Ang Tagumpay ni Joselito Hibo ng Philippine Airlines

Ang Tagumpay ni JOSELITO HIBO

Ng Philippine Airlines

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Taga- Gloria, Oriental Mindoro si Lito at nang makipagsapalaran sa Maynila ay napasabak sa iba’t ibang uri ng mapagkikitaan upang may maitulong sa mga kapatid at biyudang ina. Panganay siya sa pitong magkakapatid at lalo siyang nagpursigeng makipagsapalaran sa Maynila nang mawala ang kanilang tatay. Naging landscape assistant siya sa Ayala bago napasok na janitor ng Superior Maintenance Services (SMS) at masuwerteng ang naitalagang assignment niya ay ang PAL offices sa Makati noon. Nakaisang-taon din siya sa SMS nang maisipan niyang mag-apply at kumuha ng eksamin sa PAL, at dahil may pinagmamagaling namang talino ay napasahan niya.

 

Messenger ang unang trabaho niya, sa noon ay tinatawag na Public Relations Office ng PAL, pero kung tawagin ngayon ay Corporate Communications. At, dahil hindi siya nagrereklamo kung may pinapagawa ang mga nakakataas sa kanya. Natuto siya ng iba’t ibang gawain pati ang pag-classify ng mga impormasyong kinakalap ng opisina nila na pina-file niya upang magamit na reference materials. Napasabak din siya sa pag-cover ng mga events ng Philippine Airlines lalo na ng iniisponsoran nitong taunang PAL Golf Tournament sa Davao. Dahil sa mga naipon niyang kaalaman hindi naging mahirap sa kanya ang ma-promote bilang Corporate Communications Assistant.

 

Sa kabila ng kawalan ng trabaho ng kanyang asawa, naitaguyod nila ang pag-aaral ng kanyang tatlong anak sa tulong ng suweldo niya sa PAL. Ang pagtitiyaga nilang mag-asawa ay nagkaroon ng magandang resulta nang makatapos ang dalawa nilang anak….ang panganay ay nakatapos ng Customs Administration, at ang nakababata ay Business Administration. Ang bunso ay nasa third year college naman…at, lahat sila ay walang bisyo!

 

Hindi gaanong malaki ang sinasahod ni Lito sa PAL, pero sa kabila niyan ay nakakapamuhay sila ng maayos, kasama na diyan ang walang patlang na pag-aaral ng kanyang mga anak. Ang ibang suwelduhan na halos umabot sa isandaan libo kada buwan ang tinatanggap ay hirap sa pagpatapos ng mga anak dahil sa maling paraan sa pagpapalaki sa kanila. Ang biyayang ito ang pinagpapasalamat ni Lito sa Diyos na kanyang inaalagaan, at ang hinihingi niya ay may matutunan sa kanilang mag-asawa ang kanilang mga anak.

 

The Consistency of PAL-Davao in Maintaining the Airline’s High Quality of Service Standards

The Consistency of PAL- Davao in Maintaining

The Airline’s High Quality of Service Standards

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Davao station of Philippine Airlines is considered as the hub of its operation in Mindanao and lately, its scope extends to the neighboring Asian countries. As I have worked with the said company for a little more than twenty years and left it during the early years of the new management’s take over, I can very well say that I have an idea of what had been and what are being done as regards the customer satisfaction which fortunately has been maintained due to the consistency of the airline’s high standards.

 

According to Mr. Vic Suarez, the new Head for Mindanao Sales Area, the airline will not compromise its high standard by scrimping on other aspects of operations as some sort of an offsetting, most especially, by offering low fares, except the seasonal promos. High quality of service can only be assured if there is enough manpower that can attend to the requirements of customers. As can be observed, all ticketing offices and the check-in counters at the airport terminals are adequately manned by equally vibrant personnel of Macro-Asia. Mr. Suarez is supported by Ma. Leana Sanga, Secretary; Edgardo Ramos, Staff Assistant; and Ricardo Ambrosio, Sr. Market Planning Analyst.

 

If international cuisine has its “fusion” dishes concocted based on different cultural influences, PAL has its “fusion service”. It is my own terminology and I came up with it in view of the harmonious co-operation of service providers and the held-over organic PAL employees. As in Manila, this unique and harmonious fusion of effort is also found in the operation of PAL in Davao. The ticketing office at the Davao airport is manned by the organic PAL employees, while the check- counters, load control, and the Mabuhay Lounge are manned by the young staff of Macro-Asia. Behind them, such as the Airport Service Manager, Ms. Ludy Bagares and the Customer Service Officers are all organic PAL employees. Helping them out in the overall operation is Excellent, the manpower agency that provided the aircraft cleaning crew, janitorial and porter service.

