Sometime in early 2009, I agreed for Rock Ed to be part of a big event that was, in a manner of speaking, under the wing of (then Dept of Energy) Sec. Angelo Reyes. We were supposed to participate and be part of the culminating night. Now without going into gross detail, I found myself deciding to back out of the event – for what I still think were sound reasons and gave the organizer notice.
(sample phonecall: Hello. Because you want us to do “X” – so we don’t do “Y” — I decided to “Z.” — Z = back out of this shit.) I’m being cryptic, I know – but I refuse to incriminate anyone on this one, so bear with me.
Anyway, that being said, the next day at around 11pm, my cellphone rings (unidentified caller) – and a man is on the other end. He says, “This is Secretary Angie Reyes, is this Gang?” Since I was in the car with 4 other people I just did the, “Yes sir,” thing but totally MOUTHED the name “Secretary Reyes” to them with wide eyes and a “what the f*ck” smirk. Then I said, “What have I done to merit this phone call, Sir?” He proceeds to tell me that he understands why I backed out of the event but he felt he was misrepresented by the organizer and then proceeded to explain to me that he likes Rock Ed because he likes rock and roll.
He is quite a talker (and a rapid one, too) so I let him talk. Even if I was gabby myself – he dominated this phone call and I let him. Why not. How often do I get this anyway, I thought to myself. Halfway through his narration, he breaks into song – verse then refrain of “I Saw Her Standing There” by the Beatles. While singing, I said, “Sir, I have friends with me in the car, may I put you on speaker phone so they can hear your song?” “Yes, of course! Are they musicians, too?” He asked me. I said yes.
Then he went on to explain to me that he is a tenor and that he appreciates music, in fact he knows even today’s rock hits, especially “Michael Learns to Rock.” I said, “Sir, I don’t like that band at all.” He said, “Well I do!” And we laugh. Then he proceeds to ask me if I like Elvis, I naturally say yes then he sings again. An Elvis one this time. Naturally. So five of us in the car were listening to Secretary Reyes sing Elvis through the speakers of my rinky-dink cellphone. It was an interesting memory, at the very least.
In any case, I had to explain why I reneged but did tell him that I appreciated him calling me even if he didn’t have to and he said we should meet and straighten things out face to face. I said when we both had time, of course. For the next couple of weeks, he’d call me every other day, until the event actually happened. Then promptly reported to me the next day how the event went and how badly he felt that Rock Ed wasn’t there but it was a success nonetheless. Then he told me, “I like you, you’re stubborn but why did you have to be so difficult?” I assured him that I wasn’t being difficult and that I had my reasons. He asked me if it was because he was in government, I said “That, too.”
“Okay, Gang basta remember – I am a retired General who likes rock and roll. If I can be of help to you, do call me. Okay?”
I said yes, but I never did.
Many things have been said about the man — but this is all I have.
My condolences to those he left behind.
Addendum: Wait – this is not accurate- I did call him again the following year (2010) from our radio station. I was interviewing his sons Marc and Jett – and we phone patched Sec Reyes to ask him about his sons. His pride in them was apparent. It was an episode on Fathers and sons, not politics. I kept thinking, perhaps another time.