Paying tribute to the late musicians Rene Garcia, Rico J. Puno and Joey “Pepe” Smith, the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhlPost) recently released commemorative stamps for the artists it described as three of the “legendary singers and pioneers in promoting the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) in the country.”
The event, which included an exhibit of the musicians’ memorabilia, was one of the highlights of the 2019 celebration of the National Stamp Collecting Month as proclaimed by President Fidel Ramos through Presidential Proclamation No. 494 in 1992.
Aside from these, the PhlPost also held a tour of the Manila Post Office Building and mounted an exhibition titled “Art