Angelica Carla, a registered nurse, never thought she’d build a career as a flight attendant.
She’s achieved what many young girls can only dream of. Her flying career saw her fly with three airlines.
I had a online chat with Angelica. Here’s what she thinks of flying so far and why she returned home to fly for her country flag carrier.
Nothing Beats Being A Flight Attendant For My Flag Carrier
How many years have you been flying?
Almost 7 years. I started at Cebu Pacific from December 2010 to December 2011. Then Qatar Airways in January 2012 – October 2014. Finally, Philippine Airlines in October 2014 to present. Oh, I just realized; I didn’t have any breaks.
Oh Yes. No rest periods.
Before that I was a nurse.
Really? For how long?
Almost 2 years from early 2009 to December 2010. I totally had no rests in between!
Why did you leave a career in nursing and become an FA? Did you want to be one as a child?
The real plan was to be a nurse in the US. Because of the recession in the US back then, I found it difficult to find a career there despite passing the California boards. I got stressed.
My boyfriend’s Mom was a senior flight attendant for Philippine Airlines. I was curious of her work and coincidentally Cebu Pacific had an open day. I applied and got in that very same day. I still couldn’t believe I was now a cabin crew.
Why did you move to the Middle East?
I never expected to fall in love with flying but I did. Another opportunity arrived when Qatar Airways was hiring. I wanted my career to grow and applying for an international airline would do the trick. So again, I tried. Luckily, I was chosen.
How did you find it in the Middle East?
Working for Qatar Airways had its up and downs but overall it was an amazing experience. Being a very strict airline, they expected a lot from you but only because they wanted the best for their customers. Despite everything, they did reward you by letting you stay in some of the top hotels in cities around the world. They also offer you a fully furnished flat in Doha with all your utility bills paid for. What more could I have asked for? I got spoiled.
Having said that being away from home all the time took its toll. All those nice things couldn’t fill the void of being away from my loved ones.
How did you cope with loneliness and homesickness?
Skype, Viber, or any form of communication with my family and friends. The first few months are the hardest and having a support system is the most important.
Any words of encouragement to the young boys and girls who are about to start flying abroad?
I always tell them to pursue it. If you were given that chance to experience the things I’ve seen and done, go for it. You’ll learn and grow a lot; not to mention have awesome stories to tell.
What was your favorite destination?
Why Barcelona? Simple. Weather, food, shopping, people… etc. All just amazing!
What was the most exciting thing you’ve ever done in your travels?
I got lost in Paris. I went out alone to see the Eiffel Tower. I asked for directions but only a few people spoke English. I got scared. Finally when I saw Eiffel Tower, I just cried because everything turned out to be worth it.
Now that you’re with Philippine Airlines. How do you feel flying for your country’s airline? Flying for your flag?
I feel proud serving my countrymen. They’re the most hardworking people I know. You see them all over the world trying to make a living. Everyone would agree that they are the nicest people to deal with.
The best part of working here is that at the end of a hard day of work I go home. I see my loved ones any time I want. Sleeping in my own bed gives me enough energy to do it all over again.
How long do you think you will continue to fly?
I enjoy what I do; the atmosphere, the people, visiting new places. I’m optimistic that Philippine Airlines will grow and compete with the top airlines. I want to be there when that time comes.
In the end, was it worth leaving a ground career as a nurse and become a flight attendant?
We will always figure out what our calling is whether at the start of our career or somewhere in between. What’s important is you should fight that uphill battle and do what you dream of doing. Being happy at work is key.
Any last words for the girls who are looking up to you right now?
I find it surprising if people even do. Whatever I did, they can do better. All it takes is a little work, dedication and faith. Be the person you admire.
[Featured crew: Angelica]