Last week, I traveled to Ronda, Cebu. In one of my many travels there since I was married to someone whose roots were from that place. If you’ve tried travelling through Ronda-Argao Mountain road then you’d expect a feast of wonderful sights. Vast green hills, fields and mountains. My favorite part is when the well-paved road takes you to sharp and curve roads around Brgy Botong overlooking a stiff cliff and then what lies below is a mysterious pastures of greens and thick vegetation. According to local folklore — sometime by the 50’s a truck accidentally fell through through the ravine killing all of its passengers. Which according to the story. Many of those killed continues to haunt this section of the road. Such as white figures walking past you when you drive or poltergists throwing ‘coconut husk’ at your vehicle whenever you passed by. And to tell you — this section of the road was really really dark at night with no light posts on each side stretching for several kilometers away.

But to tell you. I drove past this road many times in the dead of the night. Though it’s pretty chilling and scary — to as your vehicle plows through the endless darkness it as if you’re a star of this scary Hollywood movie where the unsuspecting protagonists gets hunted down by unknown entities. Man, ghost or beast. But t’was fine. It never really bothered me one bit. 🙂

I’m not saying I don’t believe in ghost stories. But to tell you, I’ve written several horror themed stories in the past not because I believe or not-believe them. But for the ‘spooky fun’ feeling of it all.

But, this is beyond the typical ‘spooky-fun’ feeling anymore. There’s something dark lurking around the corners of the streets in Ronda, Cebu. And people describes it as ‘masked men’ on motorcycles.

As you’ve already heard from the news. Both the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Ronda, Cebu had been killed by masked assassins. The younger vice-mayor Jonah John Ungab were killed sometime in 2017 after a court-hearing ‘gun-ban’ case against suspected drug-lord Kerwin Espinosa. And then just last September 5th. The mayor himself has been killed inside his office premises within the town’s municipal building.

For most of the people I interviewed there – especially those who had lived for more than 50 years in the town of Ronda — could truly attest that the then Mayor Blanco was a just, kind and dignified public servant. They call him the person that they’d be more than happy to vote should he ever ran again for the mayoralty as he had brought much needed reforms and brought progress which many thought have been beneficial on Ronda’s townsfolk.

Honestly, even me – myself can truly attest that the towns in Ronda, Cebu really has magnificent and well-paved roads. Even better than what we have in city which should obviously had more funding.

The people of Ronda, Cebu. Lost two of their most trusted public servants in the most tragic way possible. And most if not all of the townsfolk agree that the man in Malacanang has a hand on these killings. Apart from the usual horror stories of ghosts, apparitions and poltergeists. There was something that is far scarier than them all. So I asked.

According to people living in Brgy. Can-abujon Ronda Cebu. Their brgy chief was currently being hunted down by mysterious men on motorcycles. They’ve all been asking questions about his whereabouts. Sometimes, when they didn’t get the answer — they seemed to get pretty angry and starts to issue veiled threats. One of them I interviewed. My wife’s cousin mentioned that a white van with not plates has been repeatedly monitoring the Brgy Hall from a distance for more than 3 to 5 hours almost everyday.

During the night of Mayor Blanco’s assassination. She mentioned that many of those people who lived in Ronda, Cebu. Thought it would have been totally impossible that the local policemen to ‘not respond’ at the time of his killing since the police station was just a few stone throws away from the municipal building. Also, the entrance to the municipal building would require passage near the police station. So it’s technically impossible for the police to not have noticed a considerable number of armed men passing by them.

The people I interviewed with who lived close by the police station said that on that night when Mayor Blanco has been assassinated. There’s been a sudden increase of policemen in the police station it as if  there will be a huge law-enforcement operation in a scale that had never happened before.

Right now, some people tend to stay indoors whenever the dark seeps in. Most of their normal day-to-day routine in many of those living in the Brgy Can-Abujon had been seriously affected as they could no longer walks safely even during daytime like tending their livestock and gathering firewood since they seemed to be pretty terrified with all the daily butchery and killings. Especially now, that  masked men on motorcycles continues to roam the streets and hunting down their next prey.

Coconut farmer – To be honest, I don’t really feel safe right now. Much worse, I don’t even know who to trust anymore. Criminals, gangsters or policemen?

Until now, there’s a deafening silence in Ronda’s far-flung brgy’s (Ronda-Argao Mountain Rd).

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