I never thought that I would be able to travel as much as I already have.
You see, I grew up in Cebu City in the heart of the Visayas region which is approximately an hour away from Metro Manila by plane. Though it is the second most significant city in the Philippines, it is yet quite provincial in many aspects. Including my frame of mind (at that time anyway).
I grew up with my grandmother in a small house in Sindulan Street in Barangay Mabolo that we rented for seven hundred pesos. She has been paying that amount since before I was born (April 11, 1982) up until the day that we left the summer of 1997. Quite a bargain I should say! My grandmother was a very stingy woman. Looking back at that time, I now understand why. We just never really had extra money, we just had enough to be comfortable.
My grandmother and grandfather had 7 children. At that time, I had an aunt and two uncles living in Cebu, one in Iloilo, my mom , an aunt and an uncle lived in Manila.
While my schoolmates were spending their summers in The States or in Europe (places totally alien to me), I spent mine in Manila. I must have been around 10 or 11 years old when My Aunt Gyn (the first child of my grandmother from her first husband) left for the United States and about the same time, my Uncle Jerry also left to work in Japan. They were the very first among my family to travel to places I have only heard of!
Their pictures fueled my imagination for years.
I must have been around five or six years old when I first rode on an airplane ALONE. I couldn’t recall who would send me to the airport and check me in at the Mactan Cebu International Airport but, I do remember after landing at the old Manila Domestic Airport I would be waiting in my assigned seat inside the airplane until my Aunt Mela would arrive and wait for me at the bottom of the stairs. It was through this early experience in my life I knew I wanted to travel. I even told my family that I wanted to be a Flight Attendant when I grew up.
Then I found out that there were people called Pilots. After High School I remember telling my mom that I wanted to take up Aeronautics so that I could become one, she said, “Sure.” BUT she’ll enroll me through the Philippine Air Force. I told her to forget it about it! This was the time that everyone in my family, including my extended family wanted to “straighten up” a gay guy like me. I’ve been through enough military training to know I wouldn’t want to go through it for Four Years.
I ended up taking Fine Arts.
Fast forward to a few years later, I was a semester shy of graduating when I started applying as a Cabin Crew for Qatar Airways and Emirates Airlines. My application was accepted but they required me to fly to Manila for the initial screening process. So I flew in. Went through all of the exams, the interviews et cetera, but I didn’t get it. About the same time Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air were also hiring for Cabin Crew Members. I ended up staying in Manila for a month for the application process. Yes, I went through every single interview and physical exam. No, I didn’t get the job.
That was a bummer.
Now, I’m 29 years old. I am currently a Makeup Artist for TV, Commercials, Weddings… the whole shebang! And I have to say, to my surprise, my job enables me to travel for business and pleasure.
As I have stated earlier, I never thought that I would be able to travel as much as I already have. I am extremely grateful that I am able to do so. It is because of this I would like to share through my eyes what the world has shown me. And I hope in doing so, I can inspire those who seek to see the world.