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Travel Back to the FUTURE


Paris. First Class. International. These words wouldnt stop echoing in my head. If theres a last song syndrome, this must be a last movie line syndrome. I was just updating my blog and surfing the net for interesting places in the country when something caught my attention, clicked it, and clicked several more until finally it took me to the movies webpage. You know how the highly sophisticated internet works nowadays something flashes out of nowhere and the next thing you know, youre viewing a certain website. So right there at the movies page was View From The Top. Its about a small-town woman whos trying to achieve her goal of becoming a flight attendant. I remembered the time my college buddies and I watched this and made it as an inspiration to strive to be a flight stewardess and never settle for less. Feeling a sense of nostalgia, I decided to watch it Halfway through, I heard my stomach complaining. So I reached for my phone and dialed Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut delivery, how may I help you? said the voice on the other line. Something suddenly hit me causing me to ask Whos your Manager?, instead of saying what my order was. Umm ANNA MARIE MATTA, Maam, the confused guy

answered. Why, of course! I knew it! I wasnt that surprised. But what are the odds that shes the manager of this fastfood restaurant near my place! The last time I checked she owns a Comedy Bar called Freakin Funny Folks (F.F.F.) in the states. I told the guy I wanted my Bacon Cheeseburger Supreme Pizza in a jiffy, without any reaction whatsoever to what he just said. In no time I was chewing on the pizza and the movie ended. A couple of thoughts sprang to my mind. One such thought: Could my friends and other batch mates be flying on big-time airlines and enjoying the benefits of being flight attendants? I excitedly typed British Airways and boom, I was taken aback seeing ___________, the BA ____________, stewardess _____________ elegantly donning

uniform. My fingers wouldnt stop keying in famous airlines. I had no luck seeing anyone familiar in a few. But when I keyed in Finnair I thought I saw a name that rang a bell. I directed the mouse to the hyperlink with the title Captain written before his name, one click away and a surreal picture of _____________ loomed into view. Oh boy, of course its him! A pilot?! Very lucrative! As if I havent seen enough overwhelming achievements of my batch

mates, I moved on to the airlines of the Philippines. I learned that DIANNE PEREZ is the President and CEO of Airphil Express, a low-cost carrier. And ALYZZA MARIE ATUTUBO is now known all over the world for popularizing the F.A dance with free how-to-apply-make-up lessons on Philippine Airlines. I didnt know exactly how to react. I was so beyond happy for the both of them that I was staring wide-eyed at the screen with a big smile on my face. I was aware that I looked weird. I began to get bleary-eyed. I then realized Ive been in front of my laptop for hours. I just arrived yesterday from Sweden because Im done writing articles for the 50th issue of Globe Trekker magazine which is published by my own company Globe Trekker Publications and I opted to go back to my country to see if theres anything new that I could include in my high-end magazine. I shook the grogginess off, stood, stretched and flopped down to the nearest sofa bed and away from the computer. To my surprise, the TV was turned on without warning. I figured I sat on the remote that pressed the power button. I deliberately ignored it as I was about to go to dreamland DOT (Department of Tourism) Secretary _______________

and Tourism Ambassadress _______________ in cooperation with MTV, will launch a series of campaign aired through MTV commercials worldwide to promote various Philippine tourism spots. Locally. Wait, what? I opened my eyes and focused them on the two blurry images on TV. I sat up straight, rubbed my eyes and indeed, it was them, my former mates. The news reporter continued, There will also be a Travel Mart and other small events under the stewardship of DOT Secretary with the help of PCVC Organizing Secretary JANICE PEARL CURIOSO. But the much-awaited and the climax of this campaign is the URockapelago which shall be graced by the world-renowned Banda Kawayan starring MARJORIE PAJARES! I have to see this, I said to myself. I wouldnt miss it for the world. Instantly energized, I took my bag and went out. I thought Id take a detour from my routine life without the help of my car. I strolled around, not sure of where Im heading. Right now Im in Intramuros. As I was walking I bumped into HARRIS FLORES. Hes with a bunch of Japanese tourists. I waited until he reminded his clients about the call time. Jia mata. he barked. As if on cue, I approached him and he did the same. Hey Harris! Whats up? I began.

And the conversation went on. We gathered information from each other. From him I found out that ________________ is the Manager of Imaginative Traveller, one of the leading tour operators in Asia. I shared that I was able to see our other mates on one of my trips on board Norwegian Epic. _________________ is the Chief Steward of the cruise ship. We just had a quick chat back then because hes always on-demand but he still took a little time off just to introduce me to the Cruise Line Director who happened to be ________________, as though weve never met before. At dinner Ive had the privilege to sit, eat and chat with Captain _______________. Suh-weet! Harris cut in. Indeedy. I have more to tell. Here goes I was zealous at the moment cause once I start story-telling I feel like I cant stop. Plus, my experience in Norwegian Epic really was very memorable and interesting that I wrote about my whole journey and published it. So I continued telling this professional tour guide right beside me about it. In one of the port-of-calls in the Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean to be exact one of the most beguiling destinations I aimed at Charlotte Amalie to shop. I went inside this fashion boutique called The Joys of Beauty and guess who welcomed me? It was JOANNA JOY CARGADO.

