Latest Stories

While other candidates fly, Loren goes by land


Sen. Loren Legarda: Fear of flying. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Loren Legarda, who exudes a tough persona, has one weakness—a fear of flying.

The reelectionist senator, who has consistently topped the preference surveys, said this has resulted in her covering less ground than her rivals since she has to make long land trips between campaign stops.

“I am slower than the other candidates not because of inaction but because (I would rather not use) private planes and helicopters. I can only take commercial flights but even so the turbulence nearly kills me,” she said in Filipino in a news conference at the Liberal Party headquarters on Tuesday.

Legarda’s last flight was in 2010 for a campaign sortie to Sariaya, Quezon. She was then running for vice president under the Nacionalista Party.

She remembered leaving a sunny Manila and approaching Quezon province that was enjoying similar weather.

Suddenly, she recalled, she became bewildered when dark clouds quickly engulfed her helicopter as it neared Mt. Banahaw.

Scary chopper ride

“At first it was like something was sucking the chopper (parang hinihigop), then it was like the chopper was being pushed away (parang hinahampas). We had nowhere to land when suddenly a small pink chapel appeared in the middle of a rice field. I will never forget that the barangay’s name was Sto. Cristo,” she said.

A former journalist, Legarda, who is running this time with the administration Team PNoy coalition, said it took great effort to scare her or dissuade her from doing something.

But in the case of aircraft, she said that being in two near-crashes involving helicopters when she was running for vice president in 2004 could not easily be forgotten.

So what about her fear of private planes?

Legarda sheepishly mouthed “Jesse Robredo” in a later interview, referring to the late interior secretary who died in the crash of a small plane off Masbate on Aug. 18, 2012.

“So now I travel only by land,” she said.

Last week, Legarda endured a bumpy four-hour land trip from Buluan, Maguindanao, to Davao City.

Weeks before, fellow administration candidates hopped on helicopters for a ten-minute flight from Catanauan to Gumaca in Quezon province.

Legarda made the same trip by land in two hours.

“I was the first to speak in Catanauan and rode to Gumaca to catch the rally there. I was the final speaker at the second sortie,” she said.

Land travel may be a drag to some but Legarda noted that it has advantages.

“I see the countryside from a closer perspective and the travel brings me closer to the people. People are startled when I knock on their door asking to use their bathroom. Some even chastise me for not giving prior notice but the call of nature is something I cannot predict,” she said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: election campaigns , fear of flying , Loren Legarda , Politics , senatorial candidates

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  2. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  3. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  10. Santiago: Gigi Reyes is Enrile’s fall guy
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace