3-year old me in an Airbus A319 or A320
18-year old me in a C-130J Super Hercules from the USMC Static Display at RPLB
It was April 14, 1998, and I was on a return flight from Cebu. That was the second flight I’ve ever been on (the first one was going to Cebu, of course). Midway through the flight, one of the flight attendants came up to me and asked if I would like to see the cockpit. I said yes, and I followed her to the flight deck. So there I was, fascinated with all the buttons, switches, digital displays, etc. I was like a kid in a candy shop! That was the day I told three-year old me that I was going to be a pilot when I grew up.
First flight. March 31, 2012.
Exactly 13 years, 11 months and 17 days later (March 31st, 2012) I flew a plane for the very first time. It was a Cessna 152 II, registered as RP-C 8846 (to this day, it is still my favorite plane to fly out of all the planes our school has). It was such a liberating experience. And every flight after that, more and more I started to realize how petty arguments over politics, race, religion, etc. are. The world is so beautiful from above, and I’ve only seen a fraction of it!
First solo flight
A year after that (April 1st, 2013), I was finally cleared to fly planes by myself. After landing, I was given my pilot’s wings and was asked to strip down to my boxers and kneel in front of the plane. My instructor cracked an egg over my head, as if saying I’m a newly hatched pilot (lol). He then poured a concoction of soap, water, grass, and other things I’d prefer not to say, over me, a pilot’s christening if you will. I smelled like egg even after a quick shower at the school, I felt sorry for the lady sitting next to me on my bus ride home.
Though it is fun to be flying planes while all your friends are busy playing mindless and repetitive computer games all the time, it hasn’t always been easy. Juggling time between flight school and college, all since I was 17 years old, is not an easy feat. But I will say this, there is nothing else I’d rather be doing.
So I guess the point of this post is, if you have a dream, go after it! I’ve had obstacles thrown at me (poor eyesight being one, turns out people are allowed to fly as long as they wear corrective lenses), but I did not let that stop me from achieving the goal I set for myself when I was 3 years old. I have now been flying for a year, I have been to places most of my friends have never been before, and I have seen things some people will never see in their lifetime. Now go out there and make your dream into reality! /(“,)