MANILA - As a kid whose parents live abroad, Juan Paulo Fermin wanted to be a pilot. Fast forward to 2017, not only did he become one but was also able to fly them home -- a dream finally come true.
In a heartwarming video shared by thousands on Facebook, Fermin is seen surprising his mother with a bouquet of flowers inside the plane in Vancouver when the flight en route to Manila changed crew in Canada.
"Today, after 16 Christmases apart – and unknown to my parents, I was actually part of the crew that was flying them home for Christmas," he said in a Facebook post on December 18.
In the video, Fermin's surprised mother got emotional upon seeing her son. The two then shared an extended embrace.
Fermin told ABS-CBN News that he planned for it when he found out a month prior that his parents would be flying via Philippine Airlines. He said he asked a colleague to switch schedules with him so he could be in the cockpit on his parents' flight.
The colleague agreed and he served as the second officer, assisting the captain for his parents' flight home.
"Ini-imagine mo lang siya dati. Never mo ine-expect na darating sa point na ganito. Tapos nag-viral pa," he added.
Fermin said his mom had to leave him when he was 8 to marry his stepfather. He said his parents would usually visit the Philippines every 3 years, but this would be their first Christmas in the Philippines in 5 years.
"Last nilang uwi is 5 years ago. Medyo matagal na kasi I had to finish college and then after some time I went to flying school. So medyo magastos," said Fermin, the first pilot in the family.
If he would have no emergency schedule at work, Fermin and his mother could spend Christmas together for the first time in years.