My dad’s 50 years of flying

 

 

It’s going to be a huge day. My dad is celebrating his 50th anniversary at the Philippine Air Force Flying School in Fernando Air Base, Lipa, Batangas.

A milestone. The members of the Class of 1962 will be there with their families – all of us proud and honouring our dads who’ve had very interesting flying careers. But of course in my eyes, I will only be seeing my dad’s face marching among the many graduates of the Air Force. He is our hero, our star, our Superman. He flew. And he had superpowers.

Through the fifty years of his being a military pilot, he survived it not only with flying colours but with dignity and honour. I am proud to say that my dad is an honest man. I feel like I have to say it because this is a paragraph with the word “military” in it.

I will be emotional tomorrow. That’s a given. I’m a daddy’s girl.

But that’s not the only reason there will be tears. I am reminded of the dark period when my dad was a victim of a harsh system and an unfair judgement. His is a story you would never have heard about because his name wasn’t big enough to be of public interest. (Except now, his name is in Carlos Celdran’s Livin’ La Vida Imelda). My dad’s case wasn’t a scandal. It was an effect of 1986 but it wasn’t about politics. It was simply an administrative fiasco that had a huge effect in our lives. Like, we lost our country overnight. My dad lost his rank at the peak of his career. And from what I saw, he lost the sparkle in his eyes.

But my dad’s strength of character was unwavering. During the many years of feeling exiled in a foreign land, all he wanted was to go home and finish serving his country. He fought for his rights. It was complicated. A few people helped. In 1997, he accomplished his task. And I was beside him though the journey. He got what he wanted and deserved – his clean name with a clean conscience and even cleaner, empty pockets.

My dad officially retired from the Air Force with the rank of full Colonel with a humble plot of land he paid off during his career. No luxury vehicles. No mansion. Like I said… honest. And happy.

 

Dad, Air Force
In the early days of his active service in the military, my dad was a rescue pilot.

 

Dad, Air Force
He then flew as a helicopter pilot assigned to President Diosdado Macapagal. And he eventually stayed on in the presidential wing as helicopter pilot of President Ferdinand Marcos from the 60’s to 1983.

 

Dad, Air Force
Here’s one of his “superhero” photos taken in a rural area. I love old photographs.

 

Dad, Air Force
Another photo from the 1960’s. His military career was focused on flying helicopters. At one point he was the comptroller of 700th Special Mission Wing (Presidential). It was the 1970’s then, and they were acquiring many new aircrafts. Very exciting times for the young pilots.

 

My dad in a helicopter used in Korean War
This is the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw. It is now in the PAF Museum near Resorts World.

 

Presidential Pilots with IRM & FM in Baguio
The presidential pilots with First Lady Imelda Marcos and President Marcos.

 

First Lady inaugurating the Puma (helicopter)
This was in the early 80’s. First Lady Imelda Marcos inaugurating the new PUMA helicopter.

 

My dad and Sammy Davis Jr
Dad got to fly heads of states and royalty (seriously). And other famous visitors like Sammy Davis Jr. In the background, Elvira Manahan.

 

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Dad as a civilian pilot in Canada.

 

Dad, Air Force
This photo brings us back to 1962, on the day when a young man from Quezon Province achieved his childhood dream of becoming a pilot. He did that… and more.

 

Some of the dads didn’t make it out of the Air Force. Mine did.

And he got the sparkle back in his eyes.

That’s a big gift. Thank you God.

 

 

Little champions

 

 

Crazy-amazing things are happening to me.

At the same time it’s beginning to feel like real work. In a good way. But I still insist on my non-negotiables – being there with the kids during their chosen activities. I just want to be around them. Yesterday though, I had to tape Cocktales. So Sophia had a substitute take her to voice and theatre. I mothered via remote-control and iPhone. It wasn’t so bad. I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

In between the shoot and a work-related event, I had a couple of hours to kill. So I went home (for just half an hour) and hugged the three rabbits. Then I went to the launch of Samsung Smart TV. There I realized that I am not the only mother struggling with balancing. In my table were very successful women all aiming for the same things I am… work-life balance. There was even a top executive dad who admitted he needed lots of time with his kids. It was a nice feeling.

 

Needed hugs so I went home and got 3 doses. Then back to work. #motherhood
In between work, I went home and got 3 doses of the best hugs in the world.

 

Baby #ballet will still be part of my life for the next 3 years. Cute.
We were late during the first day of Lily’s ballet class. I vow to be a bit more organized.

 

Today is going to be one of those days again. Lily’s ballet lessons, admin stuff for school, first day of delivery of Daphne Furniture in its new home. I’m already planning the next round of summer activities. We’re doing swimming and ice skating. These activities are as much a commitment by the parents as it is by the child. I am amazed at parents who have committed their kids to sports or arts – to the extent that their kids excel and progress. It is not easy making it to practice and sessions on time.

