Joery Falloria: Surviving Typhoon Yolanda and Life’s Excruciating Challenges (…unsung hero of Philippine Airlines)

Joery Falloria: Surviving Typhoon Yolanda

And Life’s Excruciating Challenges

(…unsung hero of Philippine Airlines)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Just like most of Philippine Airline marketing and airport personnel, Joery started his career at the lowest rung of the airline’s corporate ladder which is his case was as a porter. Although, the trainings involved courses on cargo handling, passenger check in, basic domestic ticketing, and customer handling, the employee of “long ago” cannot say no, if he was assigned at the airport to haul carry checked-in baggage and cargoes on tow carts from the terminal to the aircraft. This was what Joery experienced when he joined the airline.

 

The kind of exposure that an employee gets has been actually designed to toughen and prepare him for more responsibilities ahead as he advances in his career. It makes the employee some kind of a well-rounded guy – an airline man who can later handle responsibilities as manager. Joery has marshaled incoming aircrafts to guide them to their slot in the tarmac, computed weights to be loaded for safe flight,  which included those of cargoes, checked-in and carry-on baggage, as well as passengers that also include the crew and paying ones.

 

Along the way, he was also trained to handle PAL customers, be they walk-ins who would like to make inquiries or purchase tickets. To cap this particular training, he was also fed with knowledge on values and attitudes to maintain the high quality of service standards that his person should exude. It was a long journey for Joery from the airport ramp as loader to his present managerial position as Head of the Tacloban Station. It was a journey beset with financial difficulty and emotional pressure. But he made it….on August 15, 2015, he was designated as Officer-In-Charge of Tacloban Station, a managerial position.

 

It was while navigating his challenging career path that he met Pomela Corni Tan who eventually became his wife, and who gave him two offspring, Anthony who is now a registered Nurse working with the Davao Doctors’ Hospital, and Mary Rose, on her second year of Veterinary Medicine course at the VISCA in Baybay City.

 

The typhoon Yolanda devastated Tacloban to the maximum, and recovery was even more challenging, as Joery and his local PAL team, worked hard to rise from such disheartening situation. To make PAL operational again, he had to coordinate with concerned government agencies and the head office in Manila for replacement of lost equipment and office supplies, as well as, reconstruct destroyed records. The story of recovery that was woven around the effort of the PAL Team, with Joery at the helm, was just one of the many that inspired many people around the world.

 

With Tacloban City propped back to normalcy, Joery resumes his overall administration of the whole Tacloban station that includes routine calls on travel agents, issuance of tickets and airport operation. His free time is spent on spiritual-related activities of the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, being a Lay Minister. He is also an active officer of their homeowners’ association.

 

Over a simple lunch at the canteen of SSS near the PAL Administrative Offices in PNB building, he confided that he feels blessed for working with the airline. And, as the company is in its recovery stage, he has committed himself to do his best as part of the team. In a way, Joery has survived the various changes at the top management of the airline…just like the survival that he experienced when typhoon Yolanda devastated their city.

BRM Tac

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 Pangangasiwa ng Manila International Airport (MIA)

Ang Pangangasiwa ng Manila International Airport (MIA)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi pala alam ni G. Honrado na saklaw ng kanyang responsibilidad bilang General Manager, ang buong Manila International Airport. Ibig sabihin, hindi pala niya alam na Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) ang nag-iisyu ng mga temporary pass sa buong airport para sa lahat ng mga taong may kaugnayan sa operasyon nito. Hindi pala niya alam na para maisyuhan ng temporary pass ay kailangang i-surrender ang company ID, o di kaya ay dapat magsumite lahat ng mga ahensiya ng listahan ng mga empleyado nila upang maisyuhan ng pangmatagalang temporary pass. Hindi pala niya alam na ang  malalaki hanggang sa kaliit-liitan gamit ng MIA, ay may tatak na “MIAA Property” at may control number. Nakalimutan rin siguro niya ang malaking “insidente” na nangyari noong panahon ni Gloria Arroyo tungkol sa pagsugod nito sa MIA nang walang pasubali o abiso upang makita talaga ang mga kapalpakan sa mga parking areas, kaya nang mabisto nga ay “sinabon” niya on the spot ang pinsan nitong in-assign din na tulad niya bilang General Manager.

