EulogyJose Riodil Demerre Montebon: Man of faith and of...

Jose Riodil Demerre Montebon: Man of faith and of passion


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Jose Riodil “Didil” Montebon was born to Atty. Jose Jr. & Virginia Montebon on Dec. 7, 1954 in Dumaguete City.

A Sillimanian for most of his life, Didil graduated from Silliman University Elementary School in 1967, and from SU High School in 1971. He also earned his Political Science degree from Silliman in 1976, and was awarded as the Most Outstanding Student of his batch of graduates.

Didil then studied law at the University of the Philippines from where he graduated in 1981.

After successfully hurdling the Bar examinations in 1982, Didil joined the prestigious law firm of Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz, more popularly known as ACCRA Law.

In 1983, he married his muse and fellow Sillimanian Marietta Ascaño Utzurrum.

Didil then worked his way to being a partner at ACCRA Law. Despite being Manila-based at that time, Didil served the greater Silliman community as national president of the SU Alumni Association Inc. from 1990 to 1991.

Sometime in 1992, Didil left ACCRA Law to return with his family to their hometown of Dumaguete, where he eventually established, and became a founding partner of EDLAW.

In 1994, he was appointed as legal counsel for Silliman University, and held this position until 2010.

Throughout his life, Didil has always been passionate about the arts, the academe, and even more so about his faith. He was able to merge all these pursuits while practicing law in Dumaguete.

For instance, Didil was instrumental in reviving the youth camp ministry of Silliman Church, and in the process, pioneered the Young Adults Fellowship (YAF).

Subsequently, Didil became executive director of Care Corner International Foundation, and started an evangelism ministry through The Spreading Flame, a youth performing arts, dance and theater group.

Sometime in 2006, Didil and his family established Plantasia Park in barangay Bolocboloc in the town of Sibulan, a garden and orchard park with an events pavilion, as well as a plant nursery to cater to local gardening, landscaping, and event needs.

Moreover, Didil also helped to establish the Dumaguete Theatre Company in 2018, the group behind the staging of the musical Song of Solomon at Silliman’s Claire McGill Luce Auditorium.

This production uncovered many local young talents, and successfully revived the stage tradition in this part of the country – a tradition Didil was actively part of in his college years.

But perhaps one of the things Didil is most known for is as an inspiring mentor and academician.

He served as a professional lecturer at the SU College of Law from 1992 to 2020. At some point, he also served as Dean of this academic unit.

Subsequently, Didil served Foundation University as director of the Dr. Vicente G. Sinco Center for Good Governance & Policy Studies.

In addition, Didil is the acknowledged “legal architect” behind the entity now known as the SU Medical Center Foundation Inc. (SUMCFI). His sole sibling, Roberto, served as its first president/administrator.

A man of many talents, Didil in his lifetime also published a few books that include Boy from Basay (about the life of his father-in-law, Manuel Utzurrum Jr.), as well as Cupful of Anger, Bottle of Smoke (a collection of short stories celebrating the life of his own father, Atty. Jose Montebon Jr.).

Truly, space is not enough to extol the achievements and virtues of Didil since he embodied a multitude of roles throughout his life.

But his greatest and most enjoyable role is that of a dedicated, nurturing, loving, family man to his family. Didil leaves his lasting legacy of service rooted in faith, and of his great love, to his cherished immediate family:

Loving spouse Marrieta Utzurrum-Montebon;

Their firstborn: Jose Manuel who married Jessica Yso, and children Dinn Angel Faith Nipshagen, Naomi Yzobelle Arnaiz, Jezca Jo, and Jose Manuel Jr.;

Their daughter Marion Lia, married to Kyle Dru Dans, and children Sean David Montebon, Kye Liam, Lara Kaitlyn, and Ari Kyler;

And their youngest daughter Dr. Keziah Marie, married to Dr. Kyle Vinci Solano. (Joanna Ruth T. Utzurrum)



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