THE TROUBLE with subjective and selective memory is sometimes “false” memories, those about events that never actually happened, take their place alongside real and accurate counterparts.
If I remember correctly, my friend Perry and I ran a full marathon, saw the UP-UE finale when the Fighting Maroons won its only UAAP championship in 1986, and attended a Journey concert and were right there when Steve Perry sang “Separate Ways,” his favorite song.
Problem was, I don’t remember correctly. We ran a few laps around the Academic Oval, if at all. We saw a few University of the Philippines elimination games, but it wasn’t during the championship season. And the closest we got to a Journey performance was watching an MTV video together.
I do remember that one of the very first times I experienced the pleasure (pain) of alcohol was with Perry, who passed away last night, the 14th of September. We were both freshmen and he was surprised I had never tasted Ginbera San Miguel, which Perry said was the drink favored by real men. Ito ang iinumin natin dahil tunay tayong Pilipino, he declared, funny because nationalism was not one of the qualities I associated with drinking, but what did I know? In my short friendship with him, Perry obviously knew more, had experienced more, and what’s more important, was willing to share what he knew with me. Famous last words.
There were many more happy events after that, not all of them associated with alcohol, and Perry’s friendship was one of the best remembrances I would have of my college years. I did not see much of him after that, but I am sure he was successful in what he did, as a tax lawyer, and true to his loved ones, friends and colleagues. He was a genuinely real and humble person, in that he took his life’s work seriously, but never took his success and himself too seriously, lest he got too full of himself. That was Perry when I knew him, and that is Perry as I am sure he is now.
Atty Pericles “Perry” Consunji, 47, succumbed to a heart attack yesterday and has left this world, but he lives on in the hearts and minds of those he left behind, especially his loved ones, friends, and family. Our prayers and kind thoughts go to the Capampangan-Consunji family.