I am sharing with you this touching and timely speech by our childhood friend Marc Reyes, during the Necrological Service for the late Gen. Angelo Reyes. My family was there at the wake, and my sister said this was the most tearful thing she had ever heard and seen. I found it brave that instead of deriding or attacking those who hurt them, Marc instead chose to highlight and stress on the travails of a Filipino public official. And I quote, "The honest Filipino public official will always find himself ALONE in many situations, because the environment he’s in is kinder to those who will just go with the flow." Why? – precisely because this system does not nurture integrity, or moral uprightness. Sad and true.
My name is Marc Reyes, son of Angelo Tomas Reyes, and I speak on behalf on my family: my mom, Tessie; my brothers Bogie, Jett, Carlo and Judd; our respective wives and children; our Uncle Lito, my dad’s brother.
Thank you very much to those who spoke before me. Thank you for the kind words that you’ve shared about our father. Thank you for sharing your truths about Angelo Reyes.
The sheer magnitude of what we face tomorrow at his burial – and what my family will still have to face for the next few months – is pressing on me right now, and I stand before you all tonight, a son who just lost his father. I will not wish the pain and anguish that our family has experienced on anyone.
The enormity and mystery of his final decision will slowly reveal itself to us in the coming days, and God knows we will need each other’s memories of Papa to survive the coming months.
However, this evening, I will not enumerate the achievements of Angelo Tomas Reyes – his achievements as a general, as a secretary, as a father, a brother, a husband, or friend. I have the rest of my earthly life to do that – in private – with my wife and children, with my siblings and my mother, and with friends who knew and loved him like I did.
This evening, I will tell you about the story of the Filipino public official who is honest. I am certain that there are many – just as I am sure there are many who are not. The honest Filipino public official tries to do his work, shares his expertise in an environment that is, more often than not, harsh to him. The honest Filipino public official will always find himself ALONE in many situations, because the environment he’s in is kinder to those who will just go with the flow.
The honest Filipino public official can only do so much. He can only swim upstream so high, if the tide is unkind to him. He stays low on the river bend, if the powerful direction of the tide overwhelms all of his muscles – muscles that were primed for attempts at good governance.
The Filipino public official who is honest – is NOT perfect. He knows this. He tries to work around his imperfection. He will be torn, often between priority after priority. But ultimately, he will have to DECIDE.
The honest Filipino public official is AWARE that the SYSTEM he is in is FLAWED. And yet the honest Filipino public official STILL TRIES and NEVER LOSES FAITH. Sometimes he succeeds – but for as long as the rest of the elements do not allow him to succeed, he won’t. Often times he hasn’t – precisely because this system does not nurture integrity, or moral uprightness.
While the Filipino public official who is honest does not lay sole blame on the system, he also finds himself in a position to either FIGHT or FLEE. Sometimes he decides to bolt all together; often times he decides to STAY AND FIGHT. But no one will disagree that the Filipino public official who is honest TRIES. And ONLY IF more people in the system will nurture HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND HONOR – only then will the honest Filipino public official succeed.
Again, on behalf of my bereaved family – thank you, all of you who are here tonight. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us. And contradictory as this may sound, thank you to those who respected our privacy and left us alone.
My name is Marc and I am proudly the son of the Honorable Angelo Tomas Reyes.
Response of the Reyes Family to the eulogies. Delivered by Marc Reyes during the Necrological Service on February 12, 2011.