Cover photo for Alberto (Bert) Tobias Reyes, Sr.'s Obituary

Alberto (Bert) Tobias Reyes, Sr.

November 2, 1932 — April 15, 2024

Alberto (Bert) Tobias Reyes, Sr.

November 2, 1932 — April 15, 2024

Los Angeles

Alberto (Bert, (er)Ting, Treb, Dad, Papa) Reyes, 91, born on November 02, 1932, in Pandacan, Manila, Philippines, passed away April 15, 2024. He resided in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA at the time of his passing. He lived a long and blessed life.  Bert will be always remembered for his dedication to his family, friends, church community, love of food and passion for music.

Donations or gifts are not required.  In response to questions, in lieu of flowers and / or gifts, the family has requested that you contact them at aksgreyes@gmail.com regarding a donation in the name of Alberto (Bert) Tobias Reyes, Sr.  Alternatively, please feel free to donate to your favorite charity in honor of Alberto (Bert) Tobias Reyes, Sr. and / or kindly say a prayer for him.  Thank you and many blessings to you and your family.

Daily Novenas are being held, please send an email to aksgreyes@gmail.com if you want to join the family, friends and the Legion of Mary pray for Bert.


Detailed Obituary Below
Our beloved Alberto Tobias Reyes, Sr. "Ting, Bert, Dad, Papa”, 91, passed away on April 15, 2024 surrounded by family and friends. 
 
He was born to parents Aurelio and Sabina Reyes on November 2, 1932, in Pandacan, Manila, Philippines.
 
Bert was the eldest of four children.  He attended Zamora Elementary School (Pandacan), Victorino Mapa High School (Manila), and received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) of the Philippines.
 
Bert grew up during the turmoil of war.  The Japanese invaded the Philippines soon after his 9th birthday.  This event dramatically impacted Bert’s family.  The Japanese arrested and detained educated Filipinos, including Bert’s father Aurelio, who was a Doctor.  Unfortunately, Bert and his family never saw Aurelio again after he was taken.  Bert had to grow up fast, become street smart and resourceful to survive and help his family during the Japanese occupation from 1942 until 1945.  During this time, food was scarce, to survive, people were diving into the oily waters of Manila Bay and the Pasig River to recover rice in the sunken vessels.  The rice, which Bert referred to as “Sisid” (dive) rice, smelled and tasted terrible, but it was better than nothing.
 
According to his wife, Rosa, Bert was quite the entrepreneur and probably should have been a salesman.  To help support his family, Bert sold rabbits from the local bureau of animal industry, he also sold peanuts and cigarettes to the Japanese soldiers and sold sweets outside a bar.  He also sold clothes and toys by installment – meaning the customers who could not afford to pay the full price were allowed to pay partial amounts.  During this time, he developed and leveraged his innate social skills, likable personality for which he is remembered. This enabled him to “makisama” (get along) with people.  Bert met one of his lifelong friends, Albert Frum from Ohio, an American Soldier, after the occupation.  Rosa said that the two met at a bar where Bert assisted Albert after he had one too many drinks.  Bert and Albert kept in touch and reunited when Bert went to Ohio in the early 1970s.
 
In his teenage years and young adulthood, Bert was active socially and spiritually.  He participated and took active roles in the Santo Nino Catholic Church (Pandacan) and various groups including the Legion of Mary, the Lunodyttes Club (which Bert co-founded), and The Knights of Columbus, all of which hosted regular events. 
 
Bert recruited close friends including Tony Lapitan, Ruben Hilario and Andy Talastas to join the Legion of Mary through which they spent time teaching Catechism, organized bloc rosary sessions and social events.  Tony and Bert met during their high school years and remained friends throughout their collegiate years performing the service of the Legion of Mary during the weekends.  Upon graduating from MIT, Bert landed a job at AG&P (Atlantic, Gulf & Pacific Company of Manila).
 
Even though he was not formally trained, Bert learned how to play the piano, guitar and accordion by ear.  Learning the basic chords, Bert was able play the melodies and accompaniments of practically any song.  Bert’s musical talent and outgoing personality helped him become the life of the party.  He never met a piano that he didn’t like, often playing pianos at public places like hotel lobbies.  He enjoyed jamming with other musicians and loved being a part of the Filipino Choir at St. Dominic Church. Music was one of Bert’s favorite passions, often playing the piano and listening to music up until his passing.  

