One Ordinary Day in the Life of Pontoy

The forest of Cantipla 1 along the Trans-Central Highway

San Miguel waiting shed as seen from a distance. I took this picture while standing on the path that leads to the crime scene.

San Miguel waiting shed in Cantipla 1

San Miguel waiting shed in Cantipla 1
The Trans-Central Highway as seen from the San Miguel waiting shed. The forest on the right is the spot where the body of the Judith Jastiva was found by Pontoy Diacoma on February 18, 2009.

The Trans-Central Highway as seen from the San Miguel waiting shed. The forest on the right is the spot where the body of Judith Jastiva was found by Pontoy Diacoma on February 18, 2009.

February 18 was just one ordinary day in the life of one ordinary man named Alfonso Diacoma—Pontoy to friends. That morning  he had risen early: too many things to do, he would say, the garden patch he needed to till, to water or to spray for pests, and the Anglo-Nubian goats he had to bring to pasture. (These days when times are hard, goats provide the ready cash to spend until the season of corn harvest. Pontoy’s goats are the envy of neighbors).

The picture above shows that portion of Cebu Trans-Central Highway, Cantipla 1, near the waiting shed built from the donations of San Miguel Corporation. Just mention the name “San Miguel waiting shed” and people know what you are referring to. That stretch of the highway cuts across the province, connecting Cebu City to Balamban. The Trans-Central Highway is one good thing that happened to Cebu. Go touring here in your SUV or a hired van. My best suggestion is on a motorcycle. The sights are superb. You could treat yourselves to Japanese sweet corn sold by the kilo, its scent permeating the air with the aroma of newly harvested Brassica vegetables (broccoli, pechay, cabbages, mustard, spinach, and the like). Shoot the scenes digitally. My past remembrance here is seeing a crew making a clip of one bikini-clad calendar girl lying spread-eagled on top of quarry stones. Ah, these mountains with its innocence and reverent fun also has its share of human exploitation…

Pontoy was one of those men, heads of families in Cantipla 1 whom I had taught.

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One Response

  1. This story reminds me of the murders I have heard about in our barangay and the neighboring barangays in the municipality of Gerona, Tarlac. My wife’s uncle, Berting, was murdered in late 2006. Apparently, another carpenter was competing with him for the same job on a certain house. Berting was found dying on the side of the road with the back of his head smashed in. One of our neighbors was stabbed to death about a year later while walking to get some chicken and mami for dinner at the local “mamihauz”. No one was arrested and charged in either case. Without a government willing to protect the people with proper laws and a police force willing to enforce them, any one of us can become a victim if we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. So sad. All I can say as advice for our friends and family is to pray for God’s protection when the authorities are unwilling to provide it.

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