‘Jessup didn’t die in vain’

Posted on August 26, 2012

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If not for the (plane crash), my husband’s love for God would not be exposed to the whole world,” said Margarita Bahinting yesterday after receiving a posthumous award for her pilot spouse in simple rites at the St. Peter’s Life Funeral Homes.

Cebu City officials led by Mayor Michael Rama and Cebu City zoo worker Ronaldo Aventurado handed the city’s first ever Lifesaver Award for Capt. Jessup Bajinting, founder of Aviatour flying school and chartered flight service.

The late pilot was also a pastor.

Margarita and her two daughters received the plaque.

The award recognized the pilot for his “free and unselfish air missions and ambulance airlifts” that saved lives.

In thanking the city officials, Margarita said what happened to her husband was God’s will.

She cited Romans 8:28 in the Bible which states “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“God has a reason and a purpose even in tragic times. Good things will happen to those who love God. God used him to heal Ron-Ron (Aventurado) from the snake bite,” Margarita said.

Bahinting sent one of his planes to Camiguin province to pick up anti-venom serum used on Aventurado who was bitten by a King Cobra three days earlier.

Margarita said her husband also helped other people.

She mentioned a blind person who needed an eye operation and a person who needed a hearing aid who received the treatment they needed after her late husband transported them to the hospitals.

Aventurado, the zoo keeper who survived a cobra bite, was the latest beneficiary of her husband’s volunteer missions, Margarita said.

In last night’s memorial service a video presentation showed Dan Bryan, Bahinting’s son, and his two grandchildren in the US delivering messages for him.

Teary eyed, Dan Bryan said he was in contact with his father the last few weeks because he “felt that something is going to happen.”

Before the plane crash, the mayor had planned to give the award to Bahintang in the next Charter Day celebration in February next year.

The Cebu City Council passed a resolution expressing their sympathy to the families of Bahinting and Interior and Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo, honoring them as “great men.”

Former councilor Jack Jakosalem, who coordinated with Bahintang in delivering the anti-venom from Camiguin, gave the closing remarks in yesterday’s award ceremony at the vigil.

He said the mission for Aventurado “was the final testament of his (Bahinting’s) goodness.”

“Capt. Jessup did so many great things many never heard of before, but I believe the Lord gave him one more chance to be heroic in his last days on earth, and this final act sealed the fact that he was a lifesaver,” he said.

Jakosalem said his only regret in the past two weeks was that he was unable to tell Bahinting that he was handing the award to him on Charter Day.

The Lapu-Lapu City government also gave a copy of its resolution expressing condolence to Bahinting’s family and commending the pilot’s aid to Aventurado.

Bahinting’s son Jeymar, Dan Bryan and Jesse arrived from the US yesterday .

The pilots remains will be brought to Ginatilan town at 7 a.m. today.

A memorial service will be held at Jessup Margie’s Beach Resort, San Roque, Ginatilan at 7 p.m.

On Monday, a memorial service at 2 p.m. in the resort will precede the burial at the municipal cemetery.

The remains of Bahinting’s co-pilot Kshitiz Chand, whose wake is in the same vigil hall as Bahinting, will be transported to his native Nepal tomorrow. /Tweeny M. Malinao and Edison delos Angeles, Correspondents

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