Written and Contributed by Ronnela V. Manlulu
To be a flight attendant became my desired dream job even before entering college. Now, I am living that very dream as I am presently a Philippine Airlines cabin crew. I get to fly to places I only used to see in pictures like London, New York, and San Francisco. It is safe to say that I truly enjoy where I am now, but my journey didn't come easy as I faced years of rejection amounting to 22!
I took up nursing since my parents wanted to be one due to the high demand that time. After graduating college, I worked for the BPO industry and that's where my attempt to be a flight attendant started. My first application was unsuccessful, telling me that I did not make it. Of course, I was devastated because I wanted to much to be a cabin crew. Nevertheless, I attempted for a second try, maybe the airline I applied at would take me in. I cued in the line under the heat of the sun among the hundreds of applicants, just to be rejected once again.
Again, I felt down and teary eyed as my hopes have diminished. It was also hard for me since I was working at the BPO center, hence, our eratic work schedule. That feeling of defeat was temporary and I believed that maybe the third world be it. Again, an airline announced a recruitment day and I cued up. Just like the first two, I was rejected again. Then came a fourth attempt, then a fifth, then a sixth, and so on. The cycle just went on and on. Send in my resume, line-up, and get rejected by the airline as a flight attendant.
I've been through receiving regret slips and hearing those devastating lines,"better luck next time", been through a lot of queue under the sun and under the heavy rain, waited the whole day during the mass hiring, was caught up by the cut- off time, and again tried to queue the next day at 5 in the morning to try my luck. Despite the airlines not telling me why I was being rejected, I worked on improving myself overall. The pain was beginning to get worse but my desire to be a flight attendant was even stronger.
The cycle went on and on, and it amounted to 20 straight rejections!.
I must say that I was at my lowest point of questionning my strength and capabilities, if it was really for me. I wanted badly to be a flight attendant, and even if I would cry alone and some peers making me realize that flying is not for me, I knew deep in my heart that it is, and I will not stop until I get my wings. I continued to improve myself. I had to always move forward and stand-up after every fall to chase my dreams.
I continued to pursue my dream despite all the blows, discouragements, and rejections. On my 21st attept, luck was on my side. I applied at Air Asia X and this time, I made it!
Finally, I am now a flight attendant of, Air Asia X, a Kuala Lumpur based airline.
I underwent rigorous trainings, sleepless nights, everyday 90% passing rate of exams, tough drills, even fought with home sickness, and until the last day where I can finally proud to say that I'm an official flight attendant. The feeling was indescribable.
Later on, I decided that I wanted to be closer to my loved ones but still living my dreams. I resigned from Air Asia X to return back to the Philippines in an attempt to be a flight attendant based in Manila. After serving my first love, I tried once again to apply. Well, same old story as before, rejection! Nevertheless, I knew that I will make it on the next few tries as I have already gained enough experience and a lot of knowledge courtesy of Air Asia's rigorous training program. A local airline announced another open day and I lined-up once again. Well, rejection! Needless to say, I previously faced 20 turn downs from different local and foreign airlines before becoming a cabin crew, who said that I will not be able to make it again.
It was in 2015 when Philippine Airlines announced a grand cabin crew recruitment day. For some reason, I felt that this was it, and this was my moment. Philippine Airlines is a dream and as I lined up right in front of the PNB building with other thousands of applicants, I was all smiles because deep in my heart, this was it.
The PAL recruitment day did not come easy. Impact interview, medical, exams, and more interviews! I was shaking after making through every step, with that very nervous feeling of being rejected once again. Luck was on my side this time once again, as after going through all stages, I was told that I made it and I am to undergo training!
After all the sleepless nights and hard work, I graduated and I was pinned my Philippine Airlines wings nameplate! I am now a PAL cabin crew!
I am now based in my hometown and now working as a flight attendant for more than 4 years. I can say that this is the most fulfilling part of my experience and I am now and still living my dream and in awe of everything. All the rejections, tears, and challenges were worth it, even more!
I am Ronnela Manlulu, a proud Philippine Airlines 4-star cabin crew, giving you my buong pusong alaga from the heart of a Filipino.
If I have one advise to everyone, especially to those who aspire to become a cabin crew, ang pangarap mo ay hindi basta basta masisira sa bilang ng mga pagsubok na napagdaanan mo.