PETER MERCADO AND MS. DUDZ ESPEJO…
CARRYING ON THE TRADITIONAL “PAL TPC”
WITH OTHER EX-PALers AT SKY LOGISTICS-Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos
Many former employees of Philippine Airlines and patrons of the airline will never forget the company’s catchphrase, “Total Passenger Care” or simply, “TPC”. It was the spirit of the airline’s total operations that bound the employees into one cohesive “family” with one goal – to satisfy the customers. In time, however, as dictated by the trend that prevails in the airline industry, turnovers become inevitable, one of which affected the airport operation. Check-in counters that were used to be manned by PAL employees are now taken over by young men and women of the Sky Logistics. Fortunately, many former employees were taken in by the company, and among them were Peter Mercado and Ms. Dudz Espejo, Duty Manager and Supervisor, respectively at the NAIA Terminal 2.
Peter spent a good 20 years of his life with Philippine Airlines while Ms. Dudz spent 25 years of her own. Interestingly, Ms. Dudz is also the better half of Palomo, who used to be among the trusted supervisors of Philippine Airlines. Just like the rest of those who were fortunate to have been part of the “Golden Years” of the airline, their persona is imbibed with the “TPC” tradition that made the airline well-known in the industry both in the Philippines and abroad. The said service trademark has helped in attracting tourists to the country in the 1980’s, during which competition among exotic destinations in Asia was at its peak. Those were the years when the Department of Tourism was in close alliance with the airline, thanks to the late Ricardo Paloma, RVP for Philippines and Guam, who was known in the local airline industry as “Mr. Tourism” due to his ardent effort to promote local touristic destinations.
I personally experienced the TPC touch from Peter when I was on standby for an available space in my chosen flight. He did not know me personally, though like him, I also had a precious opportunity to work for the airline. I failed to make a booking for my ticket 24 hours before my flight, hoping that there would be no problem which proved to be a wrong assumption. It was only when he glanced at my ticket and my short self- introduction that he came to know about my former job. Smilingly, he put me at ease and promised to be back after attending to other passengers. He was practically covering the whole ground of the check-in area, being the Duty Manager during that shift.
As regards Ms. Dudz Espejo, I was touched by her coolness when she attended to a lady passenger who almost missed her flight in the morning of October 24, 2016 during which I was at the same counter trying to check in for my flight to Davao. As the Supervisor on duty during the time, she was monitoring the check-in operations via her computer, but despite the pressure, she attended to the lady whose voice was trembling due to her apprehension that she might miss her flight. She picked up the phone and called up several parties until finally giving instruction to the lady passenger to proceed inside the Pre-departure area…all done in a very assuring demeanor and a soothing smile. That incident brought back to my mind, the day she also assisted me, due to the critical load of the flight that I was going to take.