TWO transwomen recently made Philippine history as they officially became part of the cabin crew of airline company Cebu Pacific.
Jess Labares and Mikee Sicat Vitug both shared the news in separate Facebook posts, as they expressed their gratitude to Cebu Pacific and CebGo for accepting them, as well as sharing the struggles they experienced during their two-month training period.
Labares said it was never her childhood dream to become a flight attendant, adding the opportunity presented itself as a personal challenge for her.
“After 57 days, I passed the most difficult training I’ve ever had in my entire life. This job may seem glamorous to look at, but what people don’t really see are the battles, both personal and professional, that we face. It has never been about looking pretty, but our passengers’ comfort and, most importantly, their safety,” she wrote.
She said she hopes that her role would inspire not only the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) community, but also those who are determined to fulfill their dreams in life.
Labares, who hails from Ormoc City, Leyte, studied Physical Therapy at Cebu Doctors’ University and was crowned Queen Philippines Universe 2019.
Vitug, on the other hand, said she felt honored and humbled to be one of the first transwomen flight attendants in the Philippines, adding she is grateful for the rare opportunity given to her and Labares by Cebu Pacific and CebGo.
She said it was just a random idea for her to apply as a flight attendant and that it was her partner who encouraged her to try applying as one.
Vitug also admitted that she did not expect the two-month training to be grueling.
She said they had to reach a passing score of at least 90 to 95 percent during exams, memorize verbatim from two thick manuals, undergo survival swimming lessons and fire and smoke drills, and learn how to be graceful at excellent customer service.
“Kaya masasabi ko hindi pala talaga madali ang maging flight attendant dahil nakasalalay sa mga cabin crew ang saftey ng lahat ng passengers,” she wrote.
(The job of a flight attendant is not easy because the safety of the passengers depends on the cabin crew.)
Vitug is also a licensed pharmacist who studied BS Pharmacy at Centro Escolar University and was a former Pharmacy intern at East Avenue Medical Center. (SunStar Philippines)