Cebu’s entertainment industry mourns death of “humble, friendly” Ricky Monterona 

By Michelle Joy Padayhag |January 24,2019 - 01:08 PM

Talent mannager Rabie Ian Pogoy (left) shared a photo on his Facebook account with wedding and events photographer Ricky Monterona (right most).


Cebu City, Philippines – Ricky Monterona is known in Cebu’s entertainment industry as a well-respected wedding and events photographer. 

But he isn’t known just for his success with his works. His friends also admire him for his mild-mannered personality and his humility.

“We all know how accomplished he was. But dili jud siya hambugero or garboso. Friendly kaayo na siya and very sociable but he was not the type nga sabaan. Mild ra jud iya personality,” said ABS-CBN Cebu host Borgie Cabigas. 

But in the evening of Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Cebu lost a gem in the industry after Monterona was killed in an ambush while on board the van of San Fernando mayor Lakambini “Neneth” Reluya in Barangay Linao, Talisay City. 

Red more: San Fernando mayor survives ambush

He was one of three killed in the shooting incident. The other fatalities were San Fernando’s incumbent Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president and husband of the mayor, Ricardo “Nonoy” Reluya Jr., and Allan Bayot, who was the driver of the van.

Monterona, according to the website of the San Fernando local government unit, was the town’s  Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office (LEIPO) officer. 

The news came as a shock to Monterona’s friends.

Read more: LMP-Cebu asks police for a speedy probe into the Reluya ambush case

“That is why when I found out about the shooting incident, shocked kaayo ko,” Cabigas added.

Cabigas recalled that he first met Monterona during the earlier days of his career in the show business industry. 

“Everytime we see each other, we always exchange greetings. Buotan jud na siya,” he said. 

Monterona owned Eye Ronick Photography. He made a name as  a photographer, doing high fashion photography with elite models and celebrities. 

Read more: Politics eyed as motive in mayor’s ambush

Cabigas also described Monterona as a well-loved and a respected personality in the industry.  

For GMA Cebu’s Yuri Deldig, Monterona was nice, jolly, and a supportive friend

“If naa koy i-post nga need ko og something mo message and recommend dayon na siya,” Deldig said.

The Kapuso host said he was teary-eyed while hosting an event when he learned Monterona’s death. 

His favorite memory with Monterona was when they talked about life over coffee. 

No dull moment

Wedding coordinator Darling Arias also shared her good memories with Monterona.

She first met Monterona around 2011 when he was hired as one of the photographers of her client’s wedding.

“From then on, every time mag kita me for every gathering sa mga wedding suppliers sa industry sigi na gyud na siya og pakatawa namo,” Arias told CDN Digital.

For her, there was no  dull moment when Monterona was around. 

“He also makes sure nga okay jud among output and working with him was light and fun,” she added. 

When Arias learned about Monterona’s death, she realized that Cebu lost someone who touched people’s lives with his positive mindset. 

If others described him as funny and professional photographer, others also knew him to be a generous person.

Monterona helped in managing a family-owned convenience store in Lapu-Lapu City.

Juanico Berdin Arganda, a former employee described him as a humble man.

“Dili gyud kamahayan si sir sa work, very polite,” Arganda said.

He was also kind and loved to share his blessings to the employees, she added. /bjo

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