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How dare you die, Mr. Roco

Don't believe the Ides of March. Bad things happen more in August (aside from my birth, that is).

I just found out that Roco Jr. is my cousin's officemate at a BPO somewhere in Katipunan, transcripting dialogues for films converted to DVD formats. And if my source is to be believed, Roco Sr. left behind a mountain of debt after backers of his campaign sorties ehrm, backed out sometime in April when he left for the US to have his cancer treated.

He was booted out of DepEd, an institution being run like the mafiosi.

His legacy was not a namesake in public office. I was searching for another Roco in the public (dis)service roster and I came up with Goco.

He squeezed my arm. How dare you die, Mr. Roco.

posted Tue, 07-01-03

we requested a 15-minute interview with former education secretary roco when he visited our factory yesterday. our company's coordinator introduced me and k.g. to roco's personal assistant amid the din of the senator's speech. we were talking under the speakers and i was not even able to get her name. what the heck. abagnale strategy #1: get her name--unsuccessful. it was approaching 12 noon and she said we will just ambush-interview the senator.

spare us some dignity, girl. we are not papparazzi nor the pesky media that we used to watch on la law. we are the editors of a company newsletter whose goal is to know the man, politics aside.

no choice. we chatted with him as we walked past the rec hall. it did not appear like an interview, but it sure looked like an ambush as we caught him unguarded. the man was waving left and right. shaking hands as any politician could. signing autographs on philippines free press magazines with him on the cover. blatant politicking really, but it was roco doing it so there was subtlety in his blatancy, to paraphrase k.g.

"what were you doing when you were in your late 20's?" k.g.

he was already a lawyer at 24, a member of the constitutional convention at 28. at 19 he already aspired to be the philippine president.

it was all so awkward. k.g. was beaming and roco was answering in installments while waving, shaking and signing. he was also squeezing k.g.'s arm in a fatherly manner.

my turn. "when you were about to enter college, did you consider taking the engineering profession? what kind of engineer would you have been?"

by this time he was inviting us to join the lunch prepared by the staff. of course we were not allowed to join by default!

he said he was amazed by engineers who build dams and bridges. ah, civil engineer i said.

and airplanes too. megalomaniac. now he is a valid presidentiable.

and he was also squeezing my arm. it was uncomfortable yet fatherly. i have never been squeezed by a man before, and a senator at that.

i was about to ask if his life was to be made into a movie, i would like to know which actor would he prefer to play his role and who would be the leading lady. and if he wanted carlo j caparas to direct it. snips of awkwardly dead air flashed through and the supposedly light moment just went up the stratosphere.

all in all it was a mixture of:

(1) awkwardness because we have interviewed a prominent person in a trashy manner only a papparazzo can (un)do;

(2) anticipation of looking stupid because we walk and talk at the same time while roco is doing the campaign melange; and

(3) being star-struck with a larger-than-life potbellied guy in a hibiscus-print shirt who could be, a year from now, the philippine president which the educated elite look upon as the healer who can ably cure the sick man of asia. that's a mouthful.

item #3 kept us at bay as we watched him enter the luncheon room. we weren't even able to say goodbye and thank you sir. k.g.'s legs are shaking from roco's aura radiating.

after that, every engineer i knew was awed at how k.g. and i were able to rub elbows (pardon, he was squeezing ours) with the senator. my boss saw me did it, oblivious of the apparent humiliation that k.g. and i felt during the process.

bitin. k.g. and i weren't able to pick roco's brains enough to please our journalistic wants, politics aside.

“How dare you die, Mr. Roco”

  1. Blogger McVie Says:

    Only the good die young. That said, I'll live past 100.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    uy inggit, at least "nakausap" mo siya. ako, when i saw him sa westin, tumalon ako sa van just to see him upclose. kahiya!

    sayang talaga si roco. i voted for him twice.

    uy manong, may utang pa ako sa iyo. di ko pa napo-post ang announcement/guideline para sa WB 3. :|