Friday, October 12, 2012

The Last Ride Home with Jude Rocha.

10.12.2012 – How often do you see history unfold and become part of it?

For some reasons I’ve been fascinated by history and the legend that represents them.

It could be an event or certain individuals who we get the opportunity to know them up close.

Today was a story of both though I may not be as close as any certain personality someone like a radio DJ in Jude Rocha who may have taught me the little things that he may not know that I’m applying now as an adult.

I may not be as close as having the chance to play basketball with him that some of the current on-air staff has that rare and a privileged opportunity to bond with this man but I learned from him.

In fact the truth as anyone who has worked with Jude Rocha feared him and sometimes that motivates others to be better.

It may not be a better way to get on the learning curve but it sure works for some like me. I always wanted to be radio DJ when I was 10 years old and ever since I started listening to the radio I was fascinated how that life would be. Unfortunately my parents have other ideas that kept me from pursuing that dream until I end up having a short stint in becoming part of the first batch of Radio 1.

This was the time RX93.1 had this brand new show for aspiring students to live their dreams and some live that fantasy as their day job. But during those days Jude Rocha was the one to fear and to learn from. I don’t know how many got intimidated with his approach but as Rico Robles would say he learned a lot from the man himself. Today was Jude Rocha’s last show on RX93.1 and Philippine radio won’t be the same again.

Some might say it’s the end of an era but long before Jude stepped down another event Philippine radio happened already when NU 107 had started that trend when they closed up shop in 2010. Indeed changes are happening in the culture of Philippine radio and it’s either for the good or the bad.

But for Jude Rocha it’s something of a different story when he joined RX 93.1 on November 1990. Chico Garcia (aka Rico Lagbao) would tell stories of the early years how they got into radio. The story is pretty much inspiring to find out who Jude Rocha was. Here we all know he was the scariest guy at the office but when he stepped outside work Jude was the nicest person with the big heart.

This was told on-air when I was in the MRT train bound for the radio station and as much you all know I can’t miss the opportunity to share you Jude’s story behind the scenes in the booth if anyone missed out on listening to his last show.

I would recall my official return to RX93.1 sometime in October 2009 no longer the student DJ but as a casual listener of the radio station.

My first visit in a long time was during Jude Rocha and Gelli Victor’s show toward the lunch time when they announced Red Ribbon sponsoring FREE cake for their listeners. Actually my only reason to write about this was not the cake but the show with Jude and Gelli. It’s been years since I haven’t stopped by but that time I saw a different Jude Rocha.

He was the person everyone dubbed as Jude “Rude Dude” Rocha because the only reason he looked intimidating because of the attitude and personality he brought to his radio show. The voice of this man has an edge “a real bad boy on radio” as what Chico claimed that he just sounded like one but unlike Jude.

The booth was crowded again but this time by the people who he worked closely with on radio that includes Gelli who left the radio station a few years before.

Now both talented people has move on to their careers and Jude will be missed being sort of the mother voice of this station. Those stingers that I try to emulate during my time on Radio 1 because of him won’t be the same. Listening now without Jude on the show would have a different dynamic having only Francesca and Rico Robles.

I feel that some are trying to hold back from this but when you listen to Jude talking he feels the same way too. Because as he said what kept him for almost 22 years is because of the people he has become close with at work. Monster Radio RX93.1 won’t be the same without Jude Rocha because it’s like “The Monster” has left the building.

For as long as I can remember he has become an “icon” and a “legend” on his own as Rico Robles would say that part of personality on RX has become the station’s identity. Everyone would feel sad but hey we should cheer Jude Rocha for taking us for “The Ride” that we will always keep in memory. Those times I would call to join “Dial-A-Date” (which I got to join twice but none of them became my date) and sent my “Rant and Rave” thoughts for the show.

Those where the memories that I would remember about Jude Rocha especially the behind-the-scenes in the booth where he poke fun of me just hanging out watching him and Rico banter talking about Filipino showbiz gossips.

It’s the little things that I would be missing especially the time I became co-leader of the green team for the Laser Tag event in December 2011 when Rico Robles had a hosting stint during that time. It’s not that we won but he puts his trust on me and was a privilege even though I screwed up. Not to mention when he greets his listeners by their real name and not their twitter handles on-air.

Over the years some have said he has mellowed down but that voice did not changed and those stingers are going to be part of RX 93.1’s identity.

Anyone can be a radio DJ but no one can be another Jude Rocha with that deep voice and the bad attitude he sound to make it easy. But the truth of the matter is he made it up there through hard work and that’s inspiring.

You can hear his voice trying to keep it together on his last speech before he turned off the microphone and played his last song in “Elesi” by Rivermaya (not the current incarnation but the original vocals by Bamboo Manalac).

He never expected this to be this big of a goodbye and I see he never was a fan of those kinds of things. But I’m sure he’s deeply appreciated thanks in part to Francesca setting up this rare event.

Next Monday won’t be the same way as Friday ended because Jude won’t be there who’s good with pronouncing the names of well know tennis players for their sports news or talking about Filipino showbiz gossips. But take time to listen to the stingers and voice overs as if he did not left the show which is the little things you will never miss about Jude.

Nobody want this to sound like a eulogy but for some like Jude Rocha he told me I will still see him around that’s why a part of me as a listener won’t miss him. Just that usual daily routine hearing him talking to Rico and Fran would make that different.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I too enjoyed listening to Jude Rocha. His absence will surely be missed. Best of luck to the man...