About the Author

Edgar Aguilar II (“egz”), 22, is an aspiring young individual who has great passion in the world of aviation.

Since childhood, he dreams of becoming a pilot someday. Now, he just earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.

During college, he was an editor, writing in his column Full Throttle, for the school publication.

Now, join him as he continues to write his experiences and discovers the real life of a graduate.

Follow him, as he shares what he learns in the exciting field of Aviation.

While fulfilling his role in the aviation industry, and living life to the fullest, he still dreams of conquering the skies.

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14th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

February 12-15 2009

Air Force City, Clark, Pampanga

It was my fifth time I went on this annual event ever since the 9th when I was in 1st year college back then. Notice that there was no 13th, most probably because the organizers believe it was bad luck. However the second day landed on Friday the 13th. Nothing bad really happened except from the lone sky-diver who crash landed because of strong winds.

This time we got Media ID's, representing our school's publication, AERONAUTICA. But we stayed there for four days as exhibitors of the Society of Aerospace Engineers (SAEP) booth.

We went to Clark Wednesday evening and then stayed at the Marquis Hotel. Our room, 109, is reserved weeks earlier since the hotels are always fully-booked during the days of the event, adding up to the fact that it is also falls during the Valentines celebration.

To start the day, a flag jump with the singing of the National Anthem is performed by the Philippine Airforce.

And early in the morning, when winds are most calm, the Hot Air Balloons inflates.

New notable ones are the Elephant Balloon, the Nescafe balloon, the Smiley Balloon, the Coca-Cola Balloon,

and the all-time crowd favourite, the Kellogg's Tony the Tiger Balloon!

Oh yeah, we got the chance to ride up the hot air balloon at least 50 feet up while being tethered to the ground by ropes. Thanks to Air Ads/UPS who offered free short rides!

Hot Air Balloons rise up in the air, as the Malaysian and Filipino Paragliders zoom in and out the sky.

Other Aero sports activities are sky-diving,

radio-controlled aircraft,

Kite-flying Exhibition,

Ultralight Flour-Bombing,

Aerobatic Exhibition (Meynard and Bill Show)

and Balloon Bursting Competition.

We even volunteered to be the ones to release the yellow toy balloons from the ground under the searing hot sun! So we got our free "Pop-Gun" Shirts!

We also went into restricted areas to get a shot with the parked airplanes.

We actually do some paparazzi work, getting stolen shots from pretty ladies all around (tally-ho six o'clock!!)

And most especially our school, Philippine State College of Aeronautics, participated in the Rocketry Demonstration. That, along with the Ateneo Boys.

To cap off the night, a night glow by the hot air balloons,

A fireworks display,

And A Rivermaya Concert!!

We were all sunburnt capturing 10 gigabytes worth of photos!

Tired and all, but we really enjoyed it and had the best time of the year!

Credits: Lemuel Banal, EIC; Edgar Aguilar II, Assoc. Editor; Gerard Joseph Honasan, Managing Staff; Janus Mesina, Photojournalist; Jay-Ar Sayson, Cartoonist; Gino Bacalla, Cartoonist.

More Photos:



Most Valued

(as published in AERONAUTICA, official student publication of Philippine State College of Aeronautics, Dec '07)

What do I value most? It’s probably cliché, but as a student, it’s obviously education. And I get my inspiration others that I value next: family, friends, and of course, the Almighty God.

My father, constantly remind his four children not to waste all the perseverance he had done for us. He says, that the only inheritance he could give us is good education, and that we should not do things to ruin it. Out of respect, I obey fervently.

I admire my father. He is a leader, been a President of Rotary Club and several times in Parent-Teachers Association. Being a single parent, he works hard for his four high maintenance children, who would all be in college in a year. My mother passed away years ago when she was stricken by a fatal disease: cancer. She was a high-earning dentist and our world crushed when she left us. Almost all our assets were nearly drained trying to save her life. Dad paid expensive hospital bills by selling his old business, family car, and land titles, just to live a little longer with her.

It was a difficult time. My dad started from scratch after the tragedy. Getting capital from pawned jewelries that my mom left, he built a shoe-and-bag repair shop to make ends meet. He earned at least a thousand on good days but only a couple of hundred on poor times. That time, I started studying to another province as a scholar of Philippine Science. And so when I went home during the weekends, he does the laundry for me. Dad dual roles as a mother and father, he cooks good food for us, he buys groceries, and he tries to do things that a mother would normally do. But it is still different having a real one.

