Brod Orly Roldan '64, fondly known by generations of Thetans who came after him as Tata Orly, passed away at 0255H Manila time on 15 March 2011. The news of Tata Orly's passing was first posted in the e-group by Bro. Brando Bautista '85. Below is Brod Brando's reflection on the passing of a legend.
Brod Orly Roldan is one of three members of APO Eta Chapter who made a lasting impact in Theta Chapter, that I remember. The other two are Brod Pacifico Payawal and Brod Boyet Corpuz.
He joined our fraternity in 1964 as part of the batch TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) in UP Diliman, and among his batchmates is Justice Jojo Hernandez of the Sandiganbayan.
Interestingly, he spent the best part of his APO college life in UPLB, and about a week in Calamba, where as per his narration, he studied the repercussions of firing a live firearm in a public place.
He married a sis from Theta, Sis Ritchie, and had five children, all of them boys. Four of his children eventually joined the APO, two in Eta Chapter and two in Theta Chapter.
One of his sons, Brod Andrew, the youngest is currently studying at the Philippine National Police Academy in Silang, Cavite. Like Tata Orly, Brod Andrew is studying the use of firearms...this time in a safe and secure environment with no repercussions at all...
Brod Orly arrived in Theta during the time when the rivalry between Beta Sigma and APO was heating up in the University of the Philippines System.
And those of his generation remember the ruggedly built brod from Eta who could always be counted upon to be at the forefront of what was the third or second best past time of APO during that era - rumbles. Tata Orly could never decide if it was girls or drinking that was the primary APO past time of the 60s.
Yet despite his reputation as being a fighter, Tata Orly is probably one of the friendliest brods to have stayed in Theta. Known for his fierce loyalty to his friends, he is remembered fondly not only by the brods but also by the Labays.
Old timers in Grove adored and respected him. In fact, there is one Mayor in Los Baños who had the enviable record of being Tata Orly's assistant or "bata" during his stay there.
I witnessed an example of Brod Orly's loyalty to his friend when one time he called me to visit the late Brod Jimmy Abella during his birthday. We were the only brods who came to visit Brod Jimmy on his birthday.
Brod Orly had the charisma of leadership. You can feel it in the way members of APO Taguig revered him. He was in my opinion the soul of the APO Taguig Alumni Association.
To be sure Brod Tata Orly had his detractors because he was, in their opinion, a rough fellow and a heavy drinker. But none of them could be found voicing their opinion to his face.
Because despite the perceived outward roughness of the man and the prodigous amount of alcohol he could consume, he was a very reasonable person with a sense of hospitality that very few brods, then and now, can match. I think those who have visited his house or office can attest to his hospitality.
Looking back, I guess we can say that Tata Orly started his schooling as an APO in Eta, but it was in Theta were he took his masteral. And it was in APO Taguig that he took his PhD.
There is a tradition in APO Taguig that every Christmas they would give footwear to Elsie Gaches. This is their signature project that Brod Orly insisted be done year after year. Parang personal na panata na ito ni Tata Orly. And I hope that with him gone, APO Taguig will continue this project.
I know that there is an aching sense of loss in the heart for many brods and sisses who met and have known Brod "Tata" Orly Roldan.
His sudden demise, leaves another empty spot in the pantheon of Brothers who walked and left their mark in UPLB.
But we who have known him, are the lucky ones...for we had the privilege of having walked with a Theta legend.
Rest in peace, Brod Tata Orly. It was a life lived fullest in APO and those who knew you best have been amply supplied with fond memories of you.