In pain, pilot’s family accepts deathCebu Daily News
As devout Christians, the family of Capt. Jessup Bahinting said they have come to terms with his death.
“Death is not the end in itself. We believe that it is just a transition to reality… to eternal life that awaits us,” said Margarita Matas-Bahinting at their residence, a modest bungalow in Talisay City.
She said she cried after seeing TV reports that her husband’s body was spotted yesterday inside the plane’s wreckage but knows that more tears will still be shed, when the full impact of the loss of a loving spouse and father sinks in.
Margarita said she couldn’t question God for what had happened to him. The couple would have celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary in December.
“He would tell our friends that if there’s marriage after death, in eternity… ‘I will still choose my wife to marry me,” she recalled.
Bahinting’s 28-year-old daughter Sarah Lynn who is in Masbate City posted in her Facebook: “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord…I will miss you terribly daddy..I will try my best to continue your legacy. You may not be here physically with us anymore. But you will live in my heart forever. Till we meet again.”
Margarita said they would bring Capt. Bahinting for burial in her hometown in Ginatilan in southwest Cebu, where they were buildng their retirement house.
“He would have wanted cremation, but when we discussed this a few years ago, I disagreed so we just agreed to share a burial ground in my hometown in Ginatilan.”
Bahinting’s younger sister Elsie Bahinting-Liboton wept when she arrived in Talisay. She and Margarita embraced in the Bahinting home’s terrace.
She said her brother could always be relied on whenever they had problems.
She said they were thankful that the bodies of her brother, co-pilot Kshitiz Chand and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo were already located.
The Bahinting family were preparing for the retrieval of the remains yesterday. But an accident involving one of the divers in the crash site at 3 p.m. yesterday halted the retrieval operations.
Margarita told Cebu Daily News that a private aircraft would bring her husband back to Cebu in the hangar of Aviatour Air, the flight school and air travel company where Jessup was CEO and founder.
A 3-day wake will be held in the St. Peters Funeral Chapel in Imus Road.
Sarah Lynn and Bahinting’s younger brother Orson will accompany the body from Masbate.
Chand’s father and uncle were also on hand to accompany Kshitiz’s body back to Cebu.
Eldest daughter Jemar will arrive tomorrow from Texas while their second son Capt. Dan Bahinting may follow soon.
“He’s still processing the renewal of his visa,” said Sarah Lynn, a nurse who lives with her parents.
Capt. Bahinting logged more than 5,000 flying hours and got his wings from the Mindanao Aeronautical Technical School in Davao City in 1975.
In 1973 he finished his aircraft maintenance course in the same school. He was a holder of a Commercial Pilot’s and Flight Instructor’s licenses.
Margarita recalls watching her husband fix planes.
“He was really a MacGyver when it comes to plane engines,” she said.
Capt. Bahinting’s life took another turn in the 80s when he became a church pastor of the Worldwide Church of God. He was assigned as senior pastor in Northern Mindanao based in Cagayan de Oro until 1991.
From 1991 to 1997, he was transferred to Cebu where he was pastor. He retired in 1997 and went back to his passion, airplanes.
He still served his church which was renamed Grace Communion International (GCI) and leads the GCI’s Divine Grace Fellowship in Lapu-Lapu City and serves other churches in the Visayas.
He was set to fly to Bacolod City from Naga last Sunday for a church service to “anoint” a church member as an elder.
From there he would have flown back to Mactan to join his family for a long weekend in their beach house in Ginatilan.
Margarita recalled her last meeting with her husband on Saturday afternoon.
He picked up a water bottle from the Aviatour canteen and rushed to his Seneca Piper plane as Secretary Jesse Robredo arrived.
He was in a hurry and skipped his pre-flight ritual of kissing his wife.
“He even forgot to kiss me, but I didn’t mind it because they had to reach the Naga airport before 5 p.m.” she said. The Naga airport closes at 2 p.m. but Secretary Robredo requested it be opened until 5 p.m. so they can land there.
Palace emissaries visited the Bahinting home yesterday afternoon, saying they will take care of the funeral rites and expenses but the widow declined since the family had a St. Peters’ mortuary plan ready.
Social workers offered psychosocial intervention, while friends and members of their Christian fellowship also served as support group.
Aside from receiving journalists for interviews and visitors, Mrs. Bahinting was also busy answering calls from friends and people they helped from as far as Ozamis in Misamis Occidental and from Malaybalay in Bukidnon.
Among the callers was former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Margarita said Zubiri had chartered the same Seneca Piper plane for a trip from Mactan to Siargao last Aug. 12. Associate Editor BenCyrus G. Ellorin with Correspondents Jhunnex Napallacan and Gabriel C. BonjocNinoy’s heroism still relevant today
Yesterday’s 29th death anniversary of Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino was marked with calls to the people, especially the youth, to remember his heroism and study his struggle against the Marcos dictatorship.
“Be brave like Ninoy,” was the challenge hurled by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
The mayor said if there’s one quality that should be learned from Ninoy, it would be the courage to fight for freedom against dictators like the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos who ruled from 1966 to 1986.
The mayor recalled how he hid cousin Ricky Rama-Poca from the Martial Law police.
“We stayed in a motel in Pasay City on the night of August 23, 1993.
The next day however, they took a cab looking for the place where Ninoy’s body was brought just to take a glimpse of the hero’s body. He said he was grateful to be able to view the hero’s remains.
Before Rama delivered his speech, a Holy Mass was celebrated in the Plaza Independencia by Msgrr. Roberto Alesna.
“Coming home 29 years ago was a choice for martyrdom. He came home to show how he loved human rights, democracy and freedom,” said Alesna.
Human rights lawyer and martial law activist Democrito Barcenas said Ninoy will always be an inspiration for his bravery, patriotism and generosity. “He always put others before himself,” he said.
Rep. Pastor Alcover of Anad partylist cited the need to re-open investigation on the late senator’s death to identify the real culprits and mastermind/s in his assassination.
Rama led participants in a heritage run around the Fort San Pedro at 5:30 a.m. A Eucharistic celebration followed at 7:30 a.m.
At 1 p.m. Rama again led hundreds of City Hall employees, students and sectoral representatives in a freedom walk from the Fuente Osmeña to the Plaza Independencia at 1 p.m.
If he were to have his way, Rama said, he wanted to also organize a memorial lecture during the 30th year death anniversary of Ninoy next year to educate the youth on what the late senator did for his love of the country.
“We have to remind the youngsters of the events in the past kay o balik na gihapon ang nahitabo sa una…. But never again should we allow Martial Law to happen again. It was really a nightmare Martial Law was a nightmare,” said Rama.
Regional Trial Court Judge Meinrado Paredes agreed.
“The life of Ninoy and struggle of Ninoy against the Marcos dictatorship should be studied, especially by the youth,” he said.
In the program at 3 p.m in Plaza Independencia martial activist and Ninoy’s friend Antonio Cuenco joined Rama and other Cebu City officials in a program that also served as a freedom concert.
Cuenco, a former Cebu assemblyman and south district representativehad released to media yesterday Ninoy’s letter to him dated June 27, 1983 confirming his plan to return home.
In that letter Ninoy said “I have taken your advice very seriously and you convinced me that the time has come for me to return.”/Doris C. Bongcac, Patricia Andra D. Pateña, Ador Vincent Mayol and Tweeny M. Malinao