Rocker Karl Roy, 43

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NEVER FADE AWAY. In this video taken in 2005, rocker Karl Roy was at his peak, playing with his newest band, Kapatid. Four years later he suffered from massive stroke that would paralyze him for months.  He bounced back and rocked on up to his death early Tuesday morning. Video by’s Totel V. de Jesus

MANILA, Philippines—Karl Roy, 43, grandson of the late Senator Jose J. Roy of Moncada, Tarlac who had made a name for himself as vocalist of several rock bands since the 1990s, died early Tuesday morning, his sister Kathryn announced.

“It is with deepest sadness that I share the news of Karl’s passing. He was called Home today at 1:01 a.m. Manila time (Tuesday, March 13th), surrounded by those who loved him most – mommy, Keith, Kevin, Krys, his daughter Arianna, and our cousin Jack (Roy-Duavit),” Kathryn posted on her Facebook account, though without saying the cause of Roy’s death.

“Please continue to pray for Karl. He brought so much joy to others but, unfortunately, did not have enough of it in this life. He’s in a better place now, with Lolo Pepe, Lola Conching and Daddy.Thank you for your kind words and your prayers,” she added.

Earlier reports said the cause of his death was cardiac arrest but younger brother Kevin was quoted later in various media that it was due to complications from pneumonia.

Tuesday night, it was officially announced that Roy’s wake will start at 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 14, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine in New Manila, Quezon City.

The announcement also said those who will pay their last respects are encouraged to bring photographs for the memorial wall.

Rocker’s life

In March, 2008, Roy had a massive stroke that paralyzed him for almost half-a-year. After intensive rehabilitation, Roy was back again fronting his band, Kapatid.

Roy’s younger brother Kevin is vocalist of another rock band, Razorback.

Roy rose to prominence in what was then called the 1990s alternative band boom as frontman for the-now inactive Advent Call.

More known as a cover rock band, Advent Call was able to come up with some originals like the now classic rock ballad, “Puting Ilaw (White Light)”.

As if a premonition, the first few lines of the song talk about restlessness and finding one’s peace of mind: “Saan ang langit, kaibigan. Saan pangakong kaligayahan? Aling daan tungo sa paraiso? Pag-ibig natin, iisang damdamin.”

In a move that surprised most of his fans, Roy left Advent Call at the height of its popularity before the end of the ’90s.

Insiders cited “artistic differences” for Roy’s departure because Advent Call wanted to stick to old-school hard rock while Roy was becoming more engrossed into covering the new ones, the soft grunge acts like Lemonheads and Blind Melon.

Roy eventually formed his own band, the funk rock-rooted P.O.T., which produced the danceable “Yugyugan Na” and the groovy “Panaginip.”

Always the most-awaited crowd pleaser in multi-band gigs, Roy had been known for his exciting, wild acts onstage, sometimes compared–moves and looks–with frontman Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Pepper.

He was also known for his romantic dalliances with models and actresses. At one point, he tried acting for ABS-CBN’s youth-oriented Saturday afternoon soap, “Tabing-Ilog,” which catapulted the careers of now heartthrob John Lloyd Cruz, drama actress Jodie Sta. Maria and the versatile Baron Geisler.


Thousands immediately paid tribute and posted their condolences online, many of whom are friends in the rock scene like Wolfgang (“rock the heavens, Karl Roy”), former Yano-Pan frontman Dong Abay (“Rock on, kapatid, Rest in peace and love”), Color It Red’s Cookie Chua and Radioactive Sago Project bassist Francis de Veyra, among others.

Lea Salonga on her Twitter account wrote: “RIP, Karl Roy. I never knew you, but you seemed like one hell of a badass. Rock on. \m/”

Emee Fortuno, widow of the late, great legendary drummer Edmund “Bosyo” Fortuno, wrote: “We’ll miss you Karl Roy….. i’m sure Bosyo’s jamming with you there now in ROCK ND ROLL HEAVEN IN ETERNAL BLISS…. Dadalhin tayo sa PARAISO, sa gubat na LANGIT tang lahat ay MAGKAPATID… Our Love and Prayers as you rest in Peace…”

Though many viewed Roy as a wild rocker, he was also known to have joined and wholeheartedly supported cause-oriented socio-civic organizations like Rock Ed Philippines and Dakila Collective.

Leni Velasco, founding member and president of Dakila recalled: “Circa 2005. At the height of the GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) regime, Karl was a moving force behind the formation of a collective of artists. In Conspiracy (a bar on Visayas Avenue frequented by the likes of Gary Granada, Conrado de Quiros, Joey Ayala) during the launch, he jammed with other musicians to celebrate the birth of what is now known as DAKILA – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism.