A blessing came, two years after, when my uncle had transferred to him the printing business which has been becoming difficult to handle. My uncle’s family then went abroad, and so their house became our new home. Dad lifted the business from more than a million unpaid taxes. Things started to normalize. But a disastrous event occurred again when Milenyo and Reming ravaged the Bicol Region. Legazpi was flooded. The printing machines, computers, and paper materials all floated in the water. Millions was lost.

But life goes on. And like my father, I work hard too, not in a job, but in school. Aside from never ending home works and exams, I am the president of my college department, secretary of an active organization, and an associate editor of the school’s publication. It is all part of my education, a training exercise for the more challenging days ahead. It’s really hard but it’s in preparation for the future.

To keep me sane enough and in track from the stressful times I endure. I try to maintain a healthy relationship with others. I believe in God, make new friends, make most of my vacation with family and high-school batch mates, and always share a laugh with college classmates. And I thank them all for always being there.

So, my advice for everyone, whatever situation in life we are in, whatever failure we had, whatever challenges we face, we must all learn to prioritize, and must do good in keeping the things we value most.

4 Aerodynamic Forces of Life

(as published in AERONAUTICA, official student publication of Philippine State College of Aeronautics, May '07)

Call me an enthusiast, admirer, die-hard, obsessed or slave for aviation. Whatever it is, its just how passionate I am to anything that flies. My elementary and high school yearbook says it so on its prophecy pages, envisioning me to be successful in the field of aeronautics. I dream big.
We are the pilot of our lives. Our body is our own aircraft and that we are in command in where to go, what to do, and how to deal with our precarious lives. But we should always be guided with principles to lead us to the right direction. If Buddhists got the Four Noble Truths, Shinto for Japanese, and Feng Shui for Chinese, Aviators got 4 Aerodynamic Forces. Governing an aircraft during flight: Thrust, Lift, Drag and Weight are also applicable to life.

Thrust, powered by a propeller or jet engine,is the forward aerodynamic force. It is our drive to step away from bad old habits and change for the better. The urge to improve our current condition and to propel our way by endlessly rediscovering the meaning of our lives. The engine is our talents, skills, ideals and aspirations that powers us to move forward.

As we advance and speed up, we normally encounter Drag, the backward or retarding force. True success is always accompanied with discontinuities, scratches, obstacles and challenges. It slows us down but should be faced with hopefulness and bravery. Still it reminds us not to go extra fast by exceeding the red line or else damages are inevitable. Over speeding is really damaging, so taking it a bit and savoring the ride is always advisable.
And yes of course, Lift, the upward force enabling us to reach higher altitudes. Cars go forward, but airplanes go up! Going up is attaining a higher ground status, a more prosperous one. But increasing further the angle of attack (or angle of climb) leads to a stall, the point where lift is lost, and the plane suddenly plummets down to the earth. So keep that bent-up neck in check. The sky is the limit but it should be well planned. Targeted goals must be dealt with action, only wishing and wanting to much leads to nothing.
A flight is never really complete without a smooth and safe landing. TheWeight, the downward push of gravity assists on this. We perceived weight as a negative force, but it is not always so. The weight of our lives gives way to humility by eliminating too much pride. Our burdens and failures are blessings in disguise. Do not be afraid of failure, though we never know, it is something that could lead us to our success.
I might had failed the eye examination required to get a pilot's license plus several financial constraints, yet all hopes are not lost for i know it can still all be corrected. Maybe it's not the time, right now, I'm so into my Aeronautical engineering subjects so as to top the board exams. All the while, honing my organizational and leadership skills, becoming the president of my organization (The Aeronautical Engineering – Air Transportation Organization). But only after failing my bid as an SSC president. With that i realize that i should concentrate serving my passion for aviation. All these are for the preparation for the future. Aside from being a pilot, owning an Aviation corporation: an airline, flying school and maintenance hub rolled into one, are among of my big dreams. See, my eyesight might be blurry but my vision for the future is not.

About the blog

Follow the life of a young Aeronautical Engineering student as he tackles life in college and after. A personal account on the exciting world of aviation, life and passion.

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