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REMEMBERING RICHARD TAN

It was a shock to wake up today at 7am when an old friend Lizza Nakpil called asking if it was true that Richard Tan had passed away. He was a colleague in the music industry and a friend to everyone.

My first thoughts were of his family and then of his adopted family made up of his Artists: Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Typecast, ChicoSci, Gloc9, Hilera, The Youth, Teeth, Franco, and many more, some past and some present. How were they? If I was floored, what more them who saw him as a brother, father figure, best friend? He didn’t just manage their careers. He also managed their lives.

Just two days ago, I was having dinner when a text from Zach Lucero, my Radio Republic teammate, came through saying Richard was in the ICU. I called Lizza who happens to be Richard’s neighbor and I wanted to know what was going on. But she was out of town for a show and with her were PNE and Kamikazee.

I rushed over to the hospital and was able to speak to his doctor. The prognosis was meningitis but complications were cropping up and he was in critical condition. They could not ascertain what type of infection it was because they were unable to perform a lumbar puncture to test his spinal fluid. I left with a heavy heart but took solace in my faith and that Richard was still young and could fight off the infection in his brain. I checked in again yesterday and would update Chito, Aries (aka Gloc9), Lizza, and Day Cabuhat. (Day is Pupil’s manager but is also a doctor so was able to explain and better analyze the situation.) I was hopeful last night even after the doctor said he had developed a fever. His kidneys were now working and the ventilator was helping his heart.

So the news today of his passing came as a surprise. I thought he was fighting, holding on. But God apparently had another plan for him.

As I type now, I remember what it was like to lose Karl Roy a few months ago. I remember what it was like to lose Teddy Diaz, my cousin, kuya, mentor, and best friend, 24 years ago. Whether it be a few months or years, the pain doesn’t diminish. It is hard to lose someone dear to you and even harder to move on. Having been through it a few times in my life, I’ve realized that there is no easy way to handle it. The only way to get over it is to go through it.

Yes, it is a time to mourn and grieve now. But it is also a time to celebrate because although Richard has left this world, he now lives in the best place of all: up there where the music is made and played all day, where the true Giver and Creator of talent is, where he can converse with the ultimate Manager forever. He is with our God who has called Richard back to Him.

Richard touched all of our lives. In tribute to him, let us carry the torch. Let us continue to fight the fight for OPM, believing in talent like he did even when the powers-that-be say otherwise, stay strong when challenges come, stay focused when everything is rocking all around us, and stay true and sincere to the vision of sharing the music.

We owe that to him, to not let his efforts be in vain. We all supported his Artists through the years just as he worked so hard to bring their music to us. I thank him for his quiet commitment and passion for the music. We will always stand by him and his Artists.

As George Harrison sang, “All Things Must Pass,” and this shall too. Thank you, Richard. You may be gone but you will live on in the memory of the living. For you and because of you, the music will keep on playing.

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