Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Airline Industry: My First Love

The runway at the city airport where i'm from used to be my playground (cue the Madonna hit) before they banned public access to the runway after the expansion of the airport. My dad worked for the flag-carrier for a long while and I basically grew up in the industry. I used to have early chilly morning drives along the runway picking up stones and pebbles (and sometimes goat poo) that might become projectiles that would pierce the aircraft body during landings and take-offs. It was a different world then. Mornings would be really chilly and foggy, reminiscent of autumn-shot movies. But that's beside the point. As I was growing up, I always had the notion that I would become just like my father. I would be involved in the airline industry and my future was resolved. Either a ground crew, and aeronautic engineer, a flight crew, or a pilot. God knows how much I wanted to be one. I still want to be one. In fact, I've got it all planned out. After I've completed this part of my life and career, I'd go for getting myself licensed. It's never too late.

One of the things that captivated me in the industry are the different types of aircraft. The technology that allows these massive, metal birds to fly is just unbelievable. I have my favorite airplanes, too. Those that i've had the chance to fly in, those that i've had the chance to see in real life. These are the moments when I'm ecstatic about flying. I am ridiculously happy in airports.  There are a ton of people who just abhor being stuck in airports. But I'm not one of them. I relish getting stuck for hours inside airport halls. hahaha The noise, the sights, the airplanes, the beautiful crew carrying around their tiny luggage. It's plain heaven to me.

I am lucky to have a family member who worked in an airline company. I get perks such as lifetime limited supply of free trip-passes to anywhere the company flies. I was a jetsetter even before I understood what travelling was. I only started travelling internationally in the last three years though.

I loved seeing the Boeing 737-300s touch down at the airport. They used to be my favorite aircraft, until I got to ride on a Fokker 50, and then it became my favorite. Eventually, times changed and fleets changed. Even airlines servicing my city changed. What replaced the regular 737-300s and Fokker 50s were the McDonnell Douglas DC 9s of CEBPAC and the old 737-200s of AirPhil. I loved seeing the diversity then. I have never, if not rarely, seen an aircraft with rear mounted engines and a T-tail configuration so I was absolutely enamored by the DC 9s that  regularly serviced the airport. Unfortunately, I never got to get on one. By the time I was old enough to travel alone, CEBPAC had replaced their fleet with brand new A320s which I absolutely hated. It was just aesthetically unappealing to me. Very drab for such a modern aircraft. Later on, after resuming service to the city airport, PAL followed suit and replaced all their existing domestic serving aircraft with the ultra-modern A320s and A319s. It was disappointing. Up until that time, I had flown on a 737-200, 737-300, Airbus A340, and A320. Before the Asian financial crisis hit, we were afforded all the cool benefits of PAL. When we wanted to go to Cebu, we'd take a flight out of Dumaguete to Cebu via Manila. That was the coolest. PAL often served the MNL-CEB route with their larger aircraft to accommodate the large number of passengers plying the route. They often used their Airbuses and that's how I got to fly the A340.

When I became independent ( when my parents trusted me enough to let me travel alone) while in college I got to fly to Hanoi, Vietnam via Thai Airways. That was my first real experience of flying international. I flew on an exquisite 777-200 to Bangkok for a short layover, before boarding an Airbus A300-600 to Hanoi, which was a decent, well-maintained aging plane. I loved the fact that I was able to fly on the A300 because there are only few airlines servicing passengers with this pioneering wide-body. The return trip via BKK was on an A330 which I've been on. Not a month after, I moved to Tokyo, Japan to study for a year and flew there on board a PAL A330. I swear among all the wide-bodies, I flew on the A330 the most which makes me like it even more. The flight back to the Philippines was on an A340, one of my favorites, which I will write more about at the end of this entry. Three months later, I flew to Sydney, Australia via Melbourne on an A340 again. It was at that point the longest flight I've ever taken. 9 freakin' hours! But hey, no complaints. I was feelin' fly (pun intended). While there, I flew on Jetstar A320s to Brisbane and back to Sydney via Sunshine Coast airport, which was a quaint and lovely little airport. I only wish we can turn our domestic airports into the likes of Sunshine Coast airport. It was a little over half a year later that I got to fly again on CEBPAC's extremely compressed A320 configuration to Bangkok and back. And then about the same length of time later, flew to Malaysia on the same aircraft from Cebu and back. I got to say, I've slowly gotten to like the A320s a bit more the more I flew in them at that point.

