Wake up, Randy, you have to read what I wrote about you

Randy with actor-comedian Bernardo Bernardo. Photo by Elton Lugay

Randy with actor-comedian Bernardo Bernardo. Photo by Elton Lugay

By Cristina DC Pastor

I came to know you as someone who is fun-loving and spontaneous during the book launch of Ruben Nepales’ “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood” at the Philippine Consulate. That was in June 2012.

You were singing “Otso Otso” to Bernardo Bernardo’s bouncy number. Actually, you were not singing. You – the George Jean Nathan Award-winning writer — were chanting the Pinoy party anthem, a favorite among jeepney drivers and women who line-dance.

One plus one, Magellan
Two plus two, Lapu-lapu
Four plus four equals eight
Doblehin ang eight.
Tayo’y mag otso otso
Otso otso na
Mag otso otso pa…

‘Swear to gawd, Randy. Bernardo was funny, but you were funnier. We had a great laugh about it. From that moment on, I’ve marked you for life as someone whose professional success did not intimidate. Your achievement as a Nathan fellow, the senior editor of American Theatre Magazine and editor of a Prague daily newspaper are not the clothes you wear. You do not wave your accomplishments like the community owes its reputation to what you have made of yourself. You do not flaunt your honors, do not look down on some of us as unworthy of your time.

Instead, you weave in and out of our lives with a quiet humility: a speaking engagement here, a moderating job there, a dramaturg, an actor, a poet, a critic. You’re a favorite because you inspire, you bring cheer and you offer advice to projects you choose to be part of.

There would be other occasions after Ruben’s book launch. We would run into each other and always there is such warm ‘abrazos’ instead of the perfunctory hugs that are commonly passed around.

As I got to know you better, I learned that you are also diplomatic and very nurturing. Remember how I volunteered to play Andres Bonifacio’s wife, Gregoria de Jesus in a reading? Instead of dashing the superficiality of my request as misplaced ambition, you said very earnestly, “Ok, you are my third. If the two actresses I’ve invited said no, then you’re my Ka Oriang.”

That gave me the chills, you know. That response gave me a flashing, fleeting thought that I could actually be on stage. Directed by you. It did not matter that I did not get the part; it mattered that you were open to the possibility that I could read as Ka Oriang – the other hitch being that I had no Maria Clara costume.

When I read Troi Santos’ email that you were “brutally assaulted” a block away from your home, I was initially in a state of shock. Then I was angry and now I am just impatient. I want to see your attackers right away. I want to see what kind of depraved animal/s would do this to a quiet, humorous, creative, inquisitive, fair-minded Filipino American.

Many have asked: Is it a hate crime? A case of ‘knock out’? Are you a victim of some random mugging? The type of crime doesn’t matter; it’s a tragedy you don’t deserve. One who inspires young artists to “do even the smallest thing to move your art forward” deserves a really long, meaningful and happy life.

Randy Gener is the Nathan Award-winning writer, editor, critic, playwright and conceptual artist. He is also a renowned lecturer and speaker in arts and culture, international theater and new technology. His family reported that he was “brutally attacked” in Manhattan on his way home. He is currently in an ICU recovering from severe head trauma. Friends are holding a candlelight vigil on January 26 at 6 p.m. at the corner of 53rd and 7th Avenue. A fundraising is also being organized.


  1. M. Matthews wrote:

    I never met Randy, but I think his name ring a bell? I may have read one of his article a while ago, or may have seen him in a photograph in the paper? But all I know is this: I am angry that he was attacked not to far from where he live. It does not matter why he was so brutally attacked. What we want to know is, did they found those beast(s) who has violently attacked him on the way home? We that justice will prevail in this violent crime. all we hope that Randy will recover to his useful self and get to do the things he love to do in life. Dear Randy, God bless you during this trying time, M

  2. What a fitting tribute to a dear friend, Cristina DC Pastor! You’re one of the best writers I respect.

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