 

The Customer Service Officers who have spent a good number of years with PAL are Leonilo Abella, Ernie Adrias, Archie Batu, Karlo Respicio, Marlon Rosales, Allen Dizon, Art Migalben, and Anthony Paradela, with the last four mentioned also handling Cargo.

 

The Macro-Asia Supervisors are  Charlie Erojo, Erwin Tongco, Dennis Tiamson, Rommel Covarubias and June Dalisay. The Passenger Services Agents is Ruben Maglaya; and Cargo Service Agents, Ben Arcayan and Julbert Nolasco. The ramp area is handled by the Ramp Service Agents, Ruel Catao, Cyril Pollaris and Joel Montales, while the Ramp Equipment Repairman is Lambert Lazaro.

 

Ms. Bagares expressed that so far, their operation is smooth and without any hassle as the traditional and high PAL standards are maintained to ensure that the customers get the commensurate worth of what they paid for to reach their destination safely.

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Farewell…Eboy (for Eboy Jovida)

Farewell…Eboy

(for Eboy Jovida)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In this world you’ve ceased to live

But in our heart and mind

You shall linger with a smile –

And, it shall never fade in time.

 

You’ve tried to be the best you could –

Husband, father… friend

In songs you have crooned

Even the calm you well feigned.

 

Farewell…to the best father, farewell!

Friend, you’re a delight

Ride on the glory of our love

As you journey towards that Light!

Eboy Jovida

 

 

 

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

Si Mang Ompong…patuloy na pinagkakatiwalaan ng mga taga-PAL

Si Mang Ompong…patuloy na pinagkakatiwalaan

ng mga taga-PAL

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Sa pagkakaalala ko, si Mang Ompong (Rodolfo Frondoso) ay dating team leader ng mga janitor ng Stellar na na-assign sa dating Administrative Office Building (AOB) na ngayon ay Data Center na. Maliit siya at malumanay magsalita. Hindi siya gaanong nag-uutos sa mga janitor na nasa pamamahala niya. Hindi rin niya pinupuna kung para sa kanya ay “bitin” ang ginawang paglinis ng ilan sa kanila, dahil siya na lang ang gumagawa uli upang mapaayos ang kanilang trabaho. Kahit janitor siya, napapakiusapan din siyang bumili ng mga empleyado sa canteen at kahit sa labas ng opisina.

 

Bumilib ako sa kanya nang minsang marami sa mga tauhan niya ang hindi pumasok dahil sa malakas na ulan. Sinalo niya ang lahat ng mga gawain na lalong dumami dahil sa maya’t mayang pag-mop ng sahig sanhi ng ulan. Ni minsan ay hindi ko rin napansing siya ay umabsent.

 

Nang mapalipat ang Division namin sa Vernida building sa Makati, nabalitaan kong nagkasakit siya at muntik nang mamatay. Inopera naman daw at nakaraos. Subalit ang hindi ko alam ay kanser pala sa lalamunan ang naging sakit niya kaya kasama sa operasyon ay ang pagbutas ng lalamunan upang mapasakan ng instrumento na makakatulong sa kanyang pagsalita.

 

Nakita ko si mang Ompong uli nang masalubong ko siya sa Airport Road (Baclaran). Nang batiin ko siya, sumagot subalit sinabayan ng paghawak niya sa kanyang lalamunan at noon ko narinig ang boses na parang galing sa robot. Hindi malinaw ang mga sinabi niya subalit nang sumunod pang mga pagkikita namin ay nasanay na ako kaya naiintindihan ko na ang mga sinasabi niya.

 

Makalipas ang napakaraming taon, nagkita uli kami nang kumuha ako ng alokasyon kong libreng tiket sa PNB Building kung saan naroon ang Administrative Benefits office. Nagkagulatan kami, pero lalo akong nagulat dahil nalaman ko na kahit matagal nang hindi siya janitor ng Stellar na nabuwag na, “konektado” pa rin siya sa maraming empleyado ng PAL na patuloy na nagtitiwala sa kanya bilang “messenger” nila. Wala man siyang buwanang suweldo, ay nakakaraos pa rin siya sa inaabot ng mga nag-uutos sa kanya kaya araw-araw ay nagti-check siya sa kanila kung meron silang iuutos.

