June 26, 2012, Tuesday at five o’clock in the morning, right after we finished our Ground Handling operation in Ninoy Aquino International Aiport Terminlal 3, I prepared my things promptly in our office and put it inside my rucksack. I was advised to go to Mactan, Cebu immediately to tend for another arriving international private flight. It was a gruelling moment and I had no enough sleep because we were advised to be in our hangar at one in the early morning.

I arrived in Cebu safely via commercial airline and finished all the necessary clearances early. I took a coffee break inside the airport while waiting for our client’s arrival. Intermittent rain had been pouring. Thankfully, it eventually ceased when we did the refuelling.

The plane arrived at half past seven in the evening and my experience on that flight was memorable one. The proposed itinerary had been changed suddenly upon disembarking the pilots outside the aircraft. They advised me that they had to stay overnight at the Marriott Hotel, change their next airport destination and leave Cebu City very early in the morning, due to unavoidable circumstances. I felt like I had a sudden headache upon receiving the notification knowing that I was the only one who had to find a solution on that flight unlike in Manila there are other staffs that are assigned to do the other designated tasks.

By changing instantly the flight plan on the day of the departure itself is complicated most especially if the remaining time to change it is very short and you are the only company representative tending for the flight. For the benefit of those who don’t know the procedure, the approved entry/exit permit and other clearances are needed to be revised and be approved again by the authorized person before the plane can be allowed to depart. Like what happened in my case, the notification about the changes was late and the remaining time to process it was limited. It was a very tiring yet challenging and exciting situation. I was very grateful then that the authorized people at that time were still all available and accommodating even at late night.

I left my hotel at three in the early morning the following day to print the necessary documents in the computer shop like the NOTAM. This document serves as a guide of the pilot when flying. After the printing, I filed the Flight Plan at the International Flight Operation Briefing Station (IFOBS) Office before I went to Marriott Hotel to fetch the crew using the rented van. I was still sleepy and tired but it was still endurable.

The pilots were loquacious and hilarious to be with when we had become comfortable to each other through our constant conversations. They were both crazy like me. It was their first time in the Philippines though and they were curious and pleased about the Filipinos ingenuity while we were riding along the road on our way going back to the airport.

Before they flew we took a group picture. Though it was a short acquaintance,  it was like we were friends for a very long time despite of the difference in our age. The friendship was the most priceless treasure I gained most on that flight.

My Ground Handling operation in Cebu had gone well but I felt like I was lamed upon going back to my hotel right after the flight. I was totally exhausted. Based on that experience I learned one thing: We can only measure our worth as a person if we experience an unexpected scenario at any instant circumstances in our life and in return we find to solve it with composure and without having any retreat.

From left to right: Capt. Oscar Kent III, Me and Capt. Richard Welch

B350 Airplane


~ by sherwinportillo on July 2, 2012.

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