Top Filipina Pilots You Should Know About

Women are known to be successful in the field of fashion, beauty, and business. They are expected to act and move with finesse and poise, but there are women who are willing to take off those heels and remove their make-up to be successful in careers that are ruled by men. Here are three women who dared to enter and succeed in the “macho” field of aviation.

Aimee Carandang

Carandang was the first Filipina commercial pilot. In 1993, she became the first Filipina to fly as full-fledged captain for the Philippine Airlines. She is also considered as Asia’s first female pilot. She flew for the first time as captain on a Fokker 50 flight from Manila to Baguio.

Brooke Castillo

Castillo is the first Filipina jet aircraft pilot. In 1996, she was the first Filipina to fly a commercial jet aircraft. Today, she is captain of Cebu Pacific’s Airbus A319 and A320 carriers. She is also an instructor to the younger pilots of Cebu Pacific. Castillo graduated Cum Laude in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines. She is also a former member of the Philippine Junior Bowlers and Philippine Youth Basketball Team. She won a silver medal representing the country at the Southeast Asian taekwondo championships.

In an article by the Philippine Star, she was quoted saying that women have higher advantage in terms of paying closer attention to even the smallest details. In fact, Castillo made history by flying an all-female crew with First Officer Mayra Florencia.

Jessica Cox

Cox is the world’s first armless person to receive a flying license. Born without arms as a result of a rare birth defect, Cox is now an internationally recognized motivational speaker. In 2008, she received her Sport Pilot Certificate which allows her to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet. The Filipino-American pilot also has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Arizona and two black belts in taekwondo. Early in 2014, she visited the Philippines to conduct relief operation in Guiuan, Samar. Cox is living proof that there are no limits to what one can achieve.

Women of today are more than willing to face challenges in fields that are known to be for men. For them, the glass ceiling no longer exits. You don’t have to be a feminist to be part of this trend. Expand your horizon, and take to the skies!


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