Mysterious Man in the Cross Roads
This incident happened when I returned to barangay Bayan-bayan, Labo, Camarines Norte, the place where I spent most of my childhood. When I was still studying in the elementary school of the barangay, the crossroads we were waiting for had an important part for me and my other classmates who lived in different parts of the barangay.
But when I came back in 1992 after going through a major life test, the illness of nervous breakdown, the students on the crossroads had a new perspective. It is no longer as usual to wait for the students who come from different parts of the barangay if they are not afraid, more than at night.
"Why are you afraid of this place?" I asked the children I was walking with at the crossroads one branch to our place and the other, to another part of our barangay.
"We saw a man in this place", replied the girl I felt in my voice the horror of the incident being told. "She is sad and looking at us as if nothing can be seen!"
"And someone also saw that man 's bloody lying on the crossroads", said another child. "So, even though I didn't see the man, I was scared because many saw!"
Since I did not know anything about the past events in our barangay, the man who was feared by the children studying at Bayan-bayan Elementary School became a puzzle to me. And because I was born with a natural desire to know the truth behind a mysterious event, I hung out not far from the crossroads.
"There is no man showing up", I said with my eyes fixed on the crossroads. "Sure, at night that man often shows up!"
And since I did not see the mysterious man that the children studying at Bayan-bayan Elementary School feared, I decided to talk to some of my young people who already have a family but still live in the barangay. Among those I talked to was Luvie who, if my memory is not mistaken, barangay Tanod of this time.
"Maybe Poding's soul is what the kids saw, classmate", replied my classmate.
"Who's Poding, classmate?" I asked my classmate who lived far from the crossroads.
"Brother Romy Herico's brother", he replied.
"Didn't you know he was dead?"
"No", I replied. "How did brother Poding die?"
According to the story of my classmate, brother Poding was killed by armed men on the crossroads on suspicion of reporting to the military that a group of rebels was meeting at the Villamonte family home in a part of the barangay. Due to the heat of the conflict between the rebels and the military, the incident resulted in the death of many members of the Villamonte family, so the violence was called the Villamonte Massacre.
And not only did Luvie say that brother Poding's soul is the man seen on the crossroads, it is also the belief of some of our fellow villagers that I can tell the mysterious man seen on the crossing road to elementary school from our place. A story like many such stories, lost in the memory of people over time.
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