Kiss mark and how

Fil C. Sionil Fil C. Sionil

Don’t be naughty. It’s not what you think it is.

February, the love month, has just passed. But the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) is still spreading love across the sky with the resurrection of its logo “Love Bus Kiss Mark” to celebrate its 40th love story with Airbus.

Like in a marriage with the renewal of vows, PAL rekindled its love affair with Airbus with the unveiling last week of its fifth A350 luxury liner emblazoned with the iconic emblem the “Love Bus Kiss Mark” splashed on the nose. The PAL-Airbus love affair was made public in 1979 in A300B4, a twin-engine, twin-aisle aircraft. The rationale of the logo back then was to capture the “love movement that transfixed the world.”

Despite PAL cozying-up, it entertained other aircraft-makers/suitors – Seattle-based Boeing and Toronto-based Bombardier. It’s nothing close to being promiscuous. Through the years, the partnership between PAL and Airbus has remained strong. To my mind, Airbus is PAL’s forever love as the Toulouse-based aircraft-maker accounts for 72 percent of PAL’s fleet.

The resurgence of the Love Bus Kiss Mark insignia is a testament to the intensity of the relationship of the two. As PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime “Jimmy” J. Bautista puts it, “It’s a tribute to 40 great years of PAL flying millions of passengers on board different types of Airbus jets, to sun-kissed islands across the archipelago as well as to distant lands across the world’s oceans.”

And more importantly, it is a manifestation of the affection and care the flag carrier has for its customers. “We want to rekindle, day after day, our love affair with the customers who fly with us and use our products. We are always grateful to have a chance to win their business, their loyalty, and their hearts,” says the love-struck Mr. Jimmy.

As a fitting tribute, PAL’s A300 Love Bus has a “unique row” of two “love” seats located in a private corner of the cabin offered to “honeymooners and love-struck couples.” The hash tag is “love at first flight.”

On Friday, March 15, PAL marks its 78th anniversary. Hats off to the men and women behind the flag carrier who never stop in providing innovative products sweetened even more with premium “service with the heart” and amenities to make travel comfortable.

Who says there is no forever? For PAL, the hash tag is #there’sforever.

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On Wednesday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin “Ben” Diokno held his last presser as secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) where he shared his conversion with Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez on how he was chosen to the post.

My A-1 insider Palace source tells me that conversion happened sometime last week. “As early as Thursday last week Mr. Diokno already accepted the position.” However, SecFin Sonny and Mr. Ben adopted the mum credo until President Duterte made the disclosure.

At the Cabinet meeting Monday, before the agenda was discussed, the President, in a serious demeanor, declared: “Someone here should not be here anymore!” Suddenly, silence prevailed in the room that one could virtually hear a pin drop. Everyone looked, at each other, with the thought balloon #somebody will be sacked. Sensing that he had caught the attention of his official family, the President then congratulated Mr. Ben as the newly minted BSP governor.

Mr. Ben, whose appointment comes at a crucial time when the BSP is undergoing reforms following the amendments to its charter, attended his maiden Monetary Board meeting yesterday. Today, he is scheduled to hold his first press conference with the BSP press corps. This chronicler has been invited.

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