baggage beforehand.

5.) Prepare extra money if you THINK that you will have an excess baggage, and DO NOT get angry with your friendly Ground Attendants when you discover that you exceeded your free baggage allowance already. It's not their fault that you have an excess baggage.

6.) Not all destinations are 'per kilogram system', others are 'per piece system' (e.g. 2 pieces, 23 kilograms each). Remember to double check your ticket again.

7.) Pooling of baggage MAY BE ALLOWED if you are traveling as a family or as a group. But pooling your baggage with other passengers you don't know at all will not be tolerated. This is for security reasons.

8.) Carry-on baggage or hand-carry bags should not exceed 7 kilograms and it's size should fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment. However, some airlines give consideration up to 10 kilograms if you are bringing a laptop with you.

9.) Items that are NOT ALLOWED in your carry-on baggage are liquids, gels, and aerosols exceeding 100 ml; sharp metal and pointy objects such as Swiss knife, nail cutter, scissors, razors, mani/pedicure set, umbrella, etc. If you're in doubt, ASK.

10.) Please (PLEASE!) remove the jacket/cover of your passports (especially Philippine Passport) when you check-in. Your passports will be swiped and it's going to be hard for the check-in agent to swipe it if there's a cover or jacket wrapped to it. It will help a lot if you remove it beforehand.

11.) If you are a family or a group (of 10!!!), please have extra patience at the check-in counter. Imagine processing 10 passports and visas at the same time, it definitely requires more time! Unless it's okay for you to be checked-in one by one.

12.) When your friendly Ground Attendants ask you some necessary things or some security questions, make sure to ANSWER TRUTHFULLY. It's for your safety as well as the other hundred passengers boarding the same flight.

13.) In addition to reminder no. 12, BOMB JOKE is a serious crime and it is not a joke! It will not be tolerated.

14.) Your friendly Ground Attendants always make sure to greet you with a warm smile. As a courtesy, it won't harm to reply with a greeting and/or with a smile. It means a lot to them.

15.) If you want to be respected, RESPECT your friendly Ground Attendants. A cocky attitude is very disrespectful (Yeah, we know that you are a business class passenger or that you are a frequent flyer. You don't need to brag about it and to slap it on our faces. And just so you know, it doesn't really matter to us.)

16.) If there is a delay because of the bad weather or some mechanical problems, try to CALM DOWN. It's not the fault of your friendly Ground Attendants that the flight is delayed. Would you expect him/her to have some superpowers just to create a typhoon? Or that he/she destroyed the plane so that the flight will be delayed? Sometimes it won't harm to analyze the situation. Being outrageous will not solve the problem.

17.) ALWAYS LISTEN to announcements. You never know if it's a 'change of gate' announcement, or a 'delay' announcement. Trust me you're not just helping yourself, you're also helping other passengers who are inattentive and also your friendly Ground Attendants.

18.) Last reminder, it won't harm to follow your friendly Ground Attendants. They will help you if you let them help you. 

"Thank you for flying with us and we wish you a safe and pleasant flight to your destination." ;-)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Life Transitions as a Ground Steward

Wow I can't believe that it's been seven months now since I wrote my last blog. I guess I've been really busy with work that I didn't have time anymore to write stuff. Thank God for giving me this break (well it's not really a vacation because I'm on a sick leave for a week!). And since I'm stuck at home for my recovery, I decided to write about the changes in my life not being a student anymore.

I've been working as a Customer Service Agent (aka Ground Steward or Airport Staff) for nearly six months now at NAIA Terminal 2 under our flag carrier. And all I can say is that ever since I started stepping my foot on that world, my life has completely changed.

(photo courtesy of Ms. Angel Lantin)

Firstly, my schedule is insane. I usually wake up at 11:00 in the evening because I have to be at the airport before 2:30 am. Yeah, I'm on an early morning shift from 2:30 am to 11:00 am. It's no different with those who are working in call center companies. But what can I do, right? It's an industry where it is operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At first I was not used to it; I always felt restless and disoriented. My body clock was just against it! Also, I had to refresh my driving skill as there is no way for me to get to the airport from home but to drive early in the morning. Good thing I have my two buddies with me to help with my gas and parking ticket expenses (we're carpooling!).

I only have one day off which kinda sucks (I hope they'll do something about it) especially that my sleeping pattern is different from everybody else at home. Whenever I wake up, my family is asleep and whenever I get home, they are at work. Sometimes, we even don't see each other for some days in a row. Sad, right? Also I don't get the chance to attend Sunday masses anymore with my family because I'm at the airport, working my butt off. My current day off is every Wednesday that's why if I ever get the chance to visit church and pray every Wednesday morning (after my usual morning jog), I do so. I actually got the hang of it already, you know, my daily routine.