“In 2001, right smack in the middle of Welcome Rotonda while the May 1 Edsa 3 uprising was happening, he was performing with his band in a concert I helped organize to pay homage to workers on labor day.

”Those were tough times but Karl is a tough man. His commitment never faltered and his courage – unwavering.

I am very fortunate to have met such a man in this journey. Thank you Karl. Rest in peace.”

Historical and political lineage

Roy’s late grandfather Jose, as posted on the Senate of the Philippines website, was the one who “started a congressional campaign to acquire the vast Hacienda Luisita, in order to divide among its tenant-farmers.

“He was instrumental in the drafting and passage of important finance and socio-economic measures which he authored and or/sponsored on the floor of the House of Representatives from 1946 to 1961, among which are Central Bank Act; 70/30 Rice Crop Sharing Law; Industrialization Act (R.A.901); The Agricultural Tenancy Act, The Land Tenure Act, The Original Anti-Graft Law, An act establishing the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Tariff and Customs Code of 1957.

“From 1967 to 1972, he was the Senate President Pro Tempore and also served as the Majority Floor Leader and member of the Commission on Appointments.”

Lawyer Jose Roy III, defense team member of the  Corona impeachment trial, is Karl’s first cousin.

In an interview for Rogue magazine in 2009, Karl Roy said his grandfather wanted him to become a soldier and eventually, future president of the country.

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  • Belly Mojica

    Hi, YUGYUGAN NA was the song and not Tugutugan Na

  • John Sobrepeña

    Let it be known that Karl was also a great friend… free-spirited and kind, vibrant yet down to earth. He is loved by the millions of people he reached – personally and through his music. 

    Years will continue to pass while we are still here on Earth… and one by one as we each expire, we will slowly fill the stands of Karl’s rock stadium in eternity. It will be then that this legendary musician, legendary soul, and legendary man will rise again – surrounded with his most loving family, his most loyal friends, and his most rabid fans. 

    May his full heart reap our thoughts in the blowing wind. May his voice echo in the halls of the heavens. May his energy live on in those he left behind.

  • stonerock8

    the song is “Yugyugan Na”. ☺ 

  • Max

    Rockers never die, they just fade away, MY, MY HEY, HEY ROCK IN ROLL IS HERE TO STAY, r.i.p fellow rocker.

  • ryan andres

    Rock the heavens, Karl Roy! You will be sorely missed here on Earth. Vaya con dios.

  • reddfrog

    Why is it that musicians and gifted artists die young while bad weeds like JP Enrile, Miriam Santiago and other slimy politicians live to be decrepit old barnacles, thereby tormenting us with their continued presence.

    • Raffy

      can you PLEASE for the love of god keep the political references out of this….this is about Karl Roy!!! Anyway….R.I.P brother! Your music lives on forever !

  • aira

    ang pagbabalik ng kuwago..

  • Paul Mercury

    i saw karl sitting alone in a dark corner in alabang metropolis last november…at first i hardly recognized him because he has aged… having watched him in the 80s and instinct was to approach him and thank him for all the music and fun …for some reason i hesitated.  Now he is gone…i regret that.  Karl was mr. entertainment. Parang Rico Puno ng rock and roll. Those unforgettable gigs at Mayricks.He was the real thing. In this music industry were you have to sell out to make it…karl was one of those who was true to himself. Parang si Pepe Smith. Rock and roll forever. RIP karl….we will miss you!

  • JK1000

    I really don’t know why they call him “ROCK ICON” ? I thought this title belongs to Pepe Smith, Mika Hanapol and others legitimate artists who popularized many songs that they’ve written. I really don’t know him well. Did he sung his own songs ? or just another wanabbe who can’t even produce or write their own songs. NOWADAYS, there are a lot of young singers who has no right to be there, NO ORIGINAL SONGS, AND worst don’t have any good voice.

    • fulpol tsupaero


    • karl cristobal

      You must be too old not to know him then, he belongs to same list of of Pinoy Rock Icons just in a different decade/time as those on your list.

  • August Dietrich

    His voice kinda suck , there are voices that really sucks but they sound really good, look at Bono and Mick Jagger, but this guy Karl reminds me of a bad hangover from drinking Absinthe all night, not trying to knock off any apples from him but hey it’s rock and roll and no regards to skill if you really suck at all, and keep trying to prove that somehow it will improve, thank god original Pinoy rock music will never be thrashed again.Peace!!

    • karl cristobal

      Hope u die a very painful death for your dumbass comment.

      • August Dietrich

        you first, you narcissistic facjker, he sucks at singing so what, you probably gave him a good rubdown that’s why you’re mad.

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