This Jesus doesn’t save mankind but the bones of faithful departed-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
JESUS religiously roams the Carreta Catholic Cemetery, warding off demons who are trying to commit crime in a place he believes is sacred.
Expect him to be busier when All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is observed this week, during which most people visit their departed loved ones.
Jesus is not wearing a flowing robe. He doesn’t sport a beard and long, wavy hair. He is big, tall, dark-skinned, well-shaved and occasionally smokes cigarettes.
Jesus is not also preaching to attract several followers and he has no plan of building a new church inside the old memorial park on Gen. Maxilom Ave., Cebu City.
He speaks no parables, but he said he talks in the tongue of a diplomat to irate cemetery-goers.
He said he tries to control himselfwhen he feels like blowing his top. But sometimes he fails for, he said, he is only human.
Jesus is not the Christ. He is Jesus Desuyo, the cemetery caretaker.
“Bonus ni nga nakaserbisyo ko sa mga tawo bisan sa akong pangedaron (This is a bonus for me that I’m able to serve others despite my advanced age),” he said.
Before working in a place considered by many as creepy, the 61-year-old widower said he used to operate a shell craft factory.
He closed shop when the economy was in crisis in 2000.
Five years later, another tempest shook his life: his wife died of breast cancer.
His only shelter from all these is the Alliance of Two Hearts Parish in Banawa, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.
Aside from guarding the graves, Jesus said he is also a lay minister at the church since 1998.
In 2008, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral parish priest Msgr. Roberto Alesna requested him to be the cemetery’s caretaker. A portion of Carreta cemetery is run by the cathedral, while the other is run by the Sto. Rosario Parish.
He accepted the job from Alesna, who was also the Alliance of Two Hearts’ former parish priest.
“Sa una nagpanagana ko, pero nalingaw ra sad ko diri (I was hesitant at first, but I came to enjoy my work here),” he said.
His friends taunted him after learning of his new job.
In his first day of work, he saw human bones scattered all over the place. He had them place inside sacks for safekeeping.
“Bisan pa man unsa ka-ubos ang tawo naa gyuy dignidad ug angay ipahiluna (Even how lowly a person was when he was alive, he still has dignity and he should be taken care of),” he said.
Jesus said his income as a caretaker is enough to support his five children.
Actually, he said there is no need to support them for they are already adults.
His two daughters are members of the police force while his other daughter is taking up law. His son, the youngest, is studying a marine course.
He said his children failed to convince him from leaving his work.
“Mag-unsa man sab ko sa balay nga wa na ilang mama (What would I do in our house when their mother is no longer there)?” he said.
Retiring is not in his mind right now.
Like his namesake in the Bible who served humankind, Jesus said he could be working until the twilight of his life.
“Kutob sa makaya” he said. “Hangtod nanginahanglan pa ang simbahan nato (I’ll be here until the Church still needs me).”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2012.