4 Thousand Send Capt. Bahinting: Laid to Rest

CEBU CITY -- About 4,000 people endured the humid air and joined the convoy that brought Captain Jessup Bahinting to a private cemetery in Barangay Poblacion, Ginatilan town, nine days after his plane crashed.
The company he founded, Aviatours, faces an investigation over the August 18 crash of one of its aircraft, a twin-engine Piper Seneca that carried Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.
But on Monday, Bahinting’s family, friends and student pilots focused on giving him a fitting goodbye, while a white light plane passed overhead.

In his eulogy, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri promised he will try his best to help Aviatour Flyin’ Inc. secure permission to resume its operations.
He said Bahinting had a “beautiful heart” and was always ready to lend his plane during the 2007 elections.
“He would not charge me the usual rate,” said Zubiri. “Gasolina lang (He just let me pay for aviation fuel).”
According to its website, Aviatours charges from P16,000 to P145,000 per chartered flight, depending on the destination and the aircraft.
“He was one of the best pilots I’ve known,” Zubiri said.
A family member, Dr. Benjamin Sol, said during the funeral service in the late pilot’s beach resort in Barangay San Roque, Ginatilan that Bahinting loved the Louis Armstrong song “What a Wonderful World.”
He learned from Margarita, Bahinting’s wife, that the pilot, 60, often whistled the tune while in the bathroom.
But for some residents, it was Bahinting who was wonderful to them. The crowd that joined the funeral procession reached 4,000, the police estimated.
Some of the mourners wore white shirts with their names above a red heart and, below it, Bahinting’s initials, JMB.
Trisikad, tricycle and motorcycle drivers stopped transporting passengers and joined the convoy. Ordinary folks lined the streets from San Roque to Poblacion, a stretch of 800 meters.
Jessup Bahinting burial
THE MAN WHO LOVED TO FLY.  The family, friends and students of Captain Jessup Bahinting give him a final sendoff in Ginatilan town, while a light aircraft passes by. (Alex Badayos)
A white plane hovered above.
“Maayo siyang tawo (He was a good man),” said 74-year-old Crescensiana Casinto. “Daghan siyang napaeskuyla (He sent many children to school).”
Casinto observed the funeral procession as she sat on a bench by the side of the road. She said she would have wanted to walk with her neighbors, but she could not take long walks because half of her body is paralyzed.
Ginatilan Mayor Antonio Cinco and Vice Mayor Michael Dean Cinco were present during the service.
Bahinting’s childhood friend, Paul Montenegro, also shared his memories with the pilot, while holding back tears.
The last one to give a eulogy, Pastor Romeo Posta, broke down while recalling that Bahinting, his close friend, wanted him to handle the latter’s funeral service.
“He made full use of his time,” said Posta of his fellow pastor. “We grieve because we love him. We wouldn’t be here if we were not touched by his life.”
The convoy arrived in the cemetery past 3 p.m. Bahinting’s student pilots were the pallbearers.
After Bahinting’s casket was placed inside the burial vault, white balloons marked “We miss you” were released into the air.
The pilot’s wife, Margarita, relatives, friends and students broke into tears.
“We thank everybody for their support,” said Jemar Rose, Bahinting’s daughter. “Those people who were touched (by Bahinting) will continue his legacy.”
When asked if she will take the reins of her father’s business, Jemar Rose said she will “do whatever it takes to continue his legacy.”
In his eulogy, Dr. Sol, the husband of Bahinting’s niece, said the pilot loved God above all things and his love for his neighbors showed in his charitable works.
“That’s the wonderful world Jessup wanted,” he said. (KAL/Sun.Star Cebu)

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