Bautista: ‘Leader of the Band’

All in Good Time

I KNOW you play the bugle, mom the piano together with Tin, Jen and myself plus the guitar and JB the drums. We never actually played together, just singing on road trips in the 70’s either up north to Ilocos or down south to Albay.

“I’ve been working on the railroad...the banjo is playing...” Plus betting on Lucky 9 with license plates.

But it is the way you have held many bands together. There’s the Jaycees Band, the Jaycees Senate Band, the ASSEAN Jaycees Senate Band, the Apaches Band, the University of Baguio Band, the PERAA Band, the CEM Band, the Boy Scout Band, the Rural Bank of Itogon Band, the Rural Bank of Sagada Bank, the SunStar Baguio Band, the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation Band and our Family Band.

In all of these bands it is you who has the bond. You carry the baton every time for each band. The Jaycees, Apaches and the Senate you are definitely the leader of the band of brothers.

From its early inception until today it still seems to be you who still holds the bands together. Making sure that music played is still in harmony. Every Juan playing their own part and making beautiful music together.

I have always had the opportunity to see all of these bands play and under your baton. Each with its own style of play, but all synchronized by the way you want it to play. The results of which are music to many ears.

The sacrifices you have made are still noticeable despite your age. It is all the time you have spent with each band that has made an impact to the lives of those who are part of the band.

It is your personal touch and care to each band and its members that has truly impacted the lives of many until today. You have always been that leader of the band.

I have been honored to be there and to see for myself the way you do it. The way you listen to each and every member. The way a correction is made. The result always better after.

While patience may not be on your side, it is just that you want things to be done. You sure do know how to get the attention of any Juan who just doesn’t play on tune. But surely all will be on sync afterwards. Nobody does mind anyway. It is never personal with you. So mistakes are corrected and at the soonest time. Things always get done.

All of the bands today still play beautiful music to many ears. You still make sure that you always have a hand at things going on. An out of tune can still be heard when you are near, or even when far. Many band members have gone and left for other bands, but cherish always the time when you were the band leader. It was never because of you that they left. Many come back all because of you.

You have many a time passed the baton to me, Tin Tin, JB and Jenny. It seems we have been able to wand the baton the way you did. And we are thankful for teaching us the way you orchestrate things. You were never greedy. You made sure we learned and passed it on immediately. You never held back on teaching us and letting us hold the baton whether we led the band your way or our way, but never the highway. Always giving, generous in imparting your ways and sharing.

No wonder you married for 51 years a musician, a concert pianist at that. Not only do you have the ears but also the eye. Keep on playing beautiful music together, you are still the leader of the band. Happy Father’s Day Dad!

“I thank you for the music and the songs of the road, I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go, I thank you for the kindness and the time when you got tough, and papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough” - the leader of the band by Dan Fogelberg.


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