Allow us to start with a quote by our very own Mond Ortiz:
"To be a flight attendant is not for the weak. It is for brave souls, the type who were designed to be heroes, the type who are ready to dedicate their lives for others."
Every April 9, the Philippines celebrates "Araw ng Kagitingan" or "Day of Valor". It is a day where we remember and commemorate the the heroism of the Filipino and American soldiers during the fall of Bataan to the Japanese during World War II. Despite their surrender, we celebrate the bravery and fearlessness of these soldiers in the face of defeat. It is a day where we celebrate gallantry and heroism.
Valor is defined as "great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle". Acts of valor are not only limited to our soldiers out in the battlefield, but even in other professions, like the profession of a flight attendant.
Though they are trained for it and it is the primary reason why they are there, a flight attendant's job is already an act of valor by itself, especially during an emergency situation where they have to save the lives of passengers even if their very own are in great danger. They are the last to leave the burning cabin, checking if every passenger are accounted for. They carry injured passengers on their backs to safety and they run back inside to rescue more. Even if it is seconds to explosion, the cabin crew makes sure that no one is left before exiting the aircraft.
But a "battle" is not only limited to an emergency situations, and there are times different battles are fought inside the cabin itself. What "battles" are these? These are situations where some passengers face very challenging situations and these flight attendants go beyond their call of duty to save and help these passengers.
Remember when Philippine Airlines flight attendants Chet De Guia Encarnacion and Pamela Torre fed two different disabled passengers who simply had a very hard time feeding themselves? Remember when PAL Express flight attendant Patrisha Organo breastfed the baby of a passenger who was hungry for milk? Remember when Philippine Airlines Marigold Parreno and fellow cabin crew colleagues help a passenger give birth on board an aircraft? Despite some risks involved, their boldness and spirit to serve and help wholeheartedly these passengers where simply an act of going beyond their call of duty as flight attendants, and those by itself is already an act of valor that we should all remember and celebrate.
All four Philippine Airlines became viral on social media, even making the news in different countries and worldwide media. Their act of valor towards their passengers earned the praises of many.
To be a flight attendant, you must have valor. You must have courage that inspite of any unfortunate or onseen situation that may happen, you are ready to face any risk or danger just to save the lives of your passengers. Without valor, you can never be a cabin crew.
Yes, flight attendants are trained to ensure the safety, security, and comfort of every passenger on board. We may simply see them as people who does safety demos, who serves us meals, and attendants to our needs on board, but in them are the hearts of a hero, and they that valor similar to that of our soldiers who courageously fought an adversary far greater than them.