To all parents, not just moms, I found this video via my sister Hanni who also struggles with making breakfast, sending her boys to Tae Kwon Do and making it to the GO Train to get downtown in time for work. To my Mom and Dad who gave me all the lessons and events I wanted to do growing up – ballet, tennis, art, painting, swimming, yearbook camp – plus my brother and sisters’ activities – rowing, camping, trumpet, violin, soccer, tennis. Even though none of us ended up excelling in any of these fields, we learned the greatest lessons. That of giving our own kids the confidence to try and learn new things and hopefully find their own passions.

Watch this –

 

 

 

Titanic 100 years ago today

 

 

My 9-year old daughter Sophia woke me up this morning and reminded me that today was the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking. She has read every Titanic fact book we’ve found and remains fascinated with every single detail about the ship. I wish we could bring them to Singapore to see the Titanic exhibit this summer, but that’s not going to happen. Last night, at our dinner party my friend Raymond Lee, a film maker, reminded me to watch James Cameron’s Titanic again. Despite the cheese factor, it remains one of my favourite films. I want to see it in 3D.

Tonight, HISTORY™ premiers its documentary, TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED at 8pm. Here’s the press release. (Gentle reminder that also tonight at 9:30pm, my new show Cocktales airs on AksyonTV. Hope you can catch that too.)

 

Titanic Art Card

 

As the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking approaches, a team of scientists, engineers, archaeologists and imaging experts have joined forces to answer one of the most haunting questions surrounding the legendary disaster: Just how did the “unsinkable” ship break apart and plunge into the icy waters of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912?

TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED, premiering Sunday, April 15 at 8pm on HISTORY, will document this most recent mission, unveiling astonishing pieces of never-before-seen wreckage and presenting the expedition’s unexpected findings as well as definitive answers.

 

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In 2010, HISTORY joined the world’s top underwater experts in this most recent expedition to the wreck site, one that completed the most thorough and exhaustive study of the wreck ever made. The undertaking, which included the leadership participation of RMS Titanic, Inc., the salvor in possession of the wreck site, yielded unprecedented new discoveries and the first comprehensive map of Titanic’s watery grave – the entire fifteen square-mile patch of ocean floor where Titanic came to rest – helping to solve the century-old puzzle of what went wrong and to determine who or what was responsible.

 

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TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED tells the exclusive story of this expedition. In addition to the mapping of the entire site, the special will also reveal for the first time the complete picture of the breakup and sinking by use of a virtual hangar. Applying the techniques of a space shuttle or aircraft accident investigation (mapping the site and reassembling the pieces in a hangar), the team of experts will create a virtual holographic reconstruction of the wreck site in a hangar. No other anniversary show has the exclusive story of this unique expedition and its startling revelations.

 

In the twenty-five years since the wreck was located, no one has ever explored and mapped the entire site – none has had all the keys to understanding what could have truly happened on that fateful night – as nearly half the area remained unseen and unknown, and significant portions of the ship, which could reveal how it broke, were missing. Now, after 100 years, every inch of the entire site is finally known, and every piece of the ship documented exactly where it landed on the ocean floor a century ago.

 

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In TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED, viewers see newly discovered pieces of the ship for the first time, follow the expedition’s new finds, and will come to learn the definitive story of how the ship broke apart. The event special will answer the biggest questions about Titanic: did she have a fatal flaw, and if so, who or what was responsible? By the end of TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED viewers will finally know the whole story, finally laying the Titanic to rest.

 

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While other anniversary programs tout best-guess theories and land-based speculation, TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED presents new findings based on real-world hard evidence gathered on-site to deconstruct the disaster and show exactly how the ship broke apart. From this analysis, we’ll find out who or what was at fault and who or what has been blamed unfairly.

 

This will be the definitive story of the tragic sinking of Titanic.

 

 

 

TITANIC: MYSTERY SOLVED will premiere April 15, 8pm on HISTORY
(SkyCable Ch 25; Cablelink Ch44; Dream Ch 30; Destiny Cable Ch 57)

Repeat airings:
16 April (Mon): 1am, 9am, 8pm
17 April (Tues): 2pm, 11pm
18 April (Wed): 7pm
20 April (Fri): 10pm
21 April (Sat): 2pm
23 April (Mon): 2pm
28 April (Sat): 7pm
29 April (Sun): 3am, 10am

 

 

My first episode of Cocktales

 

 

Here are some snippets from my shoot last week.

 

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The show is named after Vic Agustin’s long running column, Cocktales, which can now be found in the Interaksyon portal.  This is Cita Revilla’s first talk show, though she may look very familiar to many. Cita comes from the famous and beautiful family of the Revilla sisters.

 

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My first episode with Vic and Cita. I wore K & Company and the necklace I made for myself (rock crystal and white gold).

 

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We had BIR Commissioner Kim Henares. It’s tax time!

 

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I wore the dress Hindy Tantoco made for me last year when I went to the LV opening. I wore my own jewelry.

 

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These diva lights are the best.

 

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They give this twinkly ring-effect around the eyes.

 

Hope you have a good day today!