Mug Shot

One Monday night at Bros. Mustache

between dylan and the eraserheads
by sarah katrina maramag

October 1st, 2006 ·

i’ve been pestering my dearest friend/comrade/confidante/guitarist/manager (haha!) nato to put up his own blog.

nato is Renato Reyes, Jr., the ‘almost-famous’ secretary-general of the umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN). before he evolved into his present-day status as a household name political figure, he has had a relatively long history of student activism.

he entered UP in 1992, where he was immediately propelled into the political limelight. he dropped out of college not long after (”pero hindi naman ‘yun kakulangan para sa akin.”). he later became secretary-general of the League of Filipino Students (1997-1998) and the founding chairperson of comprehensive youth organization ANAKBAYAN (1998-1999). the rest, they say, is history. or him helping make history happen as one of the country’s most articulate, politically astute young leaders of the national democratic movement. his choice of ‘career,’ he muses, is one of his life’s biggest ironies — he was his batch’s CAT corps commander in high school!

rampant extra-judicial killings led to one of our more morbid conversations one night. i entrusted him with a pre-prepared song list (which i have yet to accomplish. marami pang dumadagdag e) for my parangal. i made him promise to play everything, walang labis, walang kulang. i asked him how he wanted to be remembered, to which he unflinchingly replied, “simple lang. here lies nato. activist. artist.”


and why not? nato is one of the most passionate and patient musicians i know. his lola taught him to play the piano. his ‘decent’ guitar-playing, he claims, is self-taught. he has managed to clutter BAYAN’s computers and his laptop with hundreds of mp3 tracks (”daan ka ofc. may ipaparinig akong bago.”). his one and only idea of unwinding, “tugtog tayo.”

so i pestered him to start his own blog. he asked for suggestions for a blog title. bob dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ came to mind. nato, an eraserheads fanatic, wanted to name his blog ‘Tindahan ni Aling Nena.” he finally relented to an english blog title (”para mabasa kahit sa international.”).

end result — a cross between dylan and the eraserheads: like a rolling store. the not-so-serious life and times of an activist-musician.

ayan, bagong bukas. punta kayo, tiyak maraming paninda. ###

  1. tonyo says:

    winner ito ha. si berong pa ang sumulat ng “about me” portion. grabe.

  2. lengua says:


  3. michelle says:

    hallow kuya nato!!! kmustations? so happy na you’ve found u’r oder half naks nman pow… wishing you the best of the best eventho ngaun lang tau nagkakilala… ayon nga sa kanta… alam mo na… 🙂 hopefully someday na makilala ko kayong lahat not only in chat or email but in person na pati dba? e di mas maganda… mas masaya… meri christmas in advance and hapi new year ingatz na lang kayo dyan… thx ng marami… reli!!!

  4. baldo says:

    Post nyo nman po kumpletong lyrics at chords ng BILANG NA ANG ARAW. Pati tanong ko lng po kung kninong orihinal n komposisyon ung MANONG PAWIKAN (C Joey ba?) at SAKADA (Buklod po ba?). Salamat.

  5. Eugene says:

    I remember way back in HS our teacher in Araling Panlipunan (Mrs. Avila) made us do a project work(don’t remember the exact theme but it involves issues currently facing the Phils.). She grouped the class up and “luckily” I was part of Nato’s or Reyes’group (during HS we call our classmates via their surnames). Our group decided to look into poverty…pictures of streetkids playing, etc. Nasa dugo na ata talaga niya.. :). Not only that he was our CAT Corp. Commander, I believe he was also our Class President.

  6. abigail garcia says:

    Mr. Nator Reyes were student from a quezon City Polytechnic University. Pwede po ba kayo maging Interviewee… Kasi po required po kaming mag interview ng mga nag join sa EDSA 2… If okay po pls. email me

  7. Gerald L / ex-PDI says:

    I never knew Nato as a musician, but I did know him since his UP days….Great write up. Keep it up Nato.

    The world needs leaders like you. The world needs your kind of music.


  8. abie anongos says:

    Ibig sabihin, minsan, pag umakyat ka ng Cordi, Nato, tutugtog ka. May cultural ba. Sayang, tapos na ang Cordillera Day 2012. Dibale, more to come!

  9. ipokrito reyes says:

    ipoktiro na Comunista ka gago, sinasamantala mo yung kahirapan at kamangmangan ng mga kababayan natin. Tang ina mo, kaming mga totoong bayani ng bayan na bayad ng bayad ng tax ang inaabala nyo sa kaka rally nyo…….Tang ina ninyong mga Komunista kayo, kayo ang kanser ng bayan. Dun ka na sa China tumira huwag dito GAGO!!!!