Part be continued

Photo from

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Getting Lost

I love getting lost. I've been constantly at crossroads everywhere I go. I remember at the very first orientation at uni in Tokyo, the speaker suggested to try and get yourself lost. I took that to heart and never turned back.

One of the things I loved about my life living in Japan was that everybody turned to biking. I had one, a bike I bought from a friend who was leaving Japan. I constantly got myself lost many times. I can't even remember the thought process I was going through then. All I remember now was that I just found myself out in a highway surrounded by scattered buildings and empty lots. I must've been somewhere in the outskirts of Mitaka 三鷹. I think I was headed to Kichijouji 吉祥寺on one of those lost forays. Alas, here comes the regret. I only remember figments of those moments now. I wished I'd kept this blog up as much as I could have to write down those memories I thought were insignificant during those moments. But they're absolutely not. Compound that with losing almost the entire photos I took in my year in Japan to an expletive-inducing computer virus. The photos I have left are those I uploaded on facebook. I was crushed when I found out but I've gotten over it.

But yeah, I cannot emphasize how much getting lost benefited me in the end. I explored places I would have never imagined seeing or going to. The thing is, was, being a student, I had so much time in my hands to get myself lost and not worry about the time it will take me to find my way back. That was the best part. I slept in cafes, train stations, outside train stations, or wherever when I missed the last train home. I walked in the middle of the night until morning around Shinjuku 新宿 by myself with only the moon as my company.

I got myself lost a number of times since then and every time is a different experience.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A new beginning part 2

Today. Exactly a month and a day since I moved to Hong Kong. I was prematurely uprooted from home prior to coming over. I found out I was moving here merely a week before actually flying out. And that is a lot to take in. I was not just travelling for a short while like all my previous forays abroad. I was actually moving away. The strangest couple of weeks happened right before my move. I had just gotten to Los Angeles from Costa Rica after a week of intense science. I had absolutely nothing to do in LA but to be a tourist for a while and see what the clamour was of that very superficial city. There I got an email asking me if I was still interested with the RA job I asked for more than a year ago. I said yes, and they wanted me over as soon as I could. And I said okay. So I came over. I barely  said any goodbyes to all the people back home. Many didn't even know of my leaving. It was a strange few days when I was trying to take the fact that I was moving all in. And what awkward conversations I had with my friends when they found out all the plans we've set out for the year won't be happening at all. Crickets.

But I did, and began my independent life all over again. Just like Tokyo, except that I had more money then, and I was a student! This time I'm not, and I have less. Shit how this world works sometimes. And I have to live in this fishing village 90 minutes from any decent station in HK (exaggerated there a little bit, but).

And so I challenge myself to learn Cantonese by the end of this crazy year. Done deal.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


This absolutely has nothing to do with watermelon.

Finding out that the first people to "accidentally" come to HK would be people I least want to be around with. There's no bad reason for it, only that they were part of my life I no longer attach myself to. So comes this fb post of my former classmate who now lives in Canada. She summed it up perfectly. "So glad I'm not where I used to be." This is my realization.

But life and shit has to mess that up, don't it? Come September, I might see them. I'm a good guy, and I have a hard time saying no, the major reason why I get myself in messy situations, as previous post.

But I'll be alright.

And you should be too.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mid-August Nightmares

This summer heat is intense and I can't keep myself dry for even a few seconds sitting here at my desk looking at the monitor. I'm supposed to be working on endless data but I'm not. I am uneasy. I've only spent a few minutes outside this house the entire day. Most of it sweating more bucket loads as I helped my lovely neighbor bring up her new refrigerator into her house on a small hill.

But it is the 15th of August. I did not understand why it stood out in my mind this morning. And then...

...I had nightmares. Nightmares so foul it is a wonder why I'ms till sane (or am I?). Severe headaches.

And all it takes is a good cold shower in the evening to rid of it all.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The next phase

