WHETHER AS AN AVIATRIX OR AS A RECORDING ARTIST, JANAH ZAPLAN COULD BE THE PILOT OF THE AIRWAVES.
Janah Zaplan is a beautiful and lovely young lady who’s living the life lately. She recently passed her first solo flight as an aspiring pilot with flying colors, she was recently named in the Mythical 6 of the recently-concluded volleyball games of the Star Magic 30th Anniversary Games, and she’s now a budding recording artist who just released her single “Maiba Naman” with a major record label. It is fair to say that the ‘Milennial Pop Princess’ tag she’s been getting lately is not just borne out of hype.
When asked if the first solo flight was already the culmination of her journey towards becoming a full-pledged pilot, she said it’s only just begun. “Naku, marami pa po akong dadaanan. That’s just the first step for me to become the pilot that I really want to become, which is to be a commercial (pilot). After this by July I’ll be coming for cross country naman for a private pilot’s license naman. Isa-isang hakbang ‘yan before ko ma-reach goal ko,” Janah clarified.
“Actually, it has been a great journey for me kasi last April 12 I was able to go to Lubang, to our training facility, doon ko naranasan na magpalipad ng totoong eroplano,” she related. “It was a Cessna 172. I stayed there for a month before I went back here to Manila, kakauwi ko lang last May 10. So tinuhog ko na lahat ng needed i=-accomplish para matapos na yung goal ko for my first flight.”
Zaplan developed her dreams of being a pilot as an extremely well-traveled child with her family. “Nakikita ko kasi ang mga piloto naglalakad sa airport na parang ginagawa nilang runway yung airport, anganda-ganda nilang tignan, ampopogi at angaganda and nakakatuwang i-imagine kung paano nila papalipad yung eroplano,” she shared. “‘Dun ako na-curious kung paano nila ginagawa yun. Ever since then, naisip ko na kung pag-aaralan ko kaya ko din naman siguro. At the same time, napansin ko din na mostly lalaki ang nakikita ko. So why not break that bias and become a woman pilot as well? Ngayon, nakikita ko na madami na kaming female students. It’s a challenge for me to go out of my comfort zone talaga. Yung papa ko dapat magpipiloto din way back, so in a way tinuloy ko lang din yung pact niya kasi ‘di na niya natapos.”
When asked about her favorite destinations, she jokingly asked back, “Ooooh, interesting…Sa lahat na napuntahan namin, puwede bang madami akong banggitin (laughs)?”
“Of course, una sa list is Europe. We were able to go around 12 countries. We started sa France, then Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy – andun naman yung mga relatives namin,” Janah Zaplan bared.
“Nasa list ko din ang Japan, dahil ang mga tao doon super-bait kahit gaano kahirap yung language barrier natin they’re still gonna help you no matter what plus the delicious food, and yung vibe lang nung country, you just feel safe sa Japan. Very memorable yung Japan trip namin in particular because kami talaga umasikaso sa sarili namin, ‘di kami umasa sa mga travel agency, ganyan, kami lahat pumili ng mga spots na pinutahan namin,” Janah continued. “May isang incident na nawala kami sa train station, and then may isang Japanese who literally went out of his way to help us. And yung food, grabe, kahit dun sa 711 nila sobrang busog na, kasi kumpleto budget meals, bento boxes, everything! Yung ice cream nila ansarap!”
“New Zealand! Doon naman ang peaceful, but at the same time it’s thrilling kasi andaming extremes na puwedeng gawin,” she revealed. “Very interesting yung Glowworm cave nila na parang tumitingin sa ‘yo yung blue stars under the cave. Lastly, I would say Jerusalem kasi I was one of the youngest pilgrims that went there with Fr. Orbos pa yun. That was way back I was 10, 11 years old back then, and to be baptized in the Jordan River was such an amazing feeling and an honor.”
As for first-time destinations on the top of her list would be South Africa and any country where she can see the aurora borealis. She likes the former because she would love to see exotic animals on their most natural environment without the restrictive boundaries of zoos and cages.
When asked what her favorite airplane is, Janah said, “Oooh…Sa school lagi naming pinag-aawayan yung Cessna 150 and Cessna 172. I identify oneself with the 172 which is yung pinalipad ko. Feeling ko lahat andun na, yung electrical equipment niya na ‘di ka na mahihirapan, the GPS, ‘yung pang-search and rescue which is TLT, andun na lahat, yung communication radios na pang-communicate with people. Which is just like me, ‘cause I love talking to people and learning more about them. And of course, yung ganda and laki ng Cessna 172, mapagmamalaki mo talaga. Mahirap man sa una katulad ng journey ko and my career both in aviation and the music industry, pero naitatawid ko as long as I’m full of motivation and determination to reach my goal.”
Speaking of music, Zaplan understands what “Maiba Naman” is all about and her musical path. “‘Maiba Naman’ is a song that can be related to a lot of things, but basically, the song is a reminder to people out there who put other first before themselves na parang sana magtira din sila ng pagmamahal sa sarili nila at ‘wag ding makalimutan na mahalin ang sarili nila,” she elaborated.
Janah Zaplan cites Sarah Geronimo, KZ Tandingan, Moira Dela Torre, Beyonce, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, and Sam Smith as major musical influences.
She also hopes to empower her fans with her music. “We’re planning to lean more into dance-pop, katulad ng ‘Maiba Naman’ na may positivity and may liveliness to the music to appeal to the people,” she said. “Siyempre, I want to inspire them to grow and develop not just themselves, but other people as well para ma-share nila ang aura na maganda, masaya, at positive lang.”
She is now in the process of recording more songs for release for the months to come. She definitely has her future mapped out. Truly a pilot of the airwaves. FIN