People ask me, or maybe just wonder silently by themselves, when coming across online posts of condolences in lieu of the recent passing of one of Cebu’s well-loved artists. “Artists? Kuyawa.” Brian would say that last word emphatically, with the emphasis on “’yawa.”
Yes, Brian Sacro would have probably chuckled at that label in his usual, self-deprecating humor. He’d laugh it off, take a sip of coffee, then get back to work.
Brian—to many people—was a talented bassist. Being awarded “best bassist” for two years in a row, by a multinational corporation which hosted local music awards back in the early 2000s, was a testament on how he lived his life—passionately focused. To some, Brian was a record producer—one-half the musical force forming Kalye Musika Recording Studio. Outside the creative circle, Brian is that cool friend who’s game to do anything.
Secretly though, the man’s heart was that of a generous philanthropist. Sure, he may not come close to the Bills, Marks, Oprahs and Ellens of the world, but just like his bass-playing—or the story of the widow’s mite in the gospels—Brian took note of that one singular good deed he could do every single day, and gave it his all. This kindness of his even extended to animals. One day, he spotted a badly malnourished and wounded stray, slowly nursed it back to health, and called the dog his own. Brian always put others first before himself.
Almost five months have passed since his unfortunate stroke. Most of those times, Brian spent in Intensive Care. The bills piled up. The well started to dry. The family fought, up until Nov. 25 when he finally returned to the Lord.
Friends of Brian’s would be familiar with a hashtag he loved using: #DoTheMath. He often used it while expressing his sentiments on public matters he felt so strongly about. To him, it was his way of encouraging people to live life simpler. Some agreed to it. Some didn’t. But such is life.
Well, given the amount of love and care that flowed out of him, compared to how much he would ask those same things from others, one could deduce that Brian’s mathematics were indeed different yet simple: He loved and gave his all without expecting anything in return.
Whether it was organizing barbecues for bands in his garage, basically giving away grilled pork ribs (God bless his sweet mother, who allowed these free barbecue sessions to go on); or his secret donations—one recently made public, as he paid for a number of guitars to be donated to a training center for boys (or for the times he wouldn’t charge for studio time when causes and projects would have work done in his studio)—the man was in perpetual give-mode.
Surely, there must be a reason why Brian left us too soon at the age of 40. In spite of his flaws and shortcomings, he is one of the most Christ-like friends I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting in this life. May we all aspire to live and love like him. Thank you, Brian.