 

Ang Manila International Airport ay parang shopping mall. Ito ay may pinaka-hepe na dapat mangasiwa sa lahat ng mga nagtatrabaho sa loob, kasama na ang security, mga concessionaires, contracted agencies at mga namimili o namamasyal lang. Ibig sabihin ang pinaka-hepe nito ay may responsibilidad na sumasaklaw sa buong operasyon ng mall. Ganoon din sa MIA na dapat lahat ng bahagi nito ay pinangangasiwaan sa kabuuhan ng General Manager – mula sa runways, tarmac, terminals at parking lots. Siya ang nasa itaas at sa ilalim niya ay iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno at mga concessionaires na nagkakanya-kanya ng pagkontrol ayon sa saklaw nilang operasyon na nakasaad sa mga Operating Manual nila, na nakabatay naman sa Operating Manual ng MIAA. Sa pinakagitna ng kani-kanilang operasyon ay ang Manila International Airport Authority.

 

Dapat ang susunod na itatalaga bilang General Manager ng MIA ay taong may “managerial skill” (kaya nga tinawag na General Manager) at may malawak na kaalaman sa airline operation. Saklaw ng airline operation ang iba’t ibang kaalaman tungkol sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa “aviation security” kaya hindi kailangang manggaling ang taong itatalaga mula sa anumang military branch ng Pilipinas. Bilang isang industriya, ang international aviation ay may mga pinatutupad na mga patakaran upang masigurong ligtas ang mga pasahero ng iba’t ibang airlines. Napapag-aralan ang mga patakaran sa pagpapatupad ng security sa airport, at palagi ring ina-update batay sa pangangailangan ng panahon, na tulad ngayon ay hantad sa terorismo. Dahil dito, hindi kailangang may actual exposure sa military operation, na napakalayo sa isang civilian airline operation, ang General Manager.  Dapat ay ituring na malaking leksiyon dito ang nakaupo ngayong General Manager na nagpipilit na wala siyang pakialam sa ibang operasyon ng MiA.

 

Ang malaking problema nga lang ay kung umiral uli ang napakakorap na pag-iisip ng uupong Presidente na magtatalaga na naman ng pinsan, o kapatid, o bayaw, o tiyuhin, o dating driver, o dating messenger, o dating masahista, bilang General Manager. May napapagbatayan na kasi…kung sa Ingles – may “precedent”….may mga una nang ginawa kaya gagayahin na lang!

Mga Likas o Natural na Bagay ang Ginagamit na Anting-anting…HINDI BALA NA MAY LAMANG PULBURA

Mga Likas o Natural na Bagay ang Ginagamit na Anting-anting

…HINDI BALA NA MAY LAMANG PULBURA

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Kawawa ang mga taong nagpapauto sa mga arbularyo o kung sino man na nagsasabing ang bala, lalo na ang “live” o ang may lamang pulbura ay isang anting-anting. Ang ganitong pang-uuto ay sinimulan ng mga taong nagnanakaw ng bala mula sa kung saan mang imbakan at binibenta sa mga taong tanga na naniwala naman. Sinabi ko na sa isang blog ko noon tungkol sa isyu ng tanim-bala, na kung ituring man na anting-anting ang bala, dapat ay yong walang lamang pulbura dahil ang ginagamit lang ay ang “metal” na nilalagyan ng pulbura na kung hindi yaring tanso ay tingga. Puwede ngang baguhin ang porma tulad halimbawa ng pagpepe o pag-flatten ng basyong bala upang maipormang pendant, o di kaya ay lagyan ng dalawang “kamay” upang magmukhang krus at magamit na palawit sa kuwentas….ganoon lang. Hindi kailangang bumili sa mga nagtitinda ng mga ninakaw na bala, sa halagang Php1,500.00 ang isang piraso! Ayaw ko na lang isulat kung bakit nagkakaubusan ng bala sa mga imbakan nito. Ang isang ordinaryong mamamayan ay hindi naman nakakabili ng paisa-isang bala.

