Friday, October 25, 2013


For 11 young gentlemen, finishing the much coveted type-rating course for the Airbus A320 aircraft is a fulfilment of their youthful dream to fly a big commercial aircraft. After all, Airbus is one of two commercial planes most used the world over.
The graduates, front row : left to right, Farzad Ghasemzadeh, Barry Goesaert, Joao Dias, Felipe Alves, Michael Dos Santos, Erik Odegard. Back row:  left  to right, Dino Tabingo, Khedel Tan, John Gulla, Nuno Alves, Peter Binamira
The eleven ended their A320 type rating at the Philippine Academy for Aviation Training (PAAT) with the commencement exercises held at the PAAT in Clark last Sept. 21. After all of them successfully passed their check rides, they now form part of Cebu Pacific’s stable pool of pilots for its fleet and route expansion programs.

The graduates were: John Gulla, Khedehl Tan, Dino Tabingo and Barry Goesaert from the first batch; Michael Dos Santos, Erik Odegard, Joao Dias, Felipe Alves and Nuno Alves, from the second batch and Peter Binamira and Farzad Ghasemzadeh from the third batch. Together, these three batches received their certificates of completion during the formal graduation ceremony.

At the “send-off” graduation last Saturday, Barry Goesaert, who was in the first set to apply for  the A320 type- rating course, expressed excitement, a sentiment shared by his peers, about finally being able to sit in the cockpit and be in command of a plane that carries hundreds of passengers and tons of cargo. Before, he only flew single engine cargo planes during his basic pilot training course.

The half Filipino, half Belgian Goesaert, who spoke on behalf of the graduates, said a recent study on Pilot-Technician Outlook showed that Asia Pacific region would need 192,000 pilots, the most in the world from 2013-2032. “And this is where we are!” he exclaimed.

Considering the heavy demand for pilots today, it is a very opportune time for aspiring pilots here and around the region to have “the best Airbus Type Rating Training Organization, i.e, the Philippine Academy for Aviation Training, giving us the best preparation for the real world,” Goesaert said.

“Whether we come from the Philippines, Norway, Portugal, Iran and that small country, Belgium, all of us trainees shared a common dream to become an airline pilot. The PAAT family helped us realize our dream. We all now work for Cebu Pacific. Everyone here at PAAT and not to forget the HR department of Cebu Pacific was extremely helpful,” he further said.

According to Capt. Jim Sydiongco, Vice President for Flight Operations of Cebu Pacific, who was among the VIP guests at the graduation ceremony, Cebu Pacific would need much more pilots for 2014 alone to service its increased fleet, flight frequency and routes here and abroad.

PAAT Head of Training (ret) Capt. Ronaldo Mendoza challenged the graduates to “go the extra degree” to make it big as pilots as he stressed that Cebu Pacific’s approach is to “hire for attitude and train for skills.”
John Gulla, another graduate said he was able to enroll at PAAT because his parents had long prepared for it. He took his initial flying lessons after taking a college degree on Aerospace Engineering in London and then his single-engine flying course was in the US.

He said he could have stayed and continued training in the US but he chose PAAT because of the “opportunity to work with Cebu Pacific after our type rating course and successful check rides,” Gulla said. For him, PAAT was his only choice for type rating because everything from training manuals, the course syllabus and the instructors were all standardized by Airbus, which is the manufacturer of the Airbus A320, the most widely used aircraft in the world. .
Asked whether they have plans for another training facility in the Philippines, CAE’s Asia Business Leader, Tom Ferranti said the PAAT center is the only CAE training center in the Philippines with room to expand by the addition of more simulators and additional training programs.

No doubt, a type rating course can be expensive, but the returns and rewards are worth every cent, as the PAAT graduates can attest to. But students can get a loan from a bank by getting themselves pre-qualified for employment in an airline such as Cebu Pacific with the employment commitment as among the collaterals.

Aside from being assured of world-class quality training, one advantage of taking the Airbus type-rating at PAAT is that the trainees already have one foot in the door of Cebu Pacific which makes banks more comfortable to grant loans, said Arvi Perez, General Manager of PAAT. He stressed however that aside from Cebu Pacific, PAAT also offers its training services to all other domestic and foreign airlines.

