Once in a while, writers get assignments that make them feel like they hit the jackpot.
This month’s issue of VAULT Magazine, where we “reclaim the romance once associated with global travel”, was just that. It gave me a great opportunity to travel once again aboard Singapore Airlines, get an up-close-and-personal peek into the making of a Singapore Girl, and rediscover why SQ is one of the world’s best-loved and most-awarded airlines.
Here’s a sneak peek of the feature cover, on page 64:
I also wrote a piece on the evolution of the female flight attendant, in “From femme fatale to security frontliner” (page 57). The piece explored how the roles of female flight attendants (formerly called “stewardesses”) have changed through the decades, and how these were reflected even in their uniforms and in airlines’ marketing materials. (See a sample spread below, from page 59).
These assignments were very close to my heart because, as an “airline baby”–with pilots and flight attendants and airliners from both sides of my nuclear family, plus my mother-in-law!–moving in and around the Philippines’ very own flag carrier had always been close to my heart. I grew up watching my mom train future flight attendants in the PAL Learning Center, so I really got a huge kick out of touring the Singapore Airlines Training Center and seeing up close how “Singapore Girls are made.”
I also got to relive the glory days of flying through vintage photos… and it’s timely that, soon after receiving my copy of VAULT, my mom also found THIS photo on her Facebook feed:
Travel–including those precious hours spent (relatively) alone in an airplane–is quite sacred to me. So I can say with all certainty that, of all the writing assignments that I’ve had to do so far, THIS is up there on the top of my list. And of all the VAULT issues that I’ve read and worked on, THIS is by far my favorite. (Heartfelt thanks go out to my editors, David Celdran and Patty Tumang, for trusting me with this assignment; to our art director, Karl Castro, and photographer, Pat Mateo, for being a joy to travel and work with.)
Here’s a little bit more about the latest issue of VAULT, as told by the VAULT editorial team:
In our latest issue, Vault Magazine attempts to reclaim the romance once associated with global travel—if only to remind us that we shouldn’t settle for less. It turns out, neither has a handful of companies that cater to demanding travelers. In this issue, we rediscover luxury in the air with exciting new aircraft that promise unprecedented comfort. We also relive the halcyon days of the flight stewardess and go behind the scenes at Singapore Airlines to experience the legendary service of the Singapore Girl. Also in this issue you’ll find some favorite travel accessories from the past that remain as relevant to sophisticated jetsetters today: from mechanical watches that display world time, to handcrafted luggage and trunks. And finally, we retrace the Grand Tour of Italy popularized by travel writers like Henry James and Ernest Hemingway and hop on the latest automobiles to relish some of the most scenic drives on the planet. And in between, we stop over for the best chocolates and sake ever made.
The magazine is truly a joy to read from cover to cover–it’s ironic, though, that it’s a luxury magazine for men!
Want to get VAULT in digital format? It’s available here, through Zinio.