Filipina cabin crew in Dubai spreads wings for family in the Philippines

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Flight attendants by nature have a genuine concern for others. It may be because of the nature of work, but they always have the biggest concern. Before embarking as an Economy Supervisor Cabin Crew for flydubai, Cheneil Jordana Monreal has already been responsible for the comfort, safety, and welfare of her family members since she is the eldest daughter in the family. 

Monreal can still vividly recall 10 years ago when she was hired by the government-owned budget airline as a cabin crew. “It has been almost 10 wonderful years of working in this company that I consider my second home in the UAE,” she added. 

Before going to Dubai, she was part of a dance group in the Philippines that aims to inspire and spread the love for the Philippines through traditional art forms. 

Get to know more about the economy supervisor cabin crew through our exclusive interview with her: 

Tell us more about yourself.

I was employed by flydubai two months after I first came to the UAE on August 12, 2010, which also happened to be the first day of Ramadan that year. 

For the past 18 years, I have also been a dancer of the Kaloob Philippine Music and Dance Ministry. We are devoted to preserving and spreading awareness of the Philippine culture through traditional music and dance. We’ve performed in various stages in the Philippines and have also represented the country in international cultural festivals abroad. 

Our group has also been holding Philippine music and dance seminars and workshops for different individuals and groups. It is our goal to inspire and spread the love for our country through our traditional art forms. 

What is the main reason why left the Philippines for Dubai? 

Rough times that seemed to be unending. As the eldest daughter among the five siblings, I knew I had to step up my game to help my family, especially with our finances. At that time, my four siblings were still studying, and employment back home with a salary that could sustain the expenses of a big family was something I couldn’t find. I considered going abroad in the hopes that I will be able to help my parents in moving our family forward financially. 

What do you enjoy about working as an economy supervisor cabin crew? 

I get to see the world for free. I have been to places that I thought I’d only visit in my dreams. I get to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. I even get to eat food from various cuisines from around the world! There are so many learnings to be had and many new things to discover. Flying has made me a citizen of the world and it makes me a happy person, a wise individual, a grateful soul. 

Before getting on board with one of the biggest airline companies in the UAE, what were the obstacles you have faced? 

Being away from my family, especially during the times when I knew they needed my presence the most. One particular time would be my father’s battle with a sickness that lasted for two years. I forced myself to work harder, I depleted my savings, sold all my properties, got buried deep in debt – all to keep fighting for my father’s life. 

Right now, I am still in the middle of trying to crawl out of my financial struggles. But what I’ve learned so much in this phase of my life is how to keep trusting the Lord that He will see me through – something my father and my mother instilled in me since I was young. 

What is your plan after your cabin crew life? 

I still want to go back home in the Philippines someday, for good. I believe that there is hope in my own country. I will continue to dance for as long as my body allows me to. I want to make sure that our traditions are kept alive for future generations to come, and I believe that it’s my responsibility to continue working for this cause as long as I can. 

This story has been featured on the third issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at tgfmfi@gmail.com.

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