Pilot returns to ‘happy place’ for the last time
Eight days after his Piper Seneca plane crashed off the waters of Masbate City, Capt. Jessup Bahinting has come home to his own “happy place” in Ginatilan town, in southwestern Cebu yesterday.
Friends and neighbors of Bahinting in the fishing town of Ginatilan waited for the arrival of his remains that were transported from St. Peter’s Funeral Homes in New Imus, Cebu City early yesterday morning.
His burial will be held in Ginatilan town at past 1 p.m today.
The remains of Bahinting’s Nepalese co-pilot Kshitz Chand were flown to Manila via Philippine Airlines (PAL) at 11:30 a.m and left for Bangkok, Thailand at 8:30 p.m.
It will be delivered to Kathmandu, Nepal at 10:30 p.m. today via Thai Airways. The funeral and transportation expenses were shouldered by Bahinting’s company Aviatour Air Inc.
Back in Ginatilan, Bahinting’s remains were delivered to the family resort at 4 p.m. following a five-hour parade from the St. Peter Funeral homes in Cebu City where his body laid in state for four days.
The hearse carrying Bahinting was followed by 20 vehicles from the funeral homes to Ginatilan town.
There were no streamers, no flower wreaths given, only people waiting for the pilot’s remains to arrive in the resort.
The casket was placed in the resort’s main air-conditioned room where it will stay for a night before Bahinting is buried today.
Furniture were set aside in order to accommodate the mono bloc chairs for the funeral service.
The planned flower drop and plane fly-by pushed by Sylvan Jakosalem, Cebu City Traffic Operations Management Operations (Citom) didn’t push through as the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) didn’t issue a permit.
More than a week after it happened, Bahinting’s family were still stunned at his sudden death.
“He’s a true friend, he’s generous when someone asks for help. I thank God he took care of all of us,” Jessup’s brother in-law Jesus Matas said.
Though Ginatilan wasn’t their original hometown, the Siquijor-born Jessup, considered it his home.
Jesus recalled their simple beginning in Siquijor and how Jessup dreamt of one day operating his own flight school.
“He was helping at the airport in Dumaguete and he fetched a congressman from Siquijor. From there, Jessup was fired up about being a pilot and he became one for 30 years. He has achieved so much because he worked hard for it,” Jesus said.
Bahinting received a Lifesaver Award from the Cebu City government for delivering the anti-venom serum from Camiguin province for snake bite victim and Cebu City zoo worker Ronaldo Aventurado.
The award was received by his widow Margarita and their children in simple rites held at the St. Peter’s Funeral Homes last Saturday afternoon.
Aside from being a pilot, Bahinting was a pastor of a Christian fellowship church, Grace Communion International. /Edison delos Angeles, Correspondent with Reporter Rhea Ruth V. Rosell
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