I honestly love my job. It's something that I envisioned doing as a kid--being in the airline industry. Although my goal really is to become an international cabin crew, I know that what I'm doing now as a ground steward will greatly contribute to my success in the future. In the present, I know that I've changed a lot. I became more confident in talking to different kinds of people. I also learned to handle different kinds of situations with the right approach. And most importantly, I realized that a warm smile and a positive attitude greatly affect the people I encounter everyday. It actually means a lot for them.

Every time I'm driving, I always ponder on things. Sometimes I even question myself--is this what I really should be doing? I feel that I've sacrificed many things because of my job--my time for family and friends; my hobbies such as writing, swimming, watching movies, and reading books; and my health as well. But despite that, I have to accept the fact that this is my life now. And that I have to be grateful for the blessings that I receive everyday. I may still not have my 'envisioned' life yet, but as the saying goes, just enjoy every moment of life. I know that someday my efforts, dedication, and willingness to learn will bear good fruits and bring me to greater heights.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My Journey To Employment

I remember myself writing a blog entry about me being a bummer at home simply because I didn't have a job at that time (A Bum's Life). I felt really pressured during those times because people expect me to be employed immediately since I graduated from a well-known university with a Latin honor. My excuse? I want to be 21 years old first.

A month ago I turned 21 years old, and I told myself that it's time for me to start applying for a job since most of my classmates are employed already. I'm not getting any younger anymore that's why I need to strike while the iron is hot. I applied to different companies under the aviation/customer service industry--DNATA, PAGSS, Miascor, Airphil Express, and SkyLogistics Philippines. Out of those 5, only 3 companies invited me for an interview/examination.

September 18-19, 2012 -- My very first interview for employment with Miascor.

On the same day when my friends and I passed our resume to Miascor (a ground handling company for airlines such as Asiana Airlines), they immediately invited us to take an exam. We were actually surprised because we didn't think that we're ready for an exam, but we still did so. They also invited us for an interview the next day and it was nerve-wracking in my part since it was my first interview for employment! My stomach was turning upside-down, my throat started to dry, my hands were getting colder--it was just insane! But as I got interviewed, I tried to be spontaneous, confident, and professional as much as possible. I believe the interview went well because we got invited for a final interview soon after.

October 2, 2012 -- Exam and interview with SkyLogistics Phil. and final interview with Miascor

My friends and I can't hit two birds with one stone, that's why we opted to attend the exam and interview with SkyLogistics Phil. as a customer service agent (a.k.a ground attendant) for Philippine Airlines because they informed us ahead of time. It was a hard decision but we let go of our final interview with Miascor. It was a long day for us at the office of SkyLogistics because we had the exam, initial interview, and second interview on the same day. It was a stressful process because for each and every step, they sent applicants home who do not meet their qualifications. For that day, I believe half of the number of applicants were sent home. My friends and I were lucky to make it up to the second interview.

October 3, 2012 -- Trying to fulfill my cabin crew dream with Airphil Express.

I've already conditioned my mind not to expect too much from this endeavor because I know for a fact that I'm not tall, but still I dared. It was a stormy morning and applicants were only less than 20. I was so drenched that I didn't look pleasing anymore (blame you storm!). The first step of the process was measuring the height and weight...and I was really worried. Minimum height for male applicants is 5'6". And yeah, I was booted out that easily because I didn't meet it (curse that minus 1 inch of measurement!). As if their aircrafts are high enough (bitter?) HAHA! Many of the applicants were actually booted out because of height. Even so, I'm not giving up my cabin crew dream. I'm just putting it aside for the meantime.

October 4, 2012 -- Third interview with SkyLogistics Phil.

I was glad to be invited again for third interview (expecting that it was the last and final interview) together with my friends. When I got there, I was surprised that we were only eleven left (including the applicants from other batch apart from ours)! Meaning some of those who made it on the second interview didn't meet their qualifications again. My heart was drumming with nervousness because I didn't know what to expect. I tried to calm down by befriending some of the applicants. The interview turned out not bad actually, but I was surprised to find out that there is still one final interview should we pass this third interview! O_o

October 5, 2012 -- Psychological exam with SkyLogistics Phil.

We were invited for a psychological exam, which means that we passed the third interview (Yey!). However two applicants from yesterday's interview were not invited back again. We were only nine! They say that we should pass this psychological exam in order to be invited again for the last and final interview. I was actually paranoid knowing that there are people who still fail at psychology exams. Since it was not an objective type of exam, I was not really confident.

October 9, 2012 -- YES! The most-awaited final interview!!!