 

Ang napansin ko lang ay hindi na gaanong malinaw ang mga sinasabi niya at lalong humina ang “boses” dahil talagang walang akong maintindihan nang mag-usap kami. Kaya upang makuha ko ang tamang pangalan at kontak niya ay isinulat niya ang mga ito sa kapirasong papel. Nang nagtanung-tanong ako sa iba tungkol sa instrumento sa lalamunan, ang sabi sa akin, kailangan din daw palitan ito pagkalipas ng ilang taon. Ang hinala ko, hindi na napalitan ni mang Ompong ang ginagamit niya dahil sa kakapusan sa pera. Inisip ko na lang din na malamang ay idinadaan na lang sa pagsulat ang lahat ng instructions na binibigay ng mga nag-uutos sa kanya.

 

Ang pinakamahalagang nalaman at ikinatuwa ko ay ang tiwalang ibinibigay pa rin sa kanya makalipas ang mahigit tatlumpong taon ng mga dati at bago niyang mga kaibigan sa PAL… isang bagay na bihirang mangyari sa isang taong may kapansanan tulad ni mang Ompong. At ang pinakamatinding dapat tularan ay ang pagsisikap ni mang Ompong na kumita sa malinis na paraan sa kabila ng kanyang kapansanan.

 

Makokontak si Mang Ompong sa cellphone: 09196391930. Huwag lang sana siyang kausapin, at sa halip ay text lang ang gamitin sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa kanya. Ang batiin siya sa pamamagitan ng text ay malaking bagay na para malaman niyang may mga nakakaalala pa pala sa kanya. Kung may ibibigay kayong regalo sa kanya, mas lalong mabuti….

 

OMPONG

 

 

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.

 

 

“Work Hard in Your Youth”…a Wise Reminder from Manny Relova, PAL’s Hardworking “Salesman”

“Work Hard in Your Youth”…a Wise Reminder

From Manny Relova, PAL’s Hardworking “Salesman”

By Apolinario Villalobos

This blog is about a guy who propelled his way to success by working hard since his younger days. The name may not be familiar with other viewers, especially, those who were not connected with Philippine Airlines. What I would like to impart here, however, is his philosophy in life which is worthy of emulation, in the face of the prevailing attitude of today’s youth.

Manny Relova worked his way up the corporate ladder of Philippine Airlines which he joined after leaving his job at the Elizalde Publications, as Circulation Manager. The said company was known for their Evening News and Bulaklak Magazine. The job honed his expertise in operation and handling of people, a responsibility that he held as a young man and which became useful when he joined the country’s flag carrier.

In 1970, he joined the Marketing and Sales- International Department of Philippine Airlines which brought him to Sydney where he had a stint for two years, followed by a three-year assignment in Honululu, and one year in Bangkok. He was later recalled back to Manila to head the Sales Force, located at the S and L Building Extension Office, along Roxas Boulevard, which was considered as the “flagship” for sales of Philippine Airlines. The “S&L”, as what travel agents, corporate accounts and government offices, referred to, was so strategically located, being within the tourist belt, as well as the community of travel agents.

When Manny Relova set foot on “S&L”, he could have felt the opportunity offered by such location that he immediately embarked on the enhancement of the various services of the PAL offices at the said site. In the process, special desks were set up to serve the specific needs of the various segments of PAL’s clientele, through its “retailers” – the travel agents, as well as, the government agencies.

Aside from the regular domestic and international ticketing offices, other service outlets were Government Travel Ticket Office (GTTO), the desk for Middle East market, and, Special Services Unit (SSU) which was tasked with the computation of special fares that involved connecting flights with other international airlines. These “special sales desks” were the important sinew or muscle that made the Sales Force formidable, in the face of cutthroat competition from other foreign airlines that had the temerity of offering “bargain fares”, to undermine the effort of Philippine Airlines.

Discipline was instilled in the mind of the Sales Force, composed of young Account Officers who were trained to persuade even the most inflexible travel agents to allow their clients to savor the PAL hospitality, this despite the almost give-away fares offered by other airlines.  The exquisite PAL service that speaks of Filipino hospitality has always been the selling point of the “flagship” at S&L, and which stiff competitors and trying times failed to erode.

