Mga Panahon ng Buhay

Mga Panahon ng Buhay

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Hindi lamang kalikasan ang may mga panahon na kung sa Pilipinas ay ang panahon ng tagtuyot o tag-init at panahon ng tag-ulan o tag-baha. Ang buhay man ay mga panahon na dumadating sa iba’t ibang yugto nito.


Ang mga yugtong dinadatnan ng iba’t ibang panahon ay nagbibigay ng magagandang kulay at nagsisilbing pagsubok sa kakayahan ng tao sa pagpupumilit niyang maabot ang kanyang layunin. Dahil dito, hindi lahat ng panahon ay kaiga-igaya…mayroon ding makabagbag-damdamin o nakakapanlumo.


Ang panahon ng kabataan ang pinakamaselang yugto ng buhay ng tao dahil sa panahong ito hinuhubog ang kanyang pagkatao. Malaki ang papel na ginagampanan ng magulang at kapaligiran sa paghubog ng kabataan. Kasama na rin dito ang mga guro at paaralan. Dito dapat natututuhan ng kabataan ang mga magagandang kaugalian lalo na ang paggalang. Para sa kanyang ispiritwal na aspeto, malaking bagay ang nagagawa ng pagiging maka-Diyos ng magulang o paaralan.


Mula sa pagiging bata, ang tao ay tutuntong sa yugto ng adolensiya o pagiging tin-edyer kung saan ay may mga pagkakataon na siya ay malilito kung kanino papanig – sa barkada ba na palagi niyang natatakbuhan at nakakaugnayan o magulang na maski nagbigay ng buhay sa kanya ay sa wari niya, hindi niya “mapagkatiwalaan” tungkol sa ilang bagay. Kung matibay ang pundasyon niya bilang bata, hindi siya basta na lang matitinag mula sa mga nakalakhan nang gawi na naaayon sa kabutihan. Subali’t kung naging pabaya ang magulang at mga guro o paaralan na nakalimot nang magturo ng mga magagandang asal, hindi malayong siya ay mahila ng kanyang mga barkada tungo sa daang baluktot.


Ang panahon ng pagiging nasa tamang gulang ay yugto kung saan ay gagawa ng maselang desisyon ang tao kung siya ba ay papasan na ng responsibilidad na maghahanda sa kanya bilang magulang na may sariling tahanan para sa darating na mga supling. Mabigat sa kalooban para sa iba ang basta na lang iwanan ang tahanan kung saan siya ay iniluwal at lumaki sa kalinga ng mga magulang at mga nakakatandang kapatid. Subali’t dahil sa sinusundang ikot ng buhay, hindi maaaring siya ay mag-atubili kung siya ay handa na rin lang.  Sa panahong ito maaalala ng tao ang hirap na dinanas ng magulang upang siya ay mapalaki ng maayos at hindi salat sa mga pangangailangan – dahil gagawin na rin niya para sa kanyang mga supling.


Ang panahon ng katandaan ay siyang naghahanda sa tao upang magpaalam sa mundo. Sa mga naniniwala sa Diyos na nagpapaalala na dapat putulin ang mga kaugnayan sa mga bagay na materyal habang nabubuhay sa mundo, abut-abot ang kanilang pamamahagi ng mga yamang naipon. Subali’t ang ibang hindi maatim na iwanan ang kanilang mga yaman ay nahihirapang magpaalam sa mundo dahil nadadaig sila ng panghihinayang sa kanilang pinaghirapan.


Ang mga panahong nabanggit ay nakukulayan ng saya o lungkot, depende sa pananaw ng tao. Kung ang tao ay hindi naghahangad ng luho, o masaya na sa kaunting kaginhawahan, lahat ng yugto sa buhay niya ay nakukulayan ng kasiyahan. Subali’t kung kabaligtaran naman ng nabanggit ang pananaw ng tao, dahil ang gusto niya ay umangat ang kanyang kabuhayan ng todo-todo para magkaroon siya ng pakiramdam na animo siya ay nakatayo sa isang mataas na tore, ano mang dami ng yaman ay hindi makakapagbigay sa kanya ng kasiyahan sa lahat ng panahon ng kanyang buhay.


Ang mga nabanggit na sumasaklaw sa lahat ng mga panahong dumarating sa buhay ng tao ang nagpapainog sa mundo. Kaya dahil may mga tao na gustong saklawan ang karapatan ng iba, masiyahan lamang, nagkakaroon ng hindi pagkakaunawaan. Ang resulta ay digmaan at mga maliitang girian. Kung alin sa dalawa ang iiral pagdating ng panahon ay walang makakapagsabi.



Michael Villaflor, Jr.: Profile of Diligence and Humility…another “unsung hero” of Philippine Airlines

Michael Villaflor, Jr.: Profile of Diligence and Humility

…another “unsung hero” of Philippine Airlines

By Apolinario Villalobos



When Michael Villaflor, Jr, or “Mike” to his friends and family was looking for a job after graduating from Mapua Institute of Technology with a Management Engineering course, the country was in its economic and political healing stage after Ferdinand Marcos was successfully ousted by the “People Power” which saw the installation of Corazon Aquino into presidency.  It was during this uneasy period when Mike initially tried his luck for a job in San Miguel Corporation. Unfortunately, the company was giving priority to applicants who graduated from the University of the Philippines and Ateneo. He went through similar discouraging experience when he applied at Philippine Airlines which was giving priority for applicants from the two aforementioned universities, as well as, the De La Salle University.


