This man obviously made a huge impact on others lives.
Huge crowd joins family, bids farewell to Bahinting
Pilot’s daughter vows to continue flying school, business amid inquiryCebu Daily News Close to a thousand people bid farewell to Capt. Jessup Bahinting in burial rites held in Ginatilan town, southern Cebu at past 2 p.m. yesterday.
“My dad’s legacy is not only about aviation. His greatest legacy is his faith and love for Jesus,” said his 28-year-old daughter Sarah Lynn.
Requiem services were held in the family’s resort by the Grace Community International (GCI), a Christian group where the pilot served as a member of the advisory council of elders.
Sympathizers, most of whom wore white shirts, walked a kilometer from the resort to the cemetery behind the hearse carrying his remains to the Ginatilan municipal cemetery.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of people who came. This proved how good my husband was,” his widow Margarita told reporter later.
The coffin was carried by students and pilots of Aviatour Air Inc., the flying school and chartered flight service he founded.
One of the pall bearers was Nigerian pilot David Yakubu whom Bahinting had sent to Camiguin province on a mercy mission to get the anti-venom serum that saved the life of a Cebu zoo keeper.
A four-seater Cessna flown by Bahinting’s nephew Joedan Bahinting made two passes in the sky while Aviatour pilots carried the blue casket.
The casket was placed on its stand for about five minutes.
GCI members sang while the coffin was being laid in a tomb. A hundred white balloons were released in the air. White roses were also placed there by family and friends.
The Siquijor-born pilot was laid to rest in Ginatilan, the hometown of his wife, over a week after the Aug. 18 crash of a Piper Seneca, which Bahinting and his Nepalese co-pilot Kshitiz Chand flew, killling both of them and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo in the waters off Masbate City.
Bahinting’s eldest daughter, Jemar Rose, 36, flew in from the United States for the funeral.
Youngest son Dan, a pilot based in the US, was unable to come home due to lack of a travel permit.
The funeral reunited Bahinting’s friends from northern Mindanao, Caraga and Zamboanga Peninsula in Mindanao.
Bahinting served as church leader of Grace Communion International in that area from 1984 to 1991.
Churchmates from Bacolod, Leyte and Bohol also came to pay their respects.
In his message, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri described Bahinting as a great pilot and a friend.
“When we needed planes, he was there to help us. He never charged the usual rates,” Zubiri recounted.
He said he got to know Bahinting during the 2007 elections. Three days before the accident, Zubiri said he boarded the same plane that crashed off the seas of Masbate.
“That was an accident that nobody wanted. He was one of the best pilots I know. Many know of his big heart. It will be a shame if you let that memory pass away. Let’s keep his legacy flying,” he said.
Zubiri said Bahinting helped a victim in the recent failed ambush of Surigao del Norte Gov. Sol Matugas.
Eugene Guzon, national director of GCI, said Bahinting was very active in their church meetings and activities.
“He was a man of few words but his actions spoke louder than words,” Guzon told Cebu Daily News.
Syko Wirawan, one of Bahinting’s students, said the flight school owner treated his students as his sons. “His death is a big loss,” he said.
Zubiri said he will help in appealing to the Civilian Aviation Authority of the Philippines to lift the suspension on Aviatour’s fleet.
Jemar Rose, who is chief operating officer of the company, said they face a challenge in continuing to run the company amid the CAAP investigation.
The flying school has over 100 students, many of them foreigners.
“We will work hard to continue what my father started. We will continue his legacy,” she said. /Ador Vincent Mayol and BenCyrus G. Ellorin