During the incumbency of Manny Relova, PAL enjoyed the “golden years” of international sales and marketing, such that, many thought that the office along Roxas Boulevard where the Sales Office was located, was the entire PAL itself. Those years brought to fore personalities who became synonymous with “PAL sales”, such as Rene Ocampo, Archie Lacson, Dave Lim, Danny Lim, Harry Inoferio, Elsie Enriquez, Noel Abad, Millie Braganza, Dichay Gonzales, Ruby Precila, Tesi Ona, Ginny Gotamco, Ging Ledesma, Lou Bengzon, Mona Pecson, and Jaime Lucas.

The legacy of hard work was passed on to Rene Ocampo when Manny Relova was assigned to San Francisco and London. The tradition of discipline was so instilled among the young Account Officers that it strengthened their salesmanship in the airline industry. A few years later, most of them have been promoted to higher positions such as managers and vice-presidents.

Hard work tempered with discipline can really do wonders, especially, if they are instilled at a young age….as it can steer dreams towards reality. This, however, is possible on the “leader of the pack”, whose diligence is beyond question, if one belongs to a group.

The TPC Mark of Ed Vergado (PAL Senior International Ticket Representative)

The “TPC” Mark of Ed Vergado

(PAL Senior International Ticket Representative)

By Apolinario Villalobos

“TPC” stands for Total Passenger Care, a trademark of PAL during its Golden Days under Roman Cruz, Jr. As a “total care”, even inquiring callers and walk-ins were given utmost attention, because they are already considered customers, though with “prospect” status. Most often, though, because of the care given, they eventually, become a full-pledge customer.

The mark of PAL’s excellent service, was again shown by Ed Vergado, a senior International Ticket Representative of Philippine Airlines assigned at the NAIA Terminal 2 ticket office. I witnessed how he offered his cellphone to a passenger, Arturo Albulario, who was in a quandary while trying to contact a friend who was supposed to meet him upon his arrival from Los Angeles.  He was taking a connecting flight to Cebu that morning and the meeting with his friend was very crucial, as time was running out.

With a smile that put Mr. Albulario at ease, Ed even offered to dial the number of the former’s friend for him. In just a few minutes, the friend who was finally contacted rushed inside the ticket office. Both were profuse in showing their gratitude to Ed. The passenger tried to show his apprehension by leaving a substantial amount to refund the consumed load for the call made, but which Ed vehemently refused. I witnessed the incident as I was inside the ticket office killing time while waiting for the arrival of a friend from Davao.

Ed began his airline career in Virac station (Catanduanes Island) as a ticket clerk, moving on to Laoag station (Ilocos Sur) with the same position. Recurrent trainings afforded him knowledge in other responsibilities such as ramp handling, counter handling (check-in), cargo handling, reservations, and manual computation of load (passenger, baggage and cargo). His expertise in the line was such that every time new stations were opened, he was among those assigned which happened when Busuanga station in Palawan was made operational to boost the tourism-related effort of the province.

With the onset of developments in the company, Ed was transferred to NAIA Terminal 2, to handle checking in of passengers for which he was well-prepared, thanks to his experience and trainings. Lately, he is now at the ticket office of the same terminal, but this time, preparing international tickets, as a Senior International Ticket Representative (Senior ITR), a supervisory position that he more than deserves.

The more than 30 years of service in PAL, made Ed a seasoned customer-oriented employee, and developed in him a sharp perception on how to make customers satisfied. He does not hesitate in sharing what he has gained with his new co-employees every time he has a chance, as what I had observed also that morning. As there was a lull in the influx of customers, Ed was entertaining questions and voluntarily sharing information about their responsibilities with the rest of the counter staff.

Philippine Airlines can encourage acts similar to what Ed did, by giving deserving employees due recognition through commendation. The emulation by other employees can create a chain reaction that can definitely add more life to the consistent excellent service of the company.

A Sweet Smile Spells a Difference in the Conduct of Business Transaction…Philippine Airlines employees still do it

A Sweet Smile Spells a Difference
In the Conduct of Business Transaction
…Philippine Airlines employees still do it
By Apolinario Villalobos

An adage says that one needs only to flex a few muscles to form a smile, unlike a frown that requires almost a thousand. Additionally, while the smile gives radiance to the face, a frown only casts a forlorn aura. And for any business, while a smile, especially, one that is sweet serves as a magnet that attracts good luck and customers, a frown drives them away.

