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Beyond the call of duty

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Fil C. Sionil

Fil C. Sionil

How many of us would go an extra step to do more than is required to carry out a duty? Extend a helping hand without expecting something in return – beyond the call of duty.
Ms. Patricia Organo did.

 

I got wind of Ms. Patricia’s good deed when I bumped into Philippine Airlines (PAL) President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jaime “JJB” Bautista in a soiree celebrating the 30th CCI France Philippines anniversary. After the usual pleasantries, I took the opportunity to ask JJB news updates on the flag carrier and voila, he shared the story of Ms. Patricia, a flight attendant of PAL Express, who serviced the “special” need of a passenger. The COO of the flag carrier showed me video of Ms. Patricia breastfeeding an infant-daughter of a passenger, that recently went viral.

It happened during the early morning flight of PAL Express from Manila to Butuan last November 5. Shortly after take off, an infant cry reverberated throughout the aircraft. It could be that the ascent was hurting the infant’s eardrum, which normally we feel but disappears quickly as the aircraft stabilizes on its flight path. But for Ms. Patricia, it was a “cry that will make you want to do anything to help.”

“I approached the mother and asked if everything’s okay. I tried to tell her to feed her hungry child. Teary-eyed, she told me that she had ran out of formula milk,” Ms. Patricia posted in her Facebook (FB) account. Apparently, the mother miscalculated the amount of formula she brought as they were at the airport the night before so as to be on time to catch their flight to Butuan scheduled at 5:15 a.m. the following day.

Ms. Patricia, who has her own 10-month old baby Camille Jade, said: “I felt a pinch in my heart, there was no formula milk on board. I thought to myself, there’s only one thing I could offer and that’s my own milk. I saw the relief on her mother’s eyes. I continued to feed the baby until she fell asleep.”

The heartwarming scene, which Ms. Patricia posted in her FB garnered over 39,000 likes not mention numerous comments. It caught the attention not only of netizens, but also the foreign press, who scrambled to interview her.

Ms. Patricia was actually not scheduled to be in the Butuan flight as a regular crew. She reported for work that day to be “an extra crew.” If she qualified it would be a a big step in her career. W when she showed up at the airport, she had no “booking.” Her name was not in the system’s list as an extra crew. But Lady Luck was with her. She got a slot. “It was a sign that something special was about to happen,” she recalled during our chat. Needless to say Ms. Patricia passed her test with flying coclors. PAL Express pilot, Captain Orson Organo, her husband, was delighted on what she had done and more so, thrilled about the good news of her promotion.

As we commemorate today the birth of one of the country’s national heroes, Andres Bonifacio, the Supremo and the founder of Katipunan, it is just fitting to acknowledge Ms. Patricia’s simple but significant deed. In the eyes of the mother and child, she is a hero.

Talkback to me at sionil731@gmail.com

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