"Airplanes are my Universal Studio and Sky is my Disney Land"
by: Federico G. Adao, Jr.
Time travel so fast, everything consist of time, and time is my greatest enemy. This story is a reflection of myself in preparation of the present to the future goals to achieve in my life. I wanted to share a simple but inspirational quote from the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass, "The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible." Every dream whether big or small comes a good checklist, checking step by step in order to get you on the finish line, it is possible if we believe it is.
My life is a colorful setting, we are not rich, we are just in the average type of living and I'm the only one who support my family. Back to the old times, the only financial support in our family was "Room for Rent" and selling BBQ in front of our house. The house was full of laughter, celebrations, and even year-end party. Twas' a night before Christmas everyone are busy wrapping gifts, preparing foods, while I told my Christmas wishes to good old St. Nick, one of our renter asked me, "What do you like for Christmas, doi?", I respond without any hesitation, "an AIRPLANE Ate (Ate means sister, not technically my real sister. In Philippines, even you are not blood-related you will be part of everyone's family).", that was the start that changes my perspective in the near future - I wanted to become a Pilot. I want to have an elite profession, I want to explore the other side of the world. The million dollar question is, HOW?
As year pass by, everything that revolved around me are school, studies, and even tiring home works. This time modern reality comes to life, and internet was starting to introduce it self. Year 2005, YouTube was started to get noticed by everyone, and for me it was "a daily dose of boredom" even up to this day. One night when I was waiting for my girlfriend, I decided to kill time. I went to the internet cafe, starting it on, click the web, looking for something more interesting. On the recommended playlist on YouTube, I saw an A380-800 Airbus Livery Maiden Flight video, it was so epic, all the take off to landing was epic, I even made a model using Styrofoam and to tell you honesty it looked like exactly the same. I painted it overnight, i put some landing gears made of (granules of soap) and lights made of glow in the dark, it was fun.
Year 2010, my family decided to take an outside city vacation. We traveled all the way from Davao City to Iloilo City, our second home. They are planning for a family reunion, everything was fun specially when I met my relatives I didn't met in my entire life. Night before the flight, I was in a high type of excitement, I got thrilled, I can't control it, and even can't sleep. When we arrived in the airport, the sun was still sleeping, the moon's awake, and I'm totally awake even without sleep. Inside the boarding area waiting for the plane, I was standing the whole time watching planes taking off and land, the big engine noise doesn't even bothered. I also imagined I was the one handling it with the celebrities, the pope, and even the President(#1 Bucket List). When we got on the plane, my stomach just explode hundreds of butterfly, i was speechless, the G's when taking off is absolutely challenging.
Christmas of 2012 came, my first simulated flight was Bombardier to Juliana International Airport that was the first time I introduced my self to Microsoft Flight Simulator X, it never ceases to amaze me, the scenery, the realism, and even choosing different airplane livery of different airline company, well of course my favorites are Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines livery. Eventually, I got used to fly planes all take offs and landings are quite perfect to perfect. I traveled from Davao to Cebu, Iloilo, Manila, and back to Davao. The most difficult model of plane to operate is Boeing 777, it is hard as you can imagine. I remembered the time I operate Boeing 747, the plane looks hard but when you handle it everything was smooth, but not in a professional flight. Days, months, years passed by, I played FSX in my spare time with self made schedules. I went to different places, local and international. I just love Planes!
Another travel experience came after 2 years since Iloilo, I couldn't sleep well, thinking of getting a window seat or not. I wanted to see the views from above, airplanes are my Universal Studio and sky is my Disney Land. This was the first time I traveled international inside an Airbus 330 to Singapore and Boeing 747 to General Santos City (The tour was a prerequisite in my course). I'll give you a short but not too judgmental review on my flight experience with Philippine Airlines Airbus 330: The plane was really sexy, Interior cabin was well cleaned, the temperature was quite average, not too cold, not too hot. The seat gives you a comfortable one, you can move quickly, has a plenty of space in leg room, you don't easily get cramps. The best part was the food, rice taste so good and I just remembered that whenever you eat on plane the taste of the food changes due to the environment, maybe i really had a good sense of taste. In the other hand, the Philippine Airlines Boeing 747 was perfection. I was expecting a B747 interior with a personal entertainment monitor, but to sum it up all the plane looks old, the plane was quite shaky the whole flight, the accommodation was good. Back to the story, there was a moment that I was so upset, i couldn't imagined my face on what my emotions are going through, it was the saddest part of my trip when the check-in counter decided to gather all our passports and checked it as one. I looked up and pray and pray and pray and God magically granted my prayer and I was in a stunned mode, God never ceases to amaze me. Based on my observation one of the advantage for a person to get a window seat in a situation like this is the first letter in your surname, mine is "Ad" and the next person on our attendance list is "As", so this mean they will assign your seat on the plane alphabetically. I can't believed God gave it to me, I pray for a window seat instead for my safety, funny, well I let the captain handled it, and gave all my trust to them. All of my boarding passes are in row A of A320 Davao-Manila and A330 Manila to Singapore, both flight I got was window seat!!! Whooooo! When we touch down at Changi International Airport in Singapore, the first thing I did was looking for an A380-800 Singapore Airline, then boooom! Goosebumps was in my whole body. Finally, I was able to saw with my own naked eye the exact look of an Airbus 380, the largest passenger plane in history, the obese plane. The whole college life was fun, everything you saw was numbers, and problems. My classmates sometimes teased me, "unsang klaseng eroplano atong gi sakyan padulong Singapore? (What model of plane we travel to singapore?" stuff like that, "Doy, you'll give us free ticket when you are already a pilot." they added. I was the Trivia Boy 101 at school with regards to planes. "HOW DOES PLANE FLY?" same old question, same old answer.
Last year we had a team building in Manila with my co office mates, funny how it seems, I was grabbing window seat with my office mate, well it ended up i was the champion. Hahaha Whole month I guess, I was rooting and praying for window seat, and God is so Good, with my perseverance of course. This was the best view on my flight experience, it was in a dusky morning. The sun was starting to woke up, and it was really a beautiful scenery from above.
Lastly, we went back to Iloilo for another visit couple of month ago and this experience was the best experience in my life, I will treasure it until the last drop of my blood. After we landed at Iloilo International Airport we decided to take a picture at the cockpit of A320 Cebu Pacific, to tell you honestly, I can't explain the feeling as I entered the cockpit it was a mixed emotion and everything went so fast, I even can't remembered what I was doing inside, I just remembered I was holding the yoke, and something hit me, the eagerness, the hope, and the enthusiasm was lifting up. I am planning to put it on frame, just for a remembrance. It take hours for it to sink in. That was fun! I spoke to the Captains and give me tips and motivations on this career. That was the time it added my hope to pursue this passion I have for so long even before. MONEY? Nah! I'll get back to you on that. Believe me, you will feel amazing when you are with your family traveling together, specially when with your babies.
I am in the state of shiverness, i want it now.
I can't afford the expenses but I love it, i'll make a way. I have so many options i can even use my profession as one of the stepping stone. Do fundraising, be a successful YouTuber because you can earn money there, buy properties because I need that as a collateral for my flight school. 4.2 Million Pesos is a big amount of money, but if you finish it and perform your first solo and got your license it is all worth it.
Every accomplishment no matter how big or small begins a decision to simply try. With the power of God and his willingness to help me I CAN make it at 36,000 ft and be called CAPTAIN.
- Aspiring Captain Adao