It is a fact that some people are not in the habit of smiling, as if ill- feeling is their shadow. But this can be developed even just for the sake of business transaction. Employers spend big sum to “develop” the habit of smiling for their staff as part of their training in Values, Attitude, and Personality development.

But some people are lucky to be born with the smile habit. These are the people who others say are with the “smiling voice”, too. I have encountered these smiley gals when I visited PAL Head Office at the PNB Building. The first was Galilee “Gal” Gavino, an International Ticketing Representative who at the time was attending to a couple’s travel requirements. I got engrossed on how she graciously went through the transaction, complete with a sweet smile, emphasized by her dimples. I was practically entertained by the way she handled her customers. There was no hurry in the way she explained everything that went with the tickets being transacted, from restrictions to their limitations.

After a considerable time spent at the ticket office for my own requirement, I went back to the Benefits Office for another transaction for which I had to go to the Cashier’s Section for certain payments that had to be made. On the way, I received a call through my cellphone about a not- so-encouraging news which affected my mood. When I entered the Cashier’s Section I was greeted with a very warmly said, “good morning, sir”…”may I help you?”. It came from a lady who was all smiles. She practically vanished my anxieties! Her PAL ID says she was Geraldine Anavie Domingo. Her supervisor, Ms. Evangeline Cueto was likewise smiling, as she stood behind the cashiers, ready to offer help in case of any problem. In less than five minutes, our transaction was concluded!

Experiencing the sweet smile of the two ladies, Ms. Gavino and Ms. Domingo, made me recall the smile campaign many years back, of Philippine Airlines along with its Total Passenger Care Program. They really boosted the sales campaign of the country’s flag carrier. The airline had no domestic competitor due to the “one airline” policy at the time and the Philippine skies was so protected by the government, yet, Philippine Airlines felt the need to steadily improve its image. Such energetic attitude put the Philippine Airlines on the top echelon of the airline industry during those years….to which the pioneer employees always look back every time they reminisce how they spent some of the best years of their life.

The “tapok-tapok” sa Davao 2015 (02 February 2015)

The Tapok-tapok sa Davao 2015 ( 02February 2015)
By Apolinario Villalobos

After three absences from the reunions, I finally made it when it was scheduled at daytime. I was having second thoughts about attending until I took a flight to Davao six days before the event. Of all people, Tita Manabat was my seatmate on the flight! Because of long absence of contact, we had an animated conversation about the last reunion that I attended held at the North Palm Hotel and Garden in Lanang. She resolutely reminded me about the February 2 “tapok” at the residence of Boy Jolampong.

Being excited, I was the first to arrive at the venue, exactly at 1:20 PM, although the schedule was at 2PM. The comfortable venue was the family’s gym on the second floor. The humble host, Boy Jolampong was assisted by his mestiza and pretty wife, Beth and daughter. As if the Almighty was happy about the eventful day’s “tapok”, it was blessed with intermittent drizzle.

Before 3PM, the Mindanao PALers who filled the gym were James Hannen, Deo Escarilla who came with his wife Vilma, Art Balaga, Tita Manabat, Bernie Fernandez, Delfin and Minda Talattad, Horace Abear, Vic Ruperto, Nonoy Banzuelo, Sonny Cruz, Jun Dizon, Joe Jimenez, and Amading Solistrino. Some retirees who initially confirmed their coming and really tried their best to attend but failed due to unavoidable circumstances were Atty. Doming Duerme who got stranded at M’lang, Bong Velasco, Punay and Phraim Fernandez, as well as, Ludy Bagares and Archie Batu who were both on duty at the airport. As expected, the stars of the show because of their jokes were Horace Abear, Sonny Cruz, Art Balaga and Deo Escarilla.

Incindentally, the reunion was made more significant because of the birthday of the two members – Ding Talattad (February 1) and the host, Boy Jolampong, though belated (January 26).

The PALers, as usual are thankful to the selfless effort of Deo Escarilla in coordinating among the members and as always, too, the spirit behind the reunion events. It has been his advocacy aside from being an active text evangelist. He is ably supported literally, by his pretty and ever smiling wife Vilma who also acts as the photographer.

(Note: “tapok-tapok” is the Visayan word for “get together” or “reunion”)