As the bedlam continues at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), a video of a pilot in another one of the country’s major airports has gone viral — but for a totally different reason.
Facebook user Kathrine Sheree Lobrigas Tandingan posted the video of Captain Rizalino “Totoy” Irizari of Cebu Pacific Air on Friday, the day of their flight.
Tandignan told Coconuts Manila that their flight was bound for Cebu City from Davao.
In the video, the pilot can be seen giving a heartwarming speech on his last flight before retirement.
The video, which has received more than 2.8 million views as of writing, shows an emotional Irizari talking on the plane’s announcement system.
“I would like to inform you that in my career, this is my last flight here. My 48 years of flying in aviation [have been] a big thing for me,” he says before the crowd.
He was greeted with applause by the passengers, cheering and thanking him after the speech.
“Delayed flight? It’s okay as long as this is what you witness in your whole life,” Tandingan wrote in the Facebook post. “It’s a privilege for us to witness this awesome and blessed moment on-board.”
“When the passengers were already inside the plane, it was unusual because the captain went out holding the microphone like he was about to announce something,” Tandingan told Coconuts Manila in a mix of English and Filipino. “He even said that when we reach Cebu, there would be two firetrucks that will offer him a water salute.”
When the plane came to a full stop after landing in Cebu, Irizari was greeted by his fellow pilots, according to Tandingan. She said the experience has been “overwhelming” because “of all flights [this could’ve happened], it happened to our flight.”
“We were included on that important day of his life, and to witness that with his family is a rare moment,” she ended.
Facebook page Lunhaw Frames production posted Irizari’s retirement video yesterday, showing the plane Irizari was flying as it was given a water salute.
The video also shows other aviators and staff members of the airline greeting him with a “happy retirement” tarpaulin.
As of writing, the retirement video has received more than 27,000 views as of posting.
“You will be remembered for the things you did for the pilots and also for the crew. Thank you for the friendship, you will surely be missed,” a representative of his cabin crew toasts in the video. “Here’s a drink to your well-deserved retirement.”