Bert’s ultimate passion was his love and partnership with his wife, Rosa.  He met Rosa through one of the social events hosted by the Legion of Mary.  They were married in Pandacan, Manila on May 6, 1961.  Together, they raised a family and celebrated over 62 years of marriage.  Their first child, Alberto C Reyes Jr (Al) was born on March 21, 1962 and daughter, Regina C Reyes (Gigi) on November 8, 1963 in Manila.  Their youngest child, Angelo J Reyes (Gelo) was born on October 25, 1974, in Los Angeles.
Bert, Rosa, Al and Gigi lived in Pandacan until Bert left for the United States in 1971.  In search of better opportunities, Bert traveled to Cleveland, Ohio in 1971 and stayed with Ray and Geny Centeno until he found a job.  At the time, American companies would not recognize his engineering degree.  To earn a living, Bert worked as an assistant in a hospital, enduring a long daily commute by bus during a very cold winter.  Leveraging his resourcefulness and makisama attitude, he learned to cope with the circumstances even though he had no medical training or background.  He befriended the bus driver (later, that bus driver and her family would host Bert and family in their farm in Ohio).
 
Initially, the plan was for Rosa and the kids to stay in Pandacan, but that proved too difficult.  After 9 months, Rosa brought Al and Gigi to be with Bert in Ohio, summer of 1972.  Disappointed with the lack of opportunities, the family took a Greyhound bus across the country to Los Angeles, where they were welcomed and initially housed by Peping and Nida Duban.  It was challenging for immigrants with kids back then, however, they persevered and convinced a skeptical landlord to rent them a tiny apartment and land jobs for which they were not trained.  After applying for positions at various companies, Bert landed a job at a carpet company where he worked until joining Rosa to work as a technician at Pacific Bell.  Bert had to leverage his skill set and apply it to a role with which he was unfamiliar.  He had to tackle the physical rigors of climbing up telephone poles, suffering injuries and other challenges immigrants faced during that time. 
 
Bert and Rosa purchased a home in Eagle Rock (Los Angeles) in 1976 where the family, which now included their youngest child Angelo, resided until they passed.  Their house was small, but it was an upgrade from their 1 bedroom apartment.  They made the house a home, welcoming family, hosting parties and events.  Bert and Rosa were active members of the St. Dominic Church community where they led and participated in organizations such as the Legion of Mary and Filipino Choir.  Both appreciated the communal nature which reminded them of Pandacan and their family and friends.  Bert took leadership positions with the Legion of Mary, the Filipino Choir and other groups which occupied the weekends. 
 
Bert and Rosa worked very hard to send their three kids to Universities.  After they graduated with their degrees, Bert was able to retire early from Pacific Bell.  He then dedicated himself to his family, traveling with Rosa, gardening and the activities of the church organizations.  Bert and Rosa both enjoyed their retirement years.  They were able to see many countries, often traveling with members of the church to visit holy sites.  Regardless of their busy schedules, they made it a point to attend as many family events as possible and were present at all their grandkids’ activities.  Often the celebrations involved consuming Chinese and Filipino food (Bert’s favorites).
 
Bert will also be remembered for his sense of humor and sometimes ornery and stubborn disposition.  His grandkids can attest that Bert should have been the author of a book named “Corny Papa Jokes.”  Bert was also known to argue with waiters about how much rice he should have received with his dish or whether or not the sweet and sour pork (his favorite) he ordered actually contained pork.
 
Bert’s legacy is the family he and Rosa raised through his resourcefulness, resilience, perseverance, sacrifice, work ethic, unconditional love and support.  One of quotes that Bert liked to say and live by is “Try your best, let God do the rest”

Bert did his best and now God will do the rest.
 
Bert was preceded by his parents, his younger brothers Aurelio Jr and Ernesto Reyes.
 
Bert is survived by his children Alberto C Reyes Jr “Al” (wife Karen B Reyes, children Sebastian and Gabriel “Gabe”), Regina Reyes McClendon “Gigi” (husband Ivan), Angelo J Reyes “Gelo” (children Ashlyn, Alec “AJ” and Aycen); sister Teresita Claudio “Tita”; niece Rowena Fernandez “Win” (husband Jason); Nephews: Manuel Claudio “Noel”, Walfrido Claudio “Wally” (wife Fely), Jonathan Claudio “Jojo”; sister in-law Maritta Reyes “Marie” (wife of Ernesto); Nieces: Marichu Martinez “Chu” (husband Derek), Cecilia Reyes “Cyl”, Clyde Chung (husband Aaron); Nephew: Edwin Reyes “Ed” and twelve grandnieces and grandnephews; The Legaspi, Carreon and extended families; Many dear friends including Tony and Ethel Lapitan; Eva Talastas, The Legion of Mary and Filipino Choir of St. Dominic Church.


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Visitation of Alberto Reyes

Friday, May 3, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Pacific time)

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Funeral Service of Alberto Reyes

Saturday, May 4, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Pacific time)

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