“I was very happy when I heard that PAL ordered Q400 planes. I got excited. I want to help build planes for PAL. I told myself I will delay my retirement. Hangga’t kaya ko, tatapusin ko ang order ng PAL. Hindi ko sila papabayaan,” remarked Casimiro ‘Jun’ Javier, one of the lead hand of Q400 manufacturer Bombardier based in Toronto, Canada.
Jun, turning 65 next year, is postponing his retirement just to finish PAL’s order of 12 Q400 next-generation turboprops. He feels honored to be a part of the team assembling the PAL planes.
Jun talked to his staff composed of Italian, Chinese and Filipino technicians. “Ayusin nyong maiigi ang eroplano ng PAL. Kung may tanong kayo at wala ako, tawagan nyo ako. Gusto ko perfect ang trabaho nyo sa PAL,” added Jun.
Jun, working at Bombardier for more than 20 years, shares – “Ang Filipino flexible at matiyaga. Kahit anong pagawa mo sa kanila, gagawin nila. Hindi ka nila tatanggihan. Kahit saan sila ilagay, pwede sila. Ako, kahit saan ako i-assign, wala akong reklamo. Pag-aaralan ko ang mga trabaho para magawa ko.”
A native of Candelaria, Quezon, Jun worked for Honda Motorcycles Manila for about a decade before he was invited to work in Canada. In 1988, he and his family settled in Toronto where he took a job at an automotive company. In the early 90s, he was offered a job in McDonnell Douglas where he was a technician for two years. In 1996, he transferred to Bombardier, handling technical requirements of various aircraft types.
Before the plane took off for its ferry flight, Capt. Anthony Larena, PAL Express chief pilot for turboprop, arrived in Toronto a few days ahead to meet the Bombardier staff for the turnover. Jun was part of the Bombardier team who met with the pilot.
“Nung dumating ang PAL delegation, tinanong ko kung sino ang piloto. This guy raised his hand and said ‘Ako po!’. I asked his name. ‘Anthony Larena po.’ I asked, ‘Kilala mo ba si Art Larena, taga Dadiangas (now General Santos)?’ He answered, ‘Tatay ko po’, ‘Kaibigan ko sya!’ Natuwa ako kasi hindi ko akalain na ang pilot ng eroplanong ginawa naming ay anak pala ng kaibigan ko.”
When Jun worked for Honda Motorcycle Manila in the 1980’s, he regularly flew to General Santos City to transact business at the branch office where he met Arturo Larena, the branch manager.
“I remember him as the four-year-old boy who peeped from his room whenever I visit,” Jun recalls. Capt. Larena also recalled those encounters. ( PAL Corporate Communications)