Fortunately for this round, the final nine was complete, including me and my friends! No one failed the psychological exam (which I think was absurd!). We were interviewed quickly because the results will be revealed right away after everyone is done. Yes I was confident enough, but not too overconfident because we still don't know what will happen. Expect the unexpected. I was thinking positive so that the universe will conspire to my desire. After lunch, the HR person called one of the applicants, and we were getting agitated. When she got out from the office, she was teary-eyed because she didn't pass the final interview. We were so nervous because anyone can be called again. But instead the HR person called all of us inside the office and explained to us that we passed the final interview!!! We were all happy and at the same time felt bad for the one who didn't get accepted because we all became friends already. From nine, we were down to eight. Still I'm very happy because my friends and I got accepted and we will be training together!!! Sounds really fun! ;-)

I'm not a bum anymore and I'm very proud to tell people that I will now be training as a Customer Service Agent for Philippine Airlines! God is really good!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Chamomile Tea Toner

I'm obsessed with D.I.Y projects. I want to make stuff as much as possible (well except for stitching, haha!). But what I like doing most are different concoctions for skincare or for household use. For me it's a good way not only to save money but also to help in saving our deteriorating environment because you get to recycle stuff. Also it unleashes the creative side of me, which is cool. So in this particular blog post, I'm going to teach you how to make a chamomile tea toner for a healthy and brighter skin. It's very easy to make, believe me. ;-)

You will need a chamomile teawitch hazel toner (Dickinson's brand or not), and a spray bottle. That's just it!

First step: Brew the chamomile tea and let it cool.

Second step: Pour witch hazel toner in the spray bottle until it fills 1/4 of the bottle (but you can still make some adjustments depending on your preference). This will serve as the astringent property of the homemade chamomile toner.

Third step: Pour the chamomile tea in the bottle until full. Shake the bottle and it's ready to use! You can either directly spray it on your face or on a cotton pad.

(Note: Don't waste the remaining chamomile tea because you can still drink it, besides it is also a source of antioxidants which fight free radicals!)

Chamomile has a lot of benefits when directly applied to the skin. It has healing properties--antiseptic and anti-inflammatory--meaning it is also good for treating acne problems. Not only that because according to some sources from the internet, chamomile can also lighten the skin. It is also said to sooth sunburnt skin and eczema and it may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection. (source)

Who says you can only drink teas? This homemade chamomile tea toner is not only easy to make, but it is also free from harmful chemicals. You can find chamomile tea at any local grocery while the Dickinson's Witch Hazel Toner can be bought at any Healthy Options branch. Good luck!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Hassle-less Portable Gym!

I'm sexy and I know it! (I work out! I work out!) ;-P

I've been working out for almost 6 months now through weights, swimming, and yoga in order to improve my physique and to gain weight. Months ago I had the privilege to be trained by one of the best fitness gurus in the country, Coach Josephine So, who taught me the fundamentals of having a fit body including the right nutrition for my body type which is ectomorph. So far I've gained almost 8 lbs from my previous weight and also the development of my body is more evident. But it doesn't stop there because working out is a continuous process and should be maintained or else all your efforts will just go to waste.

Going to the gym or the training center is sometimes troublesome and such a hassle especially if you are a busy person (or just a lazy dog), and sometimes it can be very costly. That's why I wanted to share this genius contraption that will definitely give you the convenience of working out at home--THE IRON GYM. (Well mine's just actually a rip-off of the original Iron Gym, haha!)

This is the manual that came from the box. They even misspelled the word "nutrition".

I told you mine's just a rip-off! HAHA!

This is the actual product. Just don't mind the powder smeared on the handles (I have sweaty hands just so you know, haha!)

Basically it is an upper body work out bar which I call "The Hassle-less Portable Gym" because:

(1) It is easy to install. All you have to do is to hang it to any door and that's it! Then simply detach after using it. No need for drilling or any tools.

(2) It safe to use. Because as you hang on it, it automatically exerts force to support the door frame. (Did it make sense?) Also it can support up to 300 lbs!

(3) It is lightweight. Even a four year-old kid can carry this thing! This makes it transferable to any door/place for you to use anytime.

(4) It can be stored anywhere. What's good about it is that it doesn't take much space when you store this thing. I even store mine under my desk and it's not really that much of a clutter.

(5) It is multifunctional! It can be used for pull-up, push-up, sit-up, dip, or just simply hanging on to it.

(6) And most importantly it can definitely help you save a lot of money.

I can say that this is probably the best alternative if you want to enjoy the luxury of working out at home without the hassle of going to the gym (and paying $$$). Add up some weights and transform your home into your personal gym. Fitness gym or training centers may provide you the best service when it comes to working out, but my coach once told me that all you need is your resourcefulness and dedication in achieving that healthy, gorgeous body. 

Good luck!

(P.S. I bought this rip-off Iron Gym at Shopwise, Sucat for the discounted price of only 699.00 Php)

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