i’ve been pestering my dearest friend/comrade/confidante/guitarist/manager (haha!) nato to put up his own blog.
nato is Renato Reyes, Jr., the ‘almost-famous’ secretary-general of the umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN). before he evolved into his present-day status as a household name political figure, he has had a relatively long history of student activism.
he entered UP in 1992, where he was immediately propelled into the political limelight. he dropped out of college not long after (“pero hindi naman ‘yun kakulangan para sa akin.”). he later became secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students (1997-1998) and the founding chairperson of comprehensive youth organization ANAKBAYAN (1998-1999). the rest, they say, is history. or him helping make history happen as one of the country’s most articulate, politically astute young leaders of the national democratic movement. his choice of ‘career,’ he muses, is one of his life’s biggest ironies — he was his batch’s CAT corps commander in high school!
rampant extra-judicial killings led to one of our more morbid conversations one night. i entrusted him with a pre-prepared song list (which i have yet to accomplish. marami pang dumadagdag e) for my parangal. i made him promise to play everything, walang labis, walang kulang. i asked him how he wanted to be remembered, to which he unflinchingly replied, “simple lang. here lies nato. activist. artist.”
and why not? nato is one of the most passionate and patient musicians i know. his lola taught him to play the piano. his ‘decent’ guitar-playing, he claims, is self-taught. he has managed to clutter BAYAN’s computers and his laptop with hundreds of mp3 tracks (“daan ka ofc. may ipaparinig akong bago.”). his one and only idea of unwinding, “tugtog tayo.”
so i pestered him to start his own blog. he asked for suggestions for a blog title. bob dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ came to mind. nato, an eraserheads fanatic, wanted to name his blog ‘Tindahan ni Aling Nena.” he finally relented to an english blog title (“para mabasa kahit sa international.”).
end result — a cross between dylan and the eraserheads: like a rolling store. the not-so-serious life and times of an activist-musician.
ayan, bagong bukas. punta kayo, tiyak maraming paninda. ###