‘Ode to Joy’: Friends, colleagues gather to support veteran newsman

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The mood was jolly, the music heartwarming and thoughtful—just the setting that veteran journalist Joy de los Reyes felt at home with.

Thursday night at the Bahay ng Alumni of the University of the Philippines Diliman, rock and pop artists, including one of the country’s best stand-up comedians, gladly took time to perform at a benefit show for Joy, who’s battling lung cancer.

The show, dubbed “Bus Stop: Celebrating the JOY of Living,” was mounted by the Thursday Club—an informal group of Joy’s friends and colleagues in media, plus a few government officials.

The program, hosted by dzBB announcer Gani Oro and comedienne-singer Jinky Oda, opened with an invocation led by Inquirer assistant business editor Corrie Narisma.

Heber Bartolome and his group Banyuhay performed the National Anthem.

Bayang Barrios and husband Mike Villegas joined Color It Red in a spirited jam on songs that spoke of selfless love, hope and the human condition: Gary Granada’s “Uunahin Ko Kayo”; Villegas’ “Harinawa”; Lolita Carbon’s “Byaheng Langit”; and Sampaguita and Gary Perez’s “Tao.”

Noel Cabangon sang James Taylor and Paul Simon tunes, well as the well-loved “Kanlungan”—Joy’s personal favorites.

Renz Verano and Jinky likewise performed a few numbers.

Willie Nepomuceno had everyone in stitches with his P-Noy, Erap and Dolphy impressions.

Joy’s former colleagues in the Daily Express, Times Journal and Malaya were present; everyone stood up when he walked into the hall in the middle of the program.

Organizers expressed their gratitude for the support of Standard Insurance Inc., PLDT, Smart Communications, Maynilad, Metro

Pacific Investments Corp., Globe Telecoms, Petron, San Miguel Corp., Banko Sentral, Meralco, JG Summit, Malungai Life Oil, ’70s Bistro and Conspiracy Cafe.

Part of the proceeds will go to the Philippine Cancer Society.

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