  10. ipokrito reyes says:

    Tang ina ninyong mga Militante kayo, hindi na nga kayo nag babayad ng tax, nag papa trapik na kayo, naninira pa kayo, dapat ipadala kayo sa spratlys para dun nyo dalhin yung tapang nyo at patunayan yung patriotism nyo mga gagong komunista! Iniintay nyo lang na mag invade ang China tapos dun ka mag tatawag ng mga kasamahan nyo sa bundok para pabagsakin ang gobyerno mga sakim na putang inang mga Komnista kayo! Maghanap buhay kayo mga Gago, hindi parati sa Gobyerno ang Sisi nyo, madami trabaho, mapili lang yung mga Tambay na binabayaran nyo ng 500 kada Rally me makasama lang kayo mga putang ina kayo!

  11. Harv says:

    I saw comments in the paper of your concerns for the Military ship that was mistakenly grounded hurting a small portion of coral along the Philippines coastline. I’m not sure if your words were taken out of text, but try and considering treating the situation as if you were in the other shoes.

    For example, if it was a Philippines Navy ship that grounded in the waters, would the charges of P12,000,000 be the same to the Navy Ship and would you not want any Navy ship in the water until it is paid? The anti-American statements that was eluded in your alleged comments of the Inquirer today might pose even a more troublesome outlook. Do you think that the American population should discontinue granting US visas and hiring Filipinos because one person screws up somewhere in the USA? I didn’t think so!

    You’re talking about a small vessel that grounded. Was their oil leakage? Was their lives lost? Did you ask the US Navy if they needed some help? Do you think the U.S. Navy would help if you asked them to, if China invades and start taking small islands off the east coast?

    Normally, that US Captain will be relieved of his duty following the incident like this. If they broke something, let the US Navy fix it, or give them the chance to. Please use kindness and concern first before pointing fingers and asking for money!

    I think your organization has done a lot of good things over the years. Keep up the good work and since you’re a musician, try to look at working with other countries like a band member would. All musician must work together to make beautiful music. The same holds true with our international friends.

  12. Short of making waves and any connotation to losing face or insult, I do agree with Harv above, from a musician’s standpoint, that we should work together to create beautiful music together! No matter who we are, background, race, nationality, politics or personal interests, it is always best to promote music together, or separately, as a medium that places smiles on people’s faces and a song in their heart!

    As musicians, we have a powerful gift from God to bring people together in song, just like a rolling stone. That special power that enables us as musicians/humans, to make a difference in the lives of people…if ONLY for just a moment, through our melodies and talent!

    Let’s jam sometime!


  13. Ermelinda says:

    salut, je suis Aceline
    Je suis jeune de trente-trois années j’assume totalement mon age .
    Mon occupation principale, professeur des écoles . Mon naturel est plutôt enjoué.

  14. says:

    Je suis agée de 47 années : je n’ai pas de complexe à ce sujet !
    Je porte le joli nom de Belle.
    je suis en ce moment des études de assistante RH … Mon caractère est plutôt souriant.

  15. Winston says:

    comment va ? Nicolette à votre service
    Je suis jeune de trente-neuf piges .
    Je voudrais devenir technicien qualité . Il est dit de moi que je suis une vraie pomme.

  16. says:

    comment çava ? Je suis jeune de trente-trois piges .

    je suis Sibyla
    je suis un stage de notaire … Je suis plutôt d’un naturel enjoué.

  17. je suis Favor
    J’ai trente-quatre ans !
    je suis en ce moment des études de ingénieur agronome . Est-ce un défaut que d’être rigolote ?

  18. Salut la compagnie, je suis Aubrey
    Je souffle mes quarante-trois bougies dans un mois .
    J’ai repris mes études pour etre vendeuse en grande surface . Mon caractère est plutôt timide.

  19. Camille says:

    Hello. Came across your blog. I’m an incoming freshman at UP Diliman. I was reading the news articles when I happen to saw your name and saw one of your pictures on the broadsheet and the impression left on me was, “another activist”. I had this preconceived notion in my mind that you came from UP at, di nga ako nagkamali. Just wanted to say that I am proud of you. 🙂

  20. sonniq says:

    I found this blog late tonight at the end of my time behind my screen and saw some things i want to come back and read. I like the activist part. Standing up fo something you believe in. We aren’t activists within the same industry, but with anything, if people are not ready to stand up for what they believe in they can’t complain if things don’t go the way they want them to. So this is my promise that I will be back. I have 2 blogs, but my main one – activism against the prison industrial complex. is

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