[ Note : A friend from school, Atty Perry Consunji, left this world last 14th September. I would never have made it in time for his wake in the Philippines, even if I could afford travelling (I can’t), but below is what I would’ve said had I been there. Maraming salamat din kay Atty Carlos Roberto “Tito” Lopez, Perry’s Ateneo and law school classmate, for reading this during the wake. Thanks all for reading and please whisper a prayer (when you have a moment) for a friend for the ages, Perry the Gentle Giant ! ]
I TRIED to sum up in a few words how to best describe Perry in the eight plus years I’d known him in university, and it was hard. One sentence, however, struck me and here it is :
After all this is over, what will really matter is how we treated each other.
Perry wasn’t the touchy-feely type, not always given to exuberant outbursts, although he had his moments. But throughout the time I knew him, he radiated a sincere, genuine warmth, wasn’t the classically talkative person but knew exactly what to say, and what the situation demanded.
He wouldn’t strike you as the intense, impetuous type, but he wore his heart on his sleeve all the time. You always knew on which side of the fence he belonged.
In school, the last thing he wanted was to be seen as the studious, grade-conscious type, and you could see it in the way he approached class work, grades, and getting on the professor’s good side. And yet, behind everyone’s back, when no one was looking, he was a model student, and walked the extra mile to get good grades.
He hated mushy, romantic ballads, always preferring classic rock, and hard fast tunes. But deep down he was an old soul who would wax eloquent, matching anyone with rhyme and verse in front of a cold beer and a long night.
He avoided bleeding heart causes and hug-a-tree liberals, but to his friends he was a notorious softie who could never say no to a friend in need, I know this because many times I was that friend.
In short, he was someone who was blessed with a good heart but somehow thought that good hearts didn’t last long in this world. For this reason he went to great lengths to camouflage his goodness in the craftiness and jadedness of the real world. Too often though, his real side would expose itself. That was the side of Perry I knew, the side that would endure till the very end.
Unfortunately for all of us, Perry was proven correct in his own mortality. His good heart was not long to last in a world such as ours, and such a good heart is now lost except in the world of our thoughts, and memories.
I thank God that in my life I had such a friend as Perry, and together with Mr and Mrs Consunji, Vivian, Liria, Irene, Gretchen, Rachel and Jesse, and the rest of us, I say good night, but not goodbye. I love you good friend!
- Remembering my friend Pericles “Perry” Consunji (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)