Filipina Pilot Soars through the Glass Ceiling: Jenny Alexis Caburian
They say there’s no love like the first. There is nothing like your first love to keep you daydreaming, and your eyes, gleaming. There’s nothing like your first love to give you sleepless nights, get your heartbeat racing, your hands all clammy, and your stomach turning.
But, by some twist of fate, we don’t always end up with our first love.
This isn’t a beginning to sob story, though. It’s actually a tale of how one Filipina decided to leave her first love, in pursuit of her passion.
As a nursing graduate, 26-year old Paula Peachie Fajardo Lucban’s first love was caring for people. But the universe had other plans for her, it seems. Paula joined Ms. Tarlac after graduating from college. Little did she know that joining a pageant will cause her life to take a full 360-degree turn.
Paula won for herself a full scholarship with OMNI Aviation’s Cabin Crew Training School. Humbled to be one of the few lucky individuals to be given such an opportunity, she grabbed the chance to be part of the program. With a lot of help from her instructors combined with hard work and determination, she was able to conquer the sleepless nights and seemingly endless series of exams that came with her new chosen path.
Paula’s hard work paid off in 2015, when she applied as a cabin crew during Cebu Pacific’s open-day recruitment. Out of 1,300 applicants, she was the first to have been hired. “And that’s my journey from leaving my first passion to living my first profession!” she declares proudly.
The Hardest Part
Unbeknownst to passengers, while they worry about not getting home in time for the holidays, flight attendants worry about yet spending another holiday away from their family.
Paula says, “I think the hardest part of our job is being away from home.” She says it can be hard because she has to miss important events and milestones, as she also can’t afford to miss her flight. It may be difficult, but she understands the drawbacks of her chosen career – in situations where she feels like her tenacity is being tested, she survives by multiplying her patience and understanding.
The Key to Success
For Paula, apart from making sure that her passengers’ needs are taken care of during the entire flight, having the heart to make sacrifices is also essential to becoming a stellar flight attendant. “What really matters most is that we make sure our passengers will reach their destinations safe and sound. (We flight attendants) are willing to sacrifice our own (happiness) just to see how excited our passengers are to see their families. That’s off the chart!
Her advice to other aspiring flight attendants? Take a leap of faith. “If you want to achieve your dream, don’t let it be just a dream – make it real. Remember this: our wings are born of struggle. You will fall down before you can fly high.”