While 2020 has been difficult for everyone, there is one sector that is sorely feeling the effects, and that's aviation.
With air travel restricted pretty much worldwide given the various stay-at-home orders in a lot of countries, the aviation sector has taken a big hit because planes have been grounded.
Such is the case for Chino Mendoza, a senior pilot with Cebu Pacific. Any given day, Chino would be in his office: the cockpit of an Airbus A320 narrow-body airliner. Pre-pandemic, he was flying 5 to 6 times a week. But with the pandemic, he - like many commercial pilots worldwide - is lucky if he gets the call to fly once every seven days.
Thankfully, he has his Ford Ranger Raptor.
“With the situation now, I don't get to fly a lot. That's why I appreciate my Ranger Raptor more. Even when I'm not flying, I feel like I am. Like I'm back in an A320 again,” said the Cebu Pacific Pilot.
While Chino works in the air, he likes to play on the ground and in the dirt with a 4x4. He's an off-road and adventure enthusiast and has experience modifying 4x4s to suit his desires. And the Raptor, the alpha of the Ford Ranger line-up with its muscular look, enhanced performance from the bi-turbo 2.0L diesel engine, long-travel Fox shocks that glide over the rough stuff, was his latest choice.
“I think the Ranger Raptor fits me because I like 4x4s. I go to the gym so a truck that looks fit kind of talks to me,” continued Mendoza.
Even when it was stock, Chino was already happy. But of course, he wanted to take it further and give it a personal touch with some modifications to suit his needs, so he turned to his friends at Absolute Autoworks. They swapped out the bumper, fitted a rear bed cover, plus extra lighting for off-road use for when Chino and his girlfriend Venessa venture out into the wilderness with their friends.
“I like to go on adventures to far places with friends or my girlfriend. I've brought my Raptor to Bicol and La Union. Hindi para mag-wakeboarding or surfing. Para sa akin, it's about discovering new experiences.”
Taking his Raptor out gives Chino the rush of flying that he doesn't get as much of in this pandemic and the many restrictions on air travel. Flying is actually in his blood, as his father too is a pilot that flew with Asiana Airlines and Philippine Airlines. His father - his role model - has since retired after 41 years, and now it's Chino's turn to blaze his own trail whether in the cockpit or behind the wheel.
“The Raptor gives me that adrenaline rush of flying. It's fast. It's fun. It glides over the rough roads. It feels like you're in command. Like you're leading the pack. No other truck does that.” said the A320 pilot.
Admittedly, Chino says life as a pilot isn't so easy. You have to go through a lot of training, practice, and hard work. And even after 11 years of flying and earning the rank of senior pilot with Cebu Pacific, he says he's still very much a student in a high-pressure environment. That's also probably why he enjoys driving his Ranger Raptor out of the city and experiencing a different way of life.
“One time me and my girlfriend went to Bicol and asked if we could stay sa bahay ng isang family na di namin kilala. Medyo nagulat sila, pero game. Sometimes it's nice to see and feel a different style of living. You learn about living the simpler life, and it's great because my life as a pilot has all these regulations, protocols and checklists,” said the second-generation airline pilot.
“Sometimes it's nice to drive my Raptor and feel free.”
Chino Mendoza's story is only 1 of over 10,000 proud Ford Ranger owners in the Philippines.
For more information, visit http://www.ford.com.ph/trucks/raptor