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The Bro Code August 24, 2009

Posted by Alex Sawit in Stuff in General.

By Alex Sawit

24 August 2009


Most Cyrano friends know by now that, thanks to my still unresolved dusk-till-dawn routine at the wine shop, I more or less keep an odd bedtime schedule that drastically reduces my exposure to daylight (if you have to ask, no, I’m not that kind of an immortal). Most of you know this well enough that you probably won’t even bother calling me on my cellphone until late in the afternoon. Heck, most of you may even suspect that the reason I can recite with uncanny dramatic effect the lines of The Architect (you remember him in The Matrix: Reloaded… you know, the Colonel Sanders look-alike?) is because that’s what my voice is like when I’ve been liberated all too soon from the sweetness of sleep – a deep, slowly reverberating voice that feels very tired, very ancient and not particularly amused by the unwelcome effort of speaking.

Albert del Rosario, however, is not most Cyrano friends.

“Alex,” asked Sir Albert with an amused, slightly chuckling voice that gently but firmly roused me over the cellphone the other day. “Did I just wake you up again?”

“No problem Sir Albert,” I answered lucidly and with genuine pleasantness. “Yes,” I continued, “how may I help you?”

Hey, no problemo. If it’s Sir Albert on the line, it’s cool. It’s all just part of the “Bro Code” that we both live by.

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Bro Code lately thanks to folks who’ve been bringing it up at the wine shop via email and i-Pod audio playback (and also thanks to my happy-go-lucky cousin who dropped into the shop exclaiming “Bros before hoes!” as a pledge of loyalty). Since most Cyrano friends already have a general understanding of the code, I won’t bother to explain. I do feel compelled, however, to point that although the basic code applies universally to all bros, there are Bro Codes and then there are Bro Codes.

As most of you are already aware, I belong to a small but tight knit group of black belts who have stayed a steadfast family through the collective blood, sweat and tears of our martial arts training. I wish I could fully describe the process by which this sort of brotherhood comes about, but truly you had to have been there with us to understand – been one of us, one bloody grueling day after another repeating kick after kick, strike after strike, grapple after grapple, pushing each other and never giving up till we got it right. If you’d been there, then you’d know why those who endure hardship and emerge as brothers-in-arms always develop a unique feeling of obligation to each other that transcends everyday friendship. Call it a warrior’s Bro Code if you like, but that’s what ours is.

That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I’m especially proud to call Sir Albert a Cyrano friend – the only Cyrano friend who is also my fellow Hwa Rang Do black belt.

Strange as it may sound due to the generation gap between us (he’s close to my father’s age, illustrated by the fact that I went to university with one of his sons), Sir Albert and I have been bros ever since we started training as classmates in Hwa Rang Do nearly a quarter century ago. Nowadays most folks in town know him only as a highly esteemed businessman and as a former Philippine ambassador to the United States. But for me that doesn’t say nearly enough. If you’d ever trained with him as a bro as I did, you’d know that his is the kind of stuff – that prized combination of courage of heart, strength of mind and integrity of spirit – of which real gentlemen are made of. I only wish he’d been given the opportunity to take up the martial arts much earlier in life so that we might have seen what he could have attained given the advantage of youth.

I hope Sir Albert gets to meet the rest of his fellow Cyrano friends someday soon. Although he is actually one of our best customers, regularly ordering vino for private functions and as gifts for friends, due to his never ending busy schedule he’s only ever been to our wine shop once and on a slow night at that, when there was no one I could introduce him to. Hopefully someday he will.

For now…

“I’ll need another case of the Cabernet I ordered from you last time,” Sir Albert said with his trademark civility. “I’ll be giving it as a gift, too.”

“Very good, one case,” I replied. “I could bring it to you by, say, Thursday?”

“That’s fine Alex. Thanks.”

“No problem Sir Albert,” I said as I ended the call. I jotted it down mentally: twelve bottles of blended Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, which I planned to personally deliver to the Ambassador’s residence on…

Wait, did I tell him Thursday? Hah-hah, I delivered it to him Wednesday morning. Hey, no problem going the extra mile. That’s part of our Bro Code.





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