For Pete’s sake: A starry, musical send-off
- Ricky Lo () - August 15, 2007 - 12:00am

Jose Mari Chan sang two songs, Unspoken and Again, and so did more than a dozen other artists who showed up Monday night at the Arlington Memorial Chapels to give Pete Roa, who died of pneumonia and cancer at 67 on Aug. 9, a musical farewell.

“He wanted his wake to be happy,” said Boots Anson-Roa, widow of Pete whose remains were cremated yesterday and will be interred at the St. Therese Columbarium (also on Araneta Ave., Quezon City).

It was strictly retro night, with a big monitor installed on a wall near the entrance for the benefit of the spill-over crowd accommodated under tents that occupied the whole front space.

“This is my first time to sing in a wake,” said Joe Mari who credited Pete for introducing him to television (Nineteeners, remember?). My wife Maryann and I have been praying for 47 souls. Now, it will be 48, with Pete as the new addition to the growing list.”

And, I suppose, for the other performers of that night’s concert that sent dear Pete to his final journey on the wings of the songs close to his and Boots’ hearts, including their theme song, The Second Time Around, sung by Willie Nepomuceno who was himself and not somebody else that night.

Some of the other performers and their songs: Leo Martinez with Impossible Dream; Robert Seña and wife Isay Alvarez, The Promise and Ikaw ang Mahal Ko; Rachel Anne Wolfe, Have I Told You Lately; Richard Merck, Autumn Leaves; Annie Brazil, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Our Love is Here to Stay; Armida Siguion-Reyna, Smile; Marissa Sanchez, Kahit Isang Saglit; Elizabeth Ramsey, Buhat and Who Can I Turn To; Jenine Desiderio, The Promise; Noel Trinidad, Don’t You Worry About Me; Pilita Corrales and the Wing Duo, Hernando’s Hideaway; Ricky Davao, Tagalog versions of La Vie en Rose and That’s All.

It was a happy occasion. Everybody was smiling and laughing, including, I guess, Pete as he started his long walk to eternity — singing along!

ANNIE BRAZIL ARANETA AVE ARLINGTON MEMORIAL CHAPELS ARMIDA SIGUION-REYNA AUTUMN LEAVES BOOTS ANSON-ROA BUHAT AND WHO CAN I TURN TO ELIZABETH RAMSEY HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY
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