MANILA, Philippines – Pilot and TV Host Capt. Jose Mari “Joy” Roa of the flying-adventure program Asian Air Safari writes his first book entitled, “Joy in the Air,” a first-hand account of his one-of-a-kind life journey.
Capt. Joy Roa’s path to aviation has not been “calm air and blue skies” all the way. After his very first plane crash-landed on its maiden test flight, he would bounce back from waves of setbacks that would have disheartened fainter hearts.
More than just a string of aviation tales – told with a mix of candor and self-deprecating humor – the 25 chapters of this book trace Capt. Joy’s growth in multiple fronts, beginning in 1977, when his aviation career began.
On the most basic level, the narrative describes how a somewhat mischievous young man—bored and in search of direction—stumbled onto his identity after he shifted from motorcycles to airplanes.
Not wanting to be boxed in as a pilot, he grabbed charter opportunities, hunted warbirds, and gained proficiency in diverse aircraft, including hot air balloons, floatplanes, turbo props, jets, and helicopters.
Blazing trails as an aviation entrepreneur, he set up Air Ads, Inc. and diversified into hangaring; pilotage contracts; aircraft trading, management, insurance support, and restoration; commuter services, and managing big events like the annual Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.
Always seeking fun, he organized weekend fly-ins with aviator friends from the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong—frequenting Boracay, Amanpulo, and El Nido, long before these became popular destinations. From informal flying circles, he would move on to active roles in national, regional and international aviation organizations.
As all of these take place, he reflects on the events and changes that shaped the Philippine aviation industry over the years.
This volume pauses in 2005, the year Capt. Joy turned 50 and launched the TV show, Asian Air Safari. At that point, by his own admission, he could not lay claim to financial success. His true wealth lay in friendships, networks, shared experiences, and precious lessons learned—in life, in flying, and in business.
Filled with aviation photographs collected over the span of 30 years, and chockfull of adventures and misadventures from the Philippines’ far-flung islands to big cities like New York, Tokyo, Paris, and Milan, as well as unexplored places like Sepilok (Malaysia), Lubbock (Texas), Whitehorse (Canada), and Kiev (Ukraine), “Joy in the Air” is a thrilling read for aviators and non-aviators alike.
For more information on the book and author, please send an email to: [email protected].