 

Batay sa mga nasagap kong impormasyon galing mismo sa mga nagtatago ng balang may pulbura, “panlaban” daw ito sa mga taong may masamang balak sa kanila, kaya swak sana sa mga OFW na ayaw mabugbog o magahasa ng mga malupit o manyak na employer. Ang masama, pati mga matatanda ay napagpaniwala din ng mga unggoy na nangraraket! Sabihin ba naman ng mga hangal na ito na hahaba ang buhay ng taong may itinatagong bala, kaya ang mga uugud-ugod na gusto pa yatang mabuhay nang mahigit 100 taon, ay hindi rin magkandaugaga sa pagbili, sa halip na gamitin ang perang galing sa pension, na pambili ng gamot sa rayuma man lang!

 

Matagal nang ginagamit ang tanso o copper at tingga o lead, na panlaban sa masamang ispiritu, lalo na sa kapre, pero  hindi sa kapwa-tao. Bumibigat daw ang taong mayroon nito kaya hindi basta naitatakas ng kapre, kaya pati sanggol ay palaging may katabing bala na nakabalot sa pulang tela dahil ang kulay pula ay kalaban din ng masamang espiritu. At tungkol pa rin sa kulay pula…yong ayaw masaniban ng masamang espiritu, maliban sa balang nakabalot sa pulang tela ay nagsusuot din ng pulang bra o kamison at panty kung babae at ang lalaki naman ay palaging may pulang panyo. Sa ilalim ng unan nila ay mayroon ding pulang panyo. Sa panahon ng pagreregla ng babae, lalo silang ligtas!  Pinaniniwalaan na ito bago pa dumating ang mga Kastila.

 

Ang ginagamit na panlaban sa kapwa-taong may masamang balak ay dinasalang langis na umaapaw sa sinidlang maliit na bote kapag nasa harap mo ang taong may masamang balak. Hindi nakokontra ang isang masamang balak ng kapwa- tao sa pamamagitan ng balang nasa bulsa o pitaka, dahil kung totoo man, wala sanang inuuwing OFW na nasa kabaong o buntis dahil na-rape ng employer, o di kaya ay naka-wheel chair, o di kaya ay lalaking Pilipinong ni-rape o binugbog ng Arabo! At, lalong wala sanang namamatay sa pagkabaril o natutusok ng patalim, at nakitang nakahandusay na lamang sa isang tabi. Ang isang nakausap ko, tatlong bala nga daw ang palagi niyang dala, pero sa kasamaang palad pa rin, mahigit limang beses pa rin daw siyang naholdap sa Cubao! Kaya ngayon hinahanting na niya ang co-boarder niyang dating pulis na natanggal sa trabaho dahil sa katiwalian, upang pakainin ng mga balang ibinenta sa kanya! Dalawa daw sila sa boarding house nila ang binentahan ng mga bala ng ungas na dating pulis.

 

Kung anting-anting ang gusto dahil ang inaasam ay karagdagang “lakas”, ang dapat gamitin ay mga kristal, bato, o mga bahagi ng mga halaman. Balutin mo man ang katawan mo ng mga ito ay walang sisita sa airport o pantalan kaya walang mangingikil na taga-AVESECOM o OTS. Pwede ka lang sigurong pigilan sa pagsakay dahil baka isipin nilang sintu-sinto ka, kaya sa halip na i-detain ka o hingan ng pera, baka ihatid ka pa pauwi sa inyo dahil sa awa nila!

 

Totoo naman talagang may iba’t –ibang uri ng “lakas” na nanggagaling sa mga bato at kristal dahil sa taglay nilang mga mineral. Ang isang pruweba rito ay ang bato-balani (magnet), quartz, jade, lalo na ang hindi pa gaanong kilalang batong “tourmaline” na napatunayang humihigop ng dumi sa loob ng katawan. Ang mga bahagi naman ng mga halaman ay talagang gamot kaya nakakapagpalakas ng loob kung may dalang maski pinatuyong dahon, ugat o balat man lang. May mga dahon na maski tuyo ay pwedeng amuyin upang mawala ang pagkahilo o pananakit ng tiyan dahil sa kabag, at mga pinatuyong ugat o balat ng kahoy na kapag ikinunaw (dipped) sa kapeng iniinom ay nakakagamot din….yan ang mga anting-anting na dapat ay palaging nasa bulsa at bag!

