Bonita (NEWS 8) - Hundreds filled Corpus Christ Catholic Church in Bonita Saturday to say goodbye and pay their respects to Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, a 23 year old from Chula Vista, killed in last month's collision between the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a container ship off the coast of Japan.
One of the most touching tributes came from Carlos' own father, retired U.S. Navy Chief Victor Sibayan.
"Today we are celebrating the life of Carlos. He was only 23 years old but his life was filled with adventures, happiness, laughter and love," Victor said. "To Carlos, my first born, my love, my shipmate, my hero! You may be gone physically but the memories you left behind will always be in our hearts in our mind."
Carlos Sibayan was born in Manila, Phillipines, and went to Chaparral High School in Temecula. He was active in the school's Navy Junior Reserve Corps program.
Carlos' family spoke of the times, often while his father was out on deployment, when he supported his mother and acted as a role model to his two younger brothers.
A digital obituary posted online in his memory described him as having a "Zest for life that was noted by all who knew him. His kind and loving nature made him a favorite among family and friends alike.''
Carlos, along with Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, a 2010 Fallbrook High School graduate who lived in San Diego, and five other sailors were killed in the crash.
An interment ceremony was held at the Miramar National Cemetery on Friday for Douglass.
Born in a military hospital in Okinawa, he was described by his family as "an adventurous young man'' who loved to travel, became fluent in Japanese, was a certified scuba diver and a black belt in karate.
An investigation into the cause of the collision is underway. The U.S. Naval Institute Press reported that the Fitzgerald will enter a drydock in Yokosuka later this month, where officials will determine whether the ship can be repaired there in Japan, or will have to return to the U.S.