His persistence, however, in following up his application with PAL paid up when he was finally given the chance to undergo an interview and a series of written exams which he passed with flying colors. For assignment, when he visited the Office of the Metro Manila Sales in March 1986, headed by Milagros Limgenco, without much ado, he was sent to the Escolta Ticket Office to immediately render duty as Information Clerk. Due to his remarkable good performance, in less than a year, he was promoted as Cash Custodian, then, as Domestic Ticket Representative in the same ticketing office. In 1988, he was further promoted as Integrated Ticket Representative, a job which required him to compute international fares, as well. Unfortunately, on that same year, the Escolta Ticket Office was closed which caused his transfer to the Makati (Greenbelt) Ticket Office.  A little later of that same year he was transferred to the Taft Ticket Office, located on the ground floor of the Philippine Women’s University.


In early 1989, he retraced his steps to the Metro Manila Sales Area, but this time, with a new appointment as Sr. Market Planning Analyst under Marcial Zamora. His fast journey along the path of his corporate career brought him the following year, to the position of Staff Assistant for Luzon Sales Area which was merged with Metro Manila Sales by the VP-Sales and Services, Avelino Zapanta. This time, he worked under Teresita Al Luna.


While the career of Mike was gaining momentum, the general economic situation of the country was at its crucial that resulted to a slow down. Meanwhile, the management of the airline changed hands from Eduardo Cojuangco to Lucio Tan. In addition to the airline’s struggle to keep afloat, there were also problems that had to be dealt with – those of  PALEA (Philippine Airlines Employees Association) and the ALPAP (pilots’ and flight attendants’ association), which finally resulted to the temporary closure of the company in 1998. During the time, Mike was under Danny Lim who was at the helm of the Metro Manila and Luzon Sales.


When Philippine Airlines resumed its operations, Mike was transferred to its “flagship” office located at S & L building along Roxas Boulevard as Staff Manager in place of Atty. Cris Pascual, to work under Enrique Javier, the Country Manager for Philippines and Guam. Later, all PAL offices at S & L building were transferred to the airline’s Learning Center along Padre Faura, where he worked under different Country Managers such as Marilla Revilla, Genaro Velasques, and Dina May Flores.  When the San Miguel Corporation took over the company, it installed Salvador Britanico, Jr., as the Country Manager, and it was during this time that finally, Mike got his biggest break when he was appointed as Area Sales Manager for Luzon and Metro Manila.


When the Lucio Tan Group of Companies took over PAL from San Miguel Corporation in September 2014, Mike retained his job to work under his current boss, Harry Inoferio, who is virtually on a “home coming” stint, for he had spent a good number of years with PAL until he resigned to work with other airlines. Mike is doubling his effort, especially, at this critical moment of the airline industry under the shadow of the “open air policy” which is characterized by the cutthroat competition posed by locally- based airlines, as well as, foreign carriers that offer attractive fares. Despite the challenge, according to him, PAL is unfazed because its on-time departure reliability aside from its overall excellent service, have always been traditional trademarks that keep it flying with pride. Many passengers, especially the finicky, learn the lesson that a low fare can never replace an excellent service which is equated with comfort all the way of the flight, especially, long haul ones, hence, they go back to PAL after a “sad experience”.


In the office, Mike is ably supported by his equally diligent secretary, Melle San Jose Artillaga, who like him is equally meticulous in carrying out her job. And, at home, he is supported by his wife, Madeline and children, Mara Louise, Michael III, and Louise who understand his coming home late due to meetings. With all the challenges that he enjoys and the compassion of people around him that lightens his burden, he considers himself lucky and successful, yet feels at the same time, that he could still do more for the company.


To date, with a contented smile, he looks back to the day he was given a great opportunity by PAL which put him on the best career path, more than reason enough for him to continue doing his best. He also considers the short administration of the San Miguel Corporation as a good karma because it was during such time, while working with Salvador “Bud” Britanico, that he became a full-fledged manager.


But, most especially, for what he is now, Mike thanks his parents, Remy and Michael Sr. They molded him into a humble person who can work with utmost diligence and patience under pressure. Admirably, both parents who were supervisors of PAL then, did not try to use their influence when he was applying for a job in the company, as they wanted him to prove his worth on his own. Michael Sr. was a Ticket Office Supervisor (later on, a Manager), while Remy was a Desk Supervisor (later on, a Manager) of the Reservations Department.



Ang Ulan

Ang Ulan

Ni Apolinario Villalobos


Biyayang bigay ay ginhawa sa nanunuyong lalamunan

At nagpapalambot ng nagkandabiyak nang kabukiran

Pagbagsak nito sa kalupaan mula sa nalusaw na ulap

Dulot ay ginhawa’t pag-asa sa mga taong nangangarap.


Sa bawa’t patak ng ulan, may mga namumuong buhay

Nagkakaugat, sa lupa’y kumakapit at ayaw humiwalay

Sa pag-usbong ng mga ito’y luntiang paligid, dulot nila

Na sa iba pang nilalang sa mundo ang dulot ay ginhawa.


Subali’t kung minsan, kanyang pagdating ay may kasama

Hindi lang iisa, kundi dalawang masaklap na mga sakuna

Dilubyo kung ituring dahil may umiihip, malakas na hangin

At kung minsa’y baha na sa pag-agos, lahat kayang dalhin.


Ginagamit din kaya ito ng Diyos upang ang tao’y gisingin?

Mula sa kanyang kayabangan at sagad- butong pagkasakim?

Nararapat lang yata dahil kung wariin ay tila nakalimot siya

Sa Isang dapat ay pasalamatan…Diyos na naglalang sa kanya.