I love being with editors. Though I'm now in a different field, journalism really is my first love. Most of my friends are working members of the media. Most of these people who now write for broadsheets and tabloids and even dabble in the electronic media world, are formerly activists, men of principle who, after "retiring" from activism, decided to go and write about society, so as not to compromise their personal and political beliefs.
Men like Julius Fortuna who impressed me not just with his wit and knowledge about Marxism but his strong commitment towards change.
Some of my friends became my friends because we share the same passion---analytic writing. Some of them are already drinking beer and discussing politics with Mang Max.
One guy, I will never forget---Joy delos Reyes, editor in chief of Malaya Business Insight. I must say that I was fortunate to be with him and talked with him before he died.
We had this trip down GenSan and Joy was there along with other "old editors". Joy was very happy. While drinking his favorite brew, Joy was extremely alive with stories about this old taipan whom he covered while he was then a business reporter. This old taipan, he said, had this penchant for confusing him with another. I don't want to share any info anymore except that we really had so much fun talking about these wealthy men.
He never appeared to be sick at that time. It was only from Gerry B, a common friend, that I learned about Joy's sickness. All throughout the trip, which includes a trek to a mining site atop a mountain, I did not hear any complaints from Joy. He went to bed late and woke up early as well.
It was just a few months aftre this trip that I learned about Joy being brought to the hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer.
Inspite of that, Joy never bothered other people with his illness. Whenever you're with him, everything seemed normal, happy and in between drinks and eating sisig and lechon. He coughs sometimes, but he "supplements" this with stories that makes you smile.
Sir Joy, I will miss you po, just like how I am missing Julius who already took the train to heaven several years ago. I will miss your smile, your laughter and our banters. So long comrad, friend, and idol.