When we think of a flight attendant or cabin crew career, we think right away of the commercial airline industry. Did you know though that the Air Force do also have flight attendants? Since they do have passenger aircraft that flies their military officers, VIPs, government officials, and even the President, there has to be flight attendants to ensure their safety and comfort. Meet Marian Carmelo, a flight attendant of the Philippine Air Force.
This 21 year old flight attendant from Mindoro is no ordinary cabin crew. She is also a soldier, a beauty queen, and a news anchor at the same time. With Bachelor degree in communications from Adamson University, she first tried to pursue a career in the media industry. She started out as a radio jock for their campus radio station, and then went on to become a news anchor for DZIQ Radyo Inquirer 990 AM. She also created several radio dramas for DZRH under the Voice of the Youth Network.
Marian also went on to join beauty pagaents in Mindoro. Her first try even made her Miss Puerto Galera 2016. She also joined another pagaent in which she was crowned Miss Oriental Mindoro Tourism 2017. One day, she saw an ad from the Philippine Air Force looking for flight attendants, in which she was so interested on that she applied and got in. Since she was serving the military, she also had to become a soldier and was given basic military training. On top of that, she is also a talent under Ogie Diaz's productions where she came out in Bagani!
Let's get to know Marian Carmelo, a young beautiful flight attendant who basically wears 4 headgears all at the same time, 2 hats, 1 crown, and 1 headset.
Flyhigh Manila: What made you choose to be a cabin crew for the Philippine Air Force instead of our local commercial airlines?
F/A Marian: It wasn’t really my dream to become a flight attendant. I was a fresh graduate during that time and I took the chance of applying online when I saw that the Air Force posted the invitation. Luckily, I got invited to the interview and I took it as a sign that this job might be for me. It’s a whole new experience so I grabbed and tried my best to nail all steps. To be honest I have no idea that we are also going to be soldiers since the invitation they posted online says “Be a Flight Attendant” only. But afterwards I realized that being a soldier is a privilege and I might be able to inspire more kids from my province. The experience that I may gain is something new to me.
So are you enjoying being a flight attendant so far?
As flight attendant, absolutely yes! But the soldier life is not that enjoying.
Did you also go through intensive military training to be a soldier?
Only basic training since we are enlisted directly (work before training). Intensive military training might be on September in Lipa for 5 months without contact on the outside world.
Is this intensive military training optional or a pre-requisite to be a regular Philippine Air Force cabin crew?
It’s a pre-requisite, but we can delay the training up to 3 years. We can decide to have it on the next batch instead if we’re not yet ready.
I understand it was Air Asia that provided you your cabin crew training. Usually, cabin crew training in the commercial aviation industry is definitely intensive with tons of reading materials, drills, and checkrides. All packed in 2 to 3 months. We are guessing that since you are flying for the Philippine Air Force, your training would be quite different. Could you describe how your cabin crew training was like?
We had it for only 2 weeks since we have different planes, passengers, and scenario. We might not be able to catch up on their lessons if we attend all of it. So they gave us separate lecture instead.
Are you planning though to be a flight attendant for the commercial aviation industry in the future?
Yes! I don’t think I will be able to survive the intensive military training in Lipa.
Plus, it seems like you have found your happiness in being a flight attendant. What do you like most about being a cabin crew?
I think the best part of being a flight attendant is whenever I see smiles on the faces of passengers as I approach them. That’s when I know they feel safe flying with me.
Are you sure that that's the only reason why they are smiling at you? We think there is one more reason!
(Laughs) What is it?
You have a very pretty face and that by itself would definitely make them smile too! No wonder why you became Miss Puerto Galera in 2016. Was that your very first pagaent?
I don’t know what to say but thank you. (laughs) Yes it was!
What got you to join beauty pagaents? Have you always been wanting to join beauty pagaents way back?
Not really. It was my gay friend’s idea. I backed out several times because I hated wearing heels. But time came when I needed money for my tuition and I didn't really have a choice but to join. Anyway, it was a fun experience. I know for a fact that I don’t have future in that field since I’m too short. I’m only 5 foot 4! I think 5’5 is the minimum in national pageants.
Did you expect to be crowned Miss Puerto Galera 2016?
No. I was afraid to win. I was still having my thesis and I was a graduating student back then. My target was 2nd placer only because the title holder is required to join Miss Oriental Mindoro pageant.
So okay, you are a flight attendant, a soldier, a beauty queen, and also a news anchor! Tell us more about your career in the media industry. Was a career in the media industry a childhood dream?
Yes it was. I wanted to become a TV host or a newsanchor. Media industry is okay but not so street wise because not everybody will be given a break instantly. And I have to go back to zero if I still want to pursue my childhood dream. I have to study again or enroll in workshops and gain experience on radio which have minimum salary for beginners. Childhood dreams won’t pay my ongoing bills. I’m only realizing this now that I’m an adult!
Being a flight attendant will indeed be able to take care of your #adulting life Haha! Are you aware of how much commercial flight attendants make per month?
Not really. I just heard about a few airlines but I’m not really sure.
You will know in due time, but all we can say is it can take care of your #adulting needs. Just don't get overwhelmed and practice smart spending.
As a news anchor, we do understand that you go on dangerous field assignments. Could you share us your most dangerous field assignment, if there are any? How did it go?
I haven’t encounter one yet. My program was actually about the youth it was called “Boses ng Kabataan”. We don’t really make news, we just interview guests and will discuss a certain topic.
Okay, let's go more personal. Who is Marian Carmelo?
That's a tough question. All I know is that I’m someone who doesn’t make choices in life. Because choices makes me.
So would you consider being a flight attendant as one of your best choices, even if you are starting out as a military cabin crew?
YES!!! Definitely yesssss!
Anyway, we want to really get to know you more. Share us your happiest childhood memory.
Everytime I’m in Bohol with my grandparents. And everytime I’m in Puerto Galera with my family. The province ambiance made my childhood remarkable. Maybe you’re right, I’m destined to be a cabin crew because I find joy in travelling.
What makes you feel fulfilled?
Cliché but I’m fulfilled when I see my family happy.
The question most of our guy readers are waiting for, are you single, married, or taken?
(Laughs) Forever single!
We are pretty sure that these guys must be preparing their 'resumes' for you. What do you look for in a guy or perhaps, a life partner?
I don’t know yet. My past relationship was traumatizing.
Sorry guys, she ain't ready yet!
What kind of music do you listen to?
Any. As long as Ariana Grande sung it.
What makes you happy?
Kids. I don’t have one yet but I really love kids. I taught kids before during my highschool summer at Bloom Center For Speech and Personality in Puerto Galera.
What makes you cry?
Sad movies, sad songs, sad letters, basically just the idea of losing someone makes me cry. I cry easily. I admit that I’m a crybaby. Maybe it’s because I encountered depression before.
What gives you the feeling of butterflies in your tummy?
Everytime I’m auditioning for a role or during go-sees and castings.
What relaxes you?
Music. Sometimes I listen to classical music and not-so-trendy songs. I also love singing La Vien Rose. It’s a French song.
Is the bottle half empty or half full?
Half full. Well it doesn’t matter actually as long as you share the drink to others! Cheers!
How do you want people to remember you?
I want people to remember me as someone who smiles and laughs hard. I want them to remember me as a reminder that life is not just suffering, that there is also joy in life.
What do you think of Flyhigh Manila?
I think Flyhigh Manila is like the wardrobe in Narnia. If you scan deeper you’ll realize that your impossible dream (of becoming a Cabin Crew) is actually a reality.
Awwww you're so sweet!