Friends remember kind, responsible pilot from Lapu-Lapu, who died in Davao crash

By: Gerard Vincent Francisco April 28,2019 - 04:10 PM

Captain Jessie Lagapa (right) congratulates his student, Amiel Pedraza Loca, (left) during Loca’s college graduation at the Indiana Aerospace University in 2018. | Photo courtesy of Amiel Pedraza Loca

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Jessie Kevin Lagapa, 25, had always wanted to become a pilot, his best friend Rio Marielle Booc can always recall. 

Graduating with a Degree in Aviation Technology from Indiana Aerospace University, he proceeded to work as a spray plane pilot for an Agricultural aerial spraying service in Davao City. 

“Greatest dream g’yud na niya and maayo jud siya nga pilot,” (It was really his greatest dream, and he was really a great pilot.) Booc said in a message sent over on Facebook to CDN Digital. 

Now living in New Zealand, Booc would receive photos of the sunrise before Lagapa prepares for departure.  

At 5:12a.m. on Saturday, April 27, 2019 however, Booc received her last photo from Lagapa, and she may never see another sunrise from him again. 

Read more: Agricultural pilot dies as plane hits power lines in Davao

April 27 would unfortunately be Lagapa’s last flight, after a freak accident took his life at an early age of 25. 

Booc and Lagapa have been friends since 2000, first being acquainted with each other in a private school in Lapu Lapu City. 

Booc can recall all the things she used to do with Lagapa, considering him her “guy best friend”. 

“Jessie is the type of person who knows how to understand people in every way, the person who’s patience is bigger than the universe. A responsible and loving son, cousin, friend and a best friend,” Booc told CDN Digital. 

“He is my best friend, brother, Valentines date, coffee buddy, road trip buddy, everything that you wish your guy best friend to be. My constant buddy since 2000,” Booc added. 

The last photo of the sunrise over Davao City was also the last conversation Booc had with her best friend. 

The last sunrise photo taken by Jessie Lagapa before his plane crashed after hitting a power line on April 27. | Photo courtesy of Rio Marielle Booc

Booc also told CDN Digital that Lagapa had plans of meeting up with her in New Zealand before he died.

“Thank you for everything and for making me special in every way, thank you for being my cheerleader, and thank you for constantly reminding me to be better everyday.” Booc said as a final message to Lagapa. 

Earl Lozada, also Lagapa’s school mate since elementary, recalls the time he joined Lagapa and his batch mates in the fiesta celebration in their hometown of Lapu – Lapu. 

Lozada can recall that he navigated Lozado throughout the trip since he was not familiar with the venue. 

“Ang naka nindot niya kay responsible kaayo siya na tao. Kahibaw siya mo drive pa siya di jud na siya mo inum maayo,” (The good thing about him was he was a responsible person. He doesn’t drink much if he knows he’s going to drive.) said Lozada as his final message. 

Lagapa was reportedly a quiet person in social situations, but in a one – on – one conversation, he reportedly talks a lot about his career and his future. 

Lozada praised Lagapa’s success in achieving his dream of being a pilot, saying he was one of the people that he looked up to. 

“Usa ka sa mga gi look forward namo kay bilib kaayo mi sa imong na achieve karon and gi pursue jud nimo imong dream. Greatest salute nimo, Capt!,” (You are one of the people that we (your batchmates) look forward too, because we are so proud of what you have achieved and that you are pursuing your dream. Greatest salute to you Captain!) said Lozada. 

According to Lozada, one of his main hobbies is reportedly playing a lot o online games. 

He even brings his affection for online games to his part – time job as an instructor for the university he graduated in.

One of former students and eventual teaching colleague, Amiel Pedraza Loca, recalls Lagapa’s mastery in the lessons he teaches.

“Very sharp. Approachable. Di lang siya teacher, kuya pud namo,” (He isn’t only a teacher, he is also a big brother.) Loca told CDN Digital. 

Lagapa would reportedly play video games together with Loca, even when he was still a teacher to the latter. 

Loca in a Facebook post, said that he is very grateful for the lessons he learned, not only in flying a plane but also in life. 

Promise nako Capt di nako kalimtan tanan gipangtudlo nimo nako, sa flying, lessons, diskarte sa tanan, og sa pag pangga ug babae. (I promise that I won’t forget what you taught me Cap, in flying lessons, gaining an advantage and taking care of a girl.) said Loca in his Facebook post. /dbs

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TAGS: Aerospace, Booc, Davao, Indiana, Jessie, Lagapa, Loca

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