Uh-huh, she owns the shop. On the way out I saw a stand from the corner of my eye. I came closer and grabbed a magazine with Hotel 1829 on the cover. Joanna said ________________ works there as a front desk receptionist. Fifteen minutes have passed and the Japanese tourists started appearing. Atsui desu ne? Harris said to them. Thats the hint that Ive narrated too much. Harris and I bade our goodbyes and we went our separate ways. This time I was sure where I was heading. PUP Tourism Department. Maybe my dear professors could suggest an interesting topic for the 51st issue of Globe Trekker. I took a jeepney and we passed by lots of billboards. On one billboard surmounting a building, was _______________, a car rental sales representative of Avis Manila Philippines. On another, posing pretty was ________________ touting both American Airlines because shes an Airline Lounge Receptionist and designer bags because shes a part-time model in the country. Others were, well, more Philippine celebrities that I know nothing of, personally. The jeepney came to a stop right in front of the MiniStop. Apparently Ive reached the College of Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Management my good ol college! I walked

slowly wanting more than ever to observe if there are any changes. Not much of a change, I concluded. I marched through the gate and directed to the Tourism Department Faculty, passed the CTHRM Travel & Tours. Budang! Two familiar voices sang in chorus. I jerked at the name Budang. Its been quite a while since Ive been called that and hearing it for the first time in a long time made me cringe. Oh yes, I sure saw this coming. ANN MARGARETTE Ette MATIMTIM, the tourism quiz bee master, is a parttime professor and a full-time travel agent in her very own Lady Marga Travel & Tours. Shes also the most soughtout Tourism Quiz bee Mentor in Asia, and her expertise reaches the other 6 continents. Likewise, JENINE ALYSSA CRUZ stayed after graduation to teach major subjects such as Tourism Planning & Development and Tourism Entrepreneurship. After some time, she felt a strong urge to follow a particular career in the industry and that is as a District Sales Manager at NAIA. And the professors? Never lovelier! Its as if theyre growing backwards; such young and pretty faces. For a moment I thought they wouldnt recognize me but when I heard the word Budang from them, I took it they do remember me. I

had a heart-to-heart with Prof. Yolanda Montances, Prof. Regina Zuniga, Prof. Luzviminda Tugade, Prof. Lizbette Vergara, Prof. Gay Teopengco, Ette and Jen For real? Youre a travel writer? Ette asked in astonishment. Yeah, but I think a traveler who writes rather than a writer who travels best suits me. Braa-vo!, teased Prof. Montances. The convo seemed to last forever. They filled me in with details about our comrades back then. What? ALICE CANCEL married the pilot of Aerolineas Argentinas? I wasnt the least surprised; it was just something to say. _________________ is a Limousine Dispatcher in Las Vegas. From there, a few more great news about our Vegas-based friends sprouted: ________________ works as a bartender at Bar Vdara, _________________ is a dealer at Hard Rock Casino, _________________ is a Marketing Host (Korean Speaking) at MGM Grand, and MCPAUL HERMOSO is a famous Theatre Manager and choreographer of Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas. McPauls shows are always so grand because hes assisted by entertainers _________________, _________________, and _________________. *Tap! Tap!* said the noise from the glass window. I shifted in my seat and saw a student. Jen rose and moved towards

the agency area. As soon as they finished their transaction, I started, Wheres the tour gonna --? Disneyland! she answered quickly. Now I know they finally built a Disneyland here in the Philippines because I heard about the news back in Paris, but what I didnt know was that _________________ owns it. I was bowled over when they all told me that. From afar I caught sight of brochures. I thought Id take a look and explore the agency I always stayed at. I flipped the brochure open and what I saw thrilled me. It was a picture of the 5-star Bellaroca Resorts in Marinduque and next to it is JANELL ALVAREZ, the Manager and owner. Wow! was all I could blurt out. What happened next was too many to mention. We did a lot of catching up; laughed and even cried a bit. I did not bother to ask my professors for any suggestions for my magazine because what we talked about is already helpful information. I was already home when it occurred to me that I forgot to invite them to watch URockapelago which is two days from now I just slept it off. I was deprived of energy but my heart is completely filled with liveliness and anyway.zZzzzzzZZZzzzz.

When I woke up, I was in the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Live soothing music filled the theatre Did I just skip yesterday??? This is peculiar. Somethings going on. I turned my head to the right and seating right next to me is Ette, next to her is Dianne and Nice. I turned my head to the left and there was Janell, Anna, Alice, Joy, Alyz and Joret. In front of us are the professors. I looked around and in a sea of people I spotted my other classmates and batch mates. Urockapelago is on! And right there on stage is Banda Kawayan! I couldnt contain myself so I cried. This is bliss I had no idea theyd be here. I thought theyre all abroad. But theyre here! We enjoyed the best concert ever We all hugged, laughed, cried, and reminisced Paris. First Class. International. Yes, not all of us became flight attendants. But at least were all very successful in our careers and were all happy. Thats what matters Right now I and my friends are flying to Paris, on a First Class, very International. In our hands lay a magazine, a special edition of Globe Trekker that Ive written and published: Travel Back to the Future.