You’re stronger than your circumstances. Those who rise to life’s challenges never give up. They boldly face the future.
These are the people that will be remembered, and their story will be a source of hope and inspiration for many.
One such person is Limuel Hayag Vilela and this is his story.
From Houseboy To Flight Attendant
Limuel’s story starts back in his home town of Pagbilao in the Philippines. When he was just six years old, his mother and father had to let go of him and his three other siblings.
Consequently, he was sent to different homes and had to live as a “katulong”, or a houseboy.
For his duties as a houseboy, the family he was staying with sent him to school. When a family could no longer support his education, Limuel moved to another home also as a houseboy.
But from a very young age, Limuel valued education. He was convinced that an education was his only ticket to an independent life.
“I didn’t have parents, but I pursued my studies. If a family could not send me to school, I moved to another family that could so I can survive and study.”
It didn’t get any easier for Limuel during highschool. This time, the family he was staying with treated him differently.
“I ate using a different plate, drank from a different cup, and I had to work first before I could study. Oftentimes, I felt rejected. But I continued to study even though I was tired all the time.”
It was the hardest stage of his young life. But instead of turning to crime and drug addiction, Limuel persisted on getting an education.
“I remember in one house, I had to sleep outside where the dogs slept during a storm so I could keep watch of the construction material for the house. Life was difficult, but I focused on my studies. I promised to myself to create a better life for me and for others when I finish college. So I persisted.”
His persistence led him to becoming the student president at his university, and was awarded Most Outstanding Leader.
He received scholarships for his leadership which allowed him to stop working so he can focus on his education.
For additional income, he tutored his classmates in exchange for lunch or dinner.
His hard work and persistence paid off. Limuel graduated Magna Cum Laude.
After graduation, Limuel worked for KFC in the Philippines. Then he moved to the United Kingdom and Canada where he also worked at KFC but this time he held management positions.
Limuel always dreamed of being a flight attendant and constantly felt the sky was calling him.
His dream was fulfilled when he got his wings for Westjet Encore of Westjet Airlines LTD. He now plans to pursue a career in aviation.
“When I was young, I always stared at the sky, dreaming that one day I would fly. And now here I am, from a Temporary Foreign Worker to a flight attendant.”
Limuel continues to inspire people. H’s a dedicated public servant.
Despite being thousands of miles away from his home town in the Philippines, he continues to encourage Filipinos to keep going.
“I want to tell my story to the all the Filipinos because I want to give back my experience to them. I want them to be strong in mind and heart. I came from being the house help to becoming a Flight Attendant. If I can do it, they can as well.”
You have your own challenges in life no doubt. Don’t give up but live up and inspire!
[Featured crew: Limuel, posted with permission]