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.
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.