PAAT has two Airbus A320 Level-D full flight simulators and one Airbus Pilot Transition Trainer (APTT) in its brand new two-storey training center at the Clark Freeport Zone. Two more simulators will be deployed in the future for a total of 4.  The training centers also has 1 Computer-Based Training (CBT) room, 6 classrooms, 10 briefing rooms, 2 APTT rooms, a pilot lounge and a cafeteria.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Unlock the Secrets to Singapore Math

Online media release

What is Singapore Math? How can it help my student? How is it different from the math that my child is doing in school?  These are the usual frequently asked questions parents have in mind upon hearing the term Singapore Math. Learn and discover  the answers to these questions. With the basic knowledge of the four basic mathematical operations, parents and their children will be able to find unique Singapore Math  solutions to word problems, ratio and proportion and multi-operation questions. This workshop will be conducted by the experts in Singapore Math and our long-time Galileo Singapore Math-advocacy partners, Ms. Queena Lee-Chua, Ph. D.  and her son, Mr. Scott L. Chua.

To register, call Galileo Enrichment Learning Program at (049) 502-7023 or (0918) 962-9589. Limited slots only.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Aboitiz Group mobilizes business units to help out Visayas

Release material

The Aboitiz Group, through its corporate social development arm Aboitiz Foundation,  has pooled  its manpower and monetary resources to help get Visayas back on its feet.

The 100 year old company traces its roots in the Visayas and continues to have several businesses in the region such as AboitizLand, Inc., construction firm Metaphil, CitySavings Bank, Pilmico Foods Corp., shipbuilder Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, Inc., and Visayan Electric Company (VECO).

“The Aboitiz Group is fully committed in seeing the Visayas rise from this calamity.  This is after all home to us and majority of our team members hail from the Visayas. It is where our roots and our heart lies,” said Aboitiz Foundation Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Sonny Carpio.

The conglomerate has dispatched teams to attend to the needs of thousands of evacuees and has established a command post in Tubigon , with Mater Dei College. Relief goods will be distributed to four major focus areas around Loon, Maribojoc, Tubigon, and Carmen, where the epicenter of the earthquake was located.

The Foundation has earmarked an initial Php2 million, which includes a Php1 million donation from actress Sharon Cuneta, for the mobilization of the relief operations in Bohol.

AboitizLand, CitySavings, and Pilmico. are pooling donations and sending volunteers to support the relief operations. The foundation is also closely coordinating with various local government units, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine National Police.

Meanwhile, in Cebu, VECO has expanded efforts to speedily restore power in affected areas. Team members also volunteered to set up an auxiliary call center to handle emergency calls round the clock.

“Our priority is always the continuity of service to the customers,” said VECO Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Lacson.

How you can help:
Please send cash donations to the Aboitiz Foundation through the following: 
·        Aboitiz Foundation’s UShare portal
·        Union Bank of the Philippines Account No. 10026-1070944
·        City Savings Bank Account No. 200-20031301
Or visit and click the “Donate” button.
For other concerns, you may contact the following Aboitiz Foundation representatives:
·        Danny Cerence (Coordination) – 09176308172
·        Rowena Astillo (Donations) – 09176304484

For updates on the relief operations, visit the Aboitiz Foundation’s Facebook page. ( or follow on @AboitizFDN on Twitter. Show your support by using #BangonVisayas in your social media posts.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

AMWAY and the situation of the Multilevel Marketing Industry in the country

Couple of months ago, I was able to attend Amway’s product launch for the media. Months later, I was able to meet Ms. Leny Olmedi, AMWAY’s Country Manager. While having lunch with her and other bloggers, we discussed about what’s new with AMWAY as well as the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) industry. AMWAY also got a celebrity endorser like Enchong Dee.
Ms. Leny Olmedi(Left), AMWAY's Country Manager

AMWAY is one of the longest running MLM company in the country today and is internationally recognized. Although, the MLM industry in the Philippines is given a negative image because of the pyramiding scheme, AMWAY is not threatened and continuous to remain active in the business.

But the good news is that there is an existing governing body for this kind of industry was they deal with these issues so they can monitor the situation in the MLM industry. Part of this association includes the biggest MLM companies like Avon and Tupperware.

Even though AMWAY is guaranteed that you can earn as much, but the dealer needs to work it out. Besides that, the dealers are entrusted to pay their taxes otherwise they will not be eligible for the privileges like their out-of-town-trips or better yet a tour in another country.

AMWAY continuous to expand their opportunities in the MLM business and they are not just concentrating on food supplements as they continue to adapt. If you are interested to join, just look for any dealer. If you don’t any, AMWAY will refer you to a dealer. Watch out for more product releases by the end of the year and onwards.

For more updates about AMWAY, follow Mark_Templar on Twitter.