Malapit na kaibigan ni Direk Erik Matti ang multi-awarded director na si Peque Gallaga na pumanaw nitong May 7, 2020 dahil sa multiple organ failure na resulta ng mga komplikasyon niya from preexisting health conditions.
Inalala ni Direk Erik ang panahon na una niya itong nakasamang mag-travel at ang ilang masasayang bonding nilang magkaibigan.
“Farewell Peqs. The father I didn’t want to disappoint and also the father I resented. I’m not going to write some monochromatic staccato eulogy here for fear that you would activate the lagyo filter on me.
“You gave me my first travel remembering you saying, ‘Travel will change you on how you see the world, life and films.’
“I tried my first congee in Hong Kong with you. Every time we come from a Makati meeting, we’d pass by this Mandaluyong shawarma stand and you’d treat me with beef shawarma,” pagbabahagi ng director.
May malaking ambag din daw ang pumanaw na director sa kung anong mga natutunan niya bilang filmmaker.
“You recognized everything in me even the things I did not know I was capable of. You taught me everything about films. Thank you,” lahad niya.
Dugtong pa ni Direk Erik, “I know we’ve fought in and out over the years. The last time I saw you was in a pictorial where I didn’t know we were together. And at the expense of looking arrogant, I walked out. But it wasn’t out of arrogance, Peqs. It was of fear of getting the ire of a father.
“Our fights toughened me. There’s a lot of love-hate in me. It’s to get away from you as far as I could and make a mark on my own but also it’s to show you how good of a student I am to you, my mentor.
“I remember sending you a book of Kitchen Confidential telling you that Anthony Bourdain reminded me so much about you. You are the last of the mavericks, Peqs. You are a genius. Thank you for everything.”
Nanghihinayang din si Direk Erik na nagkaroon sila ng “falling out” ng tinatawag niyang mentor.
“If there’s any regret with our falling out, it’s losing hearing my mentor give me pointers on the films I’ve made. Hell, I don’t even know if you’ve seen any of the films I made. And that pains me.
“The only consolation is remembering these words you texted me right before your heart bypass years back in an attempt to make peace with you; ‘Erik, we were actually friends hit by lightning. Take care.’ That’s the only thing I’ve been holding on to all these years no matter how many angry words you’ve thrown my way.
“And like all children abandoned by their fathers, I love you Peqs. I may have disappointed you as your student but I promise that I will always make movies that willl forever seek your approval,” pamamaalam na pahayag ni Direk Erik sa kanyang mentor/friend