By Katrina Domingo
Born on November 9, 1971, Ronald Baquiran Bae - the Kawit gunman who was slain by cop after he shot eight people and wounded 11 others - was the middle child among five siblings.
He was married to Elena Aguilar Bae for 13 years and had five children with her.
But before their relationship, he had a couple of daughters from two other women.
The Bae family first lived in a house at 2847 Tanib Tabon 1 in Kawit, Cavite.
Neighbors said they left the community around 2010 and resettled somewhere in Tagaytay,
Then they moved to a new home in Guagua, Pampanga.
"Basta nakabili sila ng lupa dito tapos nagpagawa ng bahay," a female neighbor in Guagua said. "Tapos sabi ng mga bata, yung mga anak nya, galing daw silang Tagaytay. Pinagbili daw yung bahay nila doon. Tapos meron pa daw silang bahay sa Cavite [All I know is they bought land here and had a house built. The kids - their children - said they came from Tagaytay. They said they sold the house there. But they said they still have a house in Cavite]."
The reason for the Bae family's frequent change of residence remains unknown.
But their neighbors - men and women - in Cavite and in Pampanga agree that Ronald Bae was once a good neighbor.
Among the comments of neighbors, who requested not to be identified:
"Wala kaming nakitang pangit sa kanila. Mabait silang kausap [We didn't see anything bad about him. He's nice to talk to]."
"Mabait naman siya po. Wala naman po syang kaaway dito eh [He's a nice guy. He has no quarrels with anyone here]."
"Mabati naman yan. Tinutulungan kami 'pag walang nakakain. Binibigyan din kami niyan eh [He's a good guy. He helps us when we have nothing to eat. He gives us something]."
"Mabait, galante, matulungin. Nasa kanya na lahat. Ewan ko po bakit nagkaganoon [Nice, generous, helpful. He had everything. I don't know what happened to him]."
Ronald Bae's generosity may be his family's being well off - apparently. But their source of income remains unconfirmed.
Ronald's mother Tomasa said her son made profit from buying and selling cars.
But Ronald's wife Elena claimed that they had a defunct business of breeding fighting cocks.
Police investigators themselves, when asked for a clear background of Ronald Bae's wealth and influence in Cavite and Pampanga, said they have yet to uncover the gunman's background.
"Wala kaming mababanggit tungkol diyan sa ngayon. Kaya iimbestigahan namin ng husto [We can't say anything about that as of now. That's why we're going make a thorough check]," Chief Supt. James Menad, PNP Region 4A director, said.
One thing the police are sure of is that Ronald Bae was granted licenses to several high-caliber firearms.
He had licenses for a .45-caliber pistol and for two assault rifles - an M-16 and an AK-47, according to Senior Supt. Alexander Rafael, officer-in-charge of the Cavite Provincial Police Office.
But the police are still clueless why or how Bae was issued such weapons.
So far, the police seem to be uncovering more questions than answers regarding Ronald Bae's background.
What is his real source of income? Why did he frequently change his residence? Why was he issued with licenses for high caliber guns?
As to what triggered his shooting rampage last January 4, investigators are quite certain his use of illegal drugs was one factor.
Ronald Bae's wife Elena and his longtime property caretaker and reloader John Paul Lopez confirmed that, contrary to reports of a rift with his wife, his drug use was due to the discovery that he was adopted.
Lopez said Bae learned around September 4 that he was an adopted child and that he wanted to find his real father.
Elena Bae said her husband only started taking drugs when he started having problems with his family.
At one point, she said Ronald kept saying that he was so tired, making her think that he was on the brink of suicide.
Ronald Baquiran Bae may be dead. But his personal story and motive for the massacre remains a puzzle that is far from being solved.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.