Written by F/A Chay Chay Bautista
I have long dreamed and prayed to become a flight attendant. I always said to my self that I am never meant for an office job with fixed hours of work because I get bored easily. I have this fernweh in me. But my journey to my wings was never easy.
I can still remember the pain from the turndowns I got from my previous attempts. I remember the time when I decided to cut my hair after I passed initial interviews for an airline, but got rejected on the same day because my height was lacking half an inch. Yes, it was heartbreaking. I remember the time when the same airline called me back to reconsider my application. I was excited when I passed all their exams and their final medical. I remember the anxiety I felt waiting for my training schedule. It kept on changing to next month, to another next month, up to next year. I waited patiently. But after almost a year of waiting and follow-ups, for some unknown reason, I never made it to their final batch. With a heavy heart, I accepted that. I am not ashamed of these failures. Instead, I celebrate them because it means that I have tried and I have given my best.
My burning passion to pursue my dream was still intact after that. I remember, not long ago, how I saw a post about an open day hiring of Qatar Airways just three days before the event and quickly decided to book a ticket to Manila. I reminded myself to keep my expectations low throughout the process. I remember lining up outside the hotel together with thousands of other candidates. I remember the joy I felt when I was able to reach the reach test and when they gave me the letter of invitation for next day's assessment. I remember the nerve-racking assessment day and how rewarding it felt when they told me I passed and I can proceed with my application. I remember the few months of restless waiting for emails, going through medicals, and the joy of finally receiving my DOJ. I remember boarding the aircraft going to Doha, and the first time I stepped foot on Hamad International Airport as AB-Initio. I remember the intensive training we went through for almost two months. I remember the first time I tried on my uniform. It was such a kilig moment. It was all worth it. I will finally step back in HIA not as AB-Initio anymore, but as an official Cabin Crew this time.
This is just the beginning of much more exciting journey. But I would not be where I am today if it had not been for the people who stood with me all the way. I want to dedicate this to our Almighty God. Thank you Lord for providing me the strength and wisdom I needed, for answering my prayers, for being my confidant, my best friend when I felt alone being away from home, and for guiding me the entire journey. Thank you also to my family and friends who never failed to support me throughout this journey of mine.
We should never give up on our dreams. If you have the passion for it, then don't be afraid to go for it. Never let the challenges discourage you. Let it motivate you even more. And lastly, never forget to pray. "If the request is wrong, God says 'No'. If the timing is wrong, God says 'Slow'. If you are wrong, God says 'Grow'. But if the request is right, and the timing is right, and you are right, God says 'GO'."
What was once a dream is now my reality. I am still in disbelief. I am now part of Qatar Airways. My wings are finally here. Now all I have to do is fly.