President’s pilot returns to his school in Bautista


BAUTISTA—The pilot assigned to serve two presidents of the country returned to his alma mater, Bautista Elementary School, with a mission – to inspire the young graduates to dream and have a goal in life, much the same say he did.

Philippine Air Force Lt. Col. Ernesto Bautista Jr, who grew up in Poblacion West this town, was guest speaker at the school’s graduation rites on April 4.

He regaled the graduates and his audience with his goal and dream in life as a Grade 3 pupil in the school, the day the first time he dreamed of becoming a pilot.

He recalled the day when a young pilot landed his military helicopter on the school grounds to greet his mother, who was then a teacher in the school, on her birthday.

“That was the very first time that I personally saw a military helicopter up close.  From that moment on, I told myself “Someday I will become a military pilot myself!,” he told 175 elementary graduates, their parents, teachers and guests.

And he admitted that before he made it to being a pilot, he went through a lot of failures, mistakes, discouragement and challenges that gave him “the best lessons” in achieving his goals and realizing his dream.

And when he finally became a pilot, after graduating at the Philippine Military Academy in 1996, he said he was sent to study a course in the United States for a year in 2011 then returned to the Philippines and assigned to the prestigious 250th Presidential Airlift Wing as presidential pilot to no less than the President of the Philippines.

He was the primary pilot assigned to former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and now to President Rodrigo Duterte.

In urging the graduates to become good leaders in the future, he shared his own motto in life – BEST which means: B for Build your goals, E for Embrace growth, S for Serve, and T never to forget to say “Thank you.”

He added, “The incumbent President, His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, has a great vision of improving the well-being of the country, but he alone cannot achieve this, but would require the contributions of each and every one of us, especially you as the future leaders of the Nation.”

He explained that a goal puts them in the right direction. “It will not always be rainbows in your road to success, but even then, even if you fail, make mistakes, or get discouraged,” he said.

He added, “Always remember that these bumps will make you stronger and will bring you closer to your dreams.”

He also told them to “Offer yourself to a cause bigger than your own ambitions”.

He said, “Remember – you don’t do things for applause, you don’t live just for yourself; rather, you live for others. Help others achieve their goals by being an inspiration to them. Create a purposeful life – serve, teach and inspire”.

He told the graduates to say “thank you” more often. “You will be amazed at the wonderful surprises it will give you,” he said. (Eva Visperas)

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