Cebu netizen helps ‘homeless’ man reconnect with his family in Agusan del Sur

By: Raul Constantine L. Tabanao - Photo-Videographer/CDN Digital | May 19,2020 - 01:38 PM

Tatay Ruben Juntilla | Photo from netizen Khaloy Navaja’s Facebook post

MOALBOAL, CEBU —Khaloy Navaja barely knew Tatay Ruben Juntilla, but he felt the need to help him find his family in Mindanao.

On Monday, May 18, Navaja posted on his Facebook page an announcement that Juntilla, who now lives along P. Del Rosario Street in Cebu City, was trying to reconnect with his family in Barangay Bayugan 1 in Agusan del Sur.

“Good evening sa mga taga Agusan Del Sur, Butuan City especially sa Sitio Nuli, Brgy. Bayugan 1…Gusto ni tatay Rubin nga pahibaw-on iyang mga pamilya nga naa siya sa Cebu City karun ug dip a lang siya dugay naka gawas sa hospital mga 3 na ka adlaw gikan karun. Nag padala daw siya suwat ngara pero wala pa siya kahibaw if naabot or nabasahan ba sa iya pamilya,” said Navaja’s FB post.

(Good evening to all Agusan del Sr, Butuan City natives especially those who are from Sitio Nuli, Barangay Baguyan 1.  Tatay Rubin wanted his family to know that he is now in Cebu City and that he was recently discharged from the hospital, about three days ago. He wanted you to know that he sent you a letter but he is not certain if it reached you.)

To his surprise, Navaja, a volunteer of Cebu Tabang Express, said that a lot of Agusan del Sur residents took notice of his post.  He also received messages from Agusan residents who are now in Cebu.

Cebu Tabang Express is a Cebu-based volunteer group that consists of motorcycle riders who help people who are unable to leave their homes because of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) buy essentials on their behalf.

Navaja said that it was from the FB messages that he received that he learned that Juntilla, 55, had left his home 30 years ago.  Some of his relatives thought that he already died because they never heard from him since.

Just this morning, May 19, Navaja said that Juntilla spoke with a sister through a video call which he initiated.

“Nagka estory na sila sa iyang mga igsoon via Video Call VC sa messenger ganiha lang alas 8am sa buntag. Ug giadto nasad siya sa anak sa iyang iyaan nga si maam ely ug gihatdan ug pagkaon. Salamat sa mga ni hatod ug pagkaon ug sa mga nag share sa akong post,” said Navaja, who is from San Fernando town.

(Tatay Ruben already spoke with his sister through video call at 8 a.m. today.  Ma’am Ely, who is a daughter of one his aunts also went to see him and brought him food.  I would like to thank all those who sent food [to Tatay Ruben] and to all those who shared my Fb post.)

Navaja recalled that he first met Juntilla at about 6 p.m. on Monday, May 18, while he was along P. Del Rosario Street in Cebu City.

“Gikan ko nag-deliver ug essential goods kay usa manko sa mga volunteer sa Cebu Tabang Express. Then pag padalong nako pauli sir ni hapit ko sa may lucky 4 para magpa photocopy sa akung ID. Ihen nakit an naku si tatay nga ga lingkod atubangan sa maong tindahan,” he said.

(I came from a recent delivery of essential goods then because I am a volunteer of Cebu Tabang Express. On my way back, I dropped by Lucky 4 to have my ID photocopied.  It was then that I saw Tatay who was seated across the store.)

Navaja said that Juntilla sat on a worn-out carton that he would also use when he sleeps.

Out of pitty, Navaja said he started to talk to Juntilla and learned that he would only sleep on the sidewalks despite the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019.

Although happy that he already located Juntilla’s relatives, Navaja said that he still won’t be able to send him back home to Agusan del Sur because of ongoing travel restrictions.

Until he is able to travel, Navaja said that Juntilla is in need of help, especially for his daily sustenance.  He also needed to see a doctor for his follow up checkup for his liver disease. / dcb

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TAGS: Agusan del Sur, homeless

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