Years ago way back 2011, I was at a high having scaled new heights in my young life. I lived abroad, travelled to Australia, and then suddenly my life just plummeted by the year end. The complete opposite of what my 2010 year was like. I never publicly talked about what happened, but just to give an idea to whoever reads this, I had issues with my ex-girlfriend. We never talked since. I tried mending the tattered edges, but it was a mess and I failed. Anyway, after that terrible year-ender, I stood back up and carried on despite the heavy atmosphere I was living in. I managed to finish college by March of 2012 with decent grades. Looking back at that time of my life, I didn't know what I was doing. I was lost, but I managed to keep it to myself and show a different face to the people around me. I found work immediately not even a month after graduating. And you know what? It was the dream job I had when I was a wee little boy in Dumaguete. I grew up on the island and lived my entire life there. Island living is just a different kind of thing, a different kind of lifestyle goes along with it that makes for endless entertainment and fun with your peers. If you live on an island, you'll know what I'm talking about. I was exposed to all sorts of experiences on land and in the water. So I knew way back about the local marine lab and how cool it must be to spend all day looking at sea creatures, playing with them, going out on excursion trips to wonderful, untouched areas. Growing up, I wanted to work there. I wanted soo bad that unconsciously, all the things I've been doing up to this point was to realize that dream. I had other goals in life as I matured but that dream was still there - it held the base for all my other plans in life. So when I got the job, It felt just right. It wasn't a "whoop whoop! i'm living the dream!" kind of thing. It was just a quiet, moment. I occupied the space I knew was there for me.

All that was good. I got involved in many areas of research, but specialized in marine mammals. I eventually got so wrapped up in what I was doing that I just forgot about what happened the previous year. It seemed like it was a lifetime ago. I felt I have moved on and was ecstatic at that. I continued working part-time at the lab, saved enough to travel with my sister to Bangkok - both our first time there. I worked up until about June of 2013. 2012 was a low year for me. Nothing exciting happened at all. It was just meh. But I wanted to turn my life at that point around. 2013 came. I got to attend my first international conference in Malaysia last March. I got to cross the Pacific for the first time just this June. I presented at another conference in Costa Rica my thesis. I got to travel in California. While I was there, an interesting email came. It was from a colleague I met in Bohol where I worked on dolphins in the Bohol sea. I got offered the same work but with his lab. So I took it right then and there.

I moved to Hong Kong August first. I will be based here from now on until about spring next year. Then I will know if I'm doing a PhD here or not. God knows how much I want to.

This year began quite just right. I got to do what I wanted to do. It just sucks that I have to leave behind friends and family every time I move away but I guess this time i'm not too far away. I've got tons of stuff still to do before I can truly let go of trying so hard and say I've accomplished what I want in life. This space might be static for days but I will try to fill it up the way I filled it up in 2010. No more issues with the ex to deal with so I should be good. I hope.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The final

I've purposely spent my time away from this blog to get my life back on track. But I realized I was never off of it. I merely hit a wonky section before it smoothed out again.

I don't know where to begin. It has been such a long time - over a year! That entire time I was able to really live out my life, if I say so myself. It didn't go the way I planned it, but I'm happy with how everything turned out. haha I got a bit spoiled right there when everything I set myself to, I got. After that roll of getting everything I wanted, the moment I first felt rejection again was horrible, I felt really beaten down.

But I digress. That was such a long time ago. I think it has been four years now since we broke up. And listen to me still talking about it. Fuck.

I hooked up with a colleague just recently. It was my first time hooking up with someone in my work circle. Since then, I haven't seen her yet because she went somewhere. I know I need to say something because we will still see each other again, and talk to each other. But I don't know how it will work out. I'm guessing it will be really awkward. I'm such an idiot. I shouldn't have done it with her. I knew I was drunk, I should've just went home. ughhh. People have been teasing her because I think she likes me. I took advantage of that. Idiot.

Before I move on to summarizing the last few years of my life, the moment I decided to open this blog account, I remembered my exgirlfriend. It was here that I poured out my feelings and missives about what transpired between us. This isn't good. Crap. And so I will end up putting this up, and then abandoning this blog again. Maybe perhaps even forever this time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


What use is there? No really. I am depressed. I don't know how to be "cheesy" anymore. The crust I have accumulated throughout the years is preventing me of expressing a lot of things. I don't know how to put myself out there anymore. This is so messed up. I used to like walls. Not so much anymore.

This is me ranting about me, but be that as it may, this will only happen every 20 blogposts. I hope.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It has been quite a while since I last opened this account. So many things have happened between my last post and this. I don't exactly know what happened in some of those days. All I know is that I'm through dealing with all those. It was just too much of a stress, not what I would call happy. So I left that part behind and flew to Australia, spent two months making myself useful, pulling myself together, making connections and new (better) friends.

Hilabtanon. ¡Il putamadre, Si la por caputana ziocane, Hoderr!

Ahh, I love the things I learn from other cultures. :)

Moving on...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear Stalker

Dear Stalker,

I have always loved you.

I will miss you,