 

Ang mga tao namang nauto kaya nakabili ng bala sa halagang Php1,500.00, magmuni-muni na, lalo na yong mga OFW na ang pamilya ay nagkandautang-utang, may maipanlagay lang sila sa recruiter at pambili ng tiket ng eroplano, at ang kabuuhang halaga ay katumbas ng mahigit sa isang taong pagpapa-alipin sa ibang bansa. Huwag magpakatanga dahil lang sa bala. Kaya nagkakaroon ng mga tiwaling kawani sa airport ay dahil sa mga taong matitigas ang ulo. Nakasilip tuloy ang mga kawatan sa airport ng dahilan upang sila ay kikilan. Kung mahuli naman, at marami naman ang umaming may dala nga ng bala, ay saka sila magngunguyngoy at magsisisi! Ang masakit pa ay nadadamay ang mga taong wala talagang kaalam-alam sa “anting-anting” na ito.

 

Dapat tandaang kung walang tanga, ay walang nagagantso o nalilinlang ng kapwa! Kung totoo mang may nagtatanim ng bala sa mga bagahe, ang tanong ay… SINO ANG MGA NAGSIMULA SA PAGBIGAY NG DAHILAN KAYA NAGING RAKET ITO? HINDI BA MISMONG MGA PASAHERONG TANGA NA AKALA AY LIGTAS SILA KUNG MAY BALANG DALA? DAHIL SA TAKBO NG ABNORMAL NILANG ISIPAN, NAGKAROON NG KIKILAN SA AIRPORT KAYA NADAMAY ANG MGA INOSENTENG PASAHERO. Patunay sa raketang ito ang report na sa kabila ng naka-log na kulang-kulang sa isang libong “nahulihan”, wala pang kalahati ang nakasuhan. Ano ang ang nangyari sa iba?…eh, di “napag-usapan”!!

 

At, ang pinakamahalagang paalala: malakas na pananampalataya sa Pinakamakapangyarihan ang pinakamagaling na anting-anting ng tao…wala nang iba! Huwag lang magdasal ng malakas habang nagpapa-inspection ng bagahe sa airport….hinay-hinay lang sa pagpapakita ng matiim na pananampalataya upang hindi mapagkamalang “jet-setter” na baliw!

 

Crowd Control System

Crowd Control System

By Apolinario Villalobos

On January 18, the day the pope was scheduled to say Mass at Luneta in the afternoon, a stampede happened just before five in the morning. The Maria Orosa entrance to Luneta was breached by impatient pilgrims. The Maria Orosa area has two gates for the pilgrims and provided with scanning machines. With the breach that practically toppled heavy concrete barricades, a stampede ensued resulting to the injury of about ten pilgrims with one elderly brought to the hospital, rendering the scanning machines useless.

According to the interviewed pilgrims who were part of the stampeding crowd, they were outside the park since the day before so that they could secure a vantage area in front of the stage or beside the path intended for the pope. They came from the far provinces hoping that as soon as they have arrived at Luneta, they could settle down at a chosen area and make use of the park’s toilet facilities. The opportunities were denied to them because, particularly at the Maria Orosa entrance, only one entrance was opened instead of the two, resulting unfortunately to the stampede.

In the above instance, while the enthusiasm of the pilgrims can be blamed, observable is the oversight of the operating committee in taking into consideration the pent up emotion of the pilgrims that could burst into impatience, resulting to the stampede which, indeed happened.

The people behind the event should have used the chaotic handling of the Cebu Pacific Air passengers at the airport terminal 3 as basis in coming up with a system in handling the papal visit crowd. They should have taken note that the reason of the chaos at the airport is the amassing of the passengers at the gate before checking them in close to departure time by one or two check-in clerks, instead of a full complement of personnel.

Going back to the Luneta stampede, it could have been avoided if the two gates were opened instead of just one. Or better, they should have opened said gates much much earlier to give time for an orderly inflow of pilgrims.

In the same way, the chaos at the airport terminal 3 could have been avoided if Cebu Pacific Air opens its check in counters much much earlier if they see the forming of a long queue outside the terminal….and with a full complement of check-in personnel, to ensure that all passengers with confirmed tickets are checked in on time. Cebu Pacific Air, after operating for so many years is supposed to have a clear profile of their clientele.

Common sense still, is an important ingredient in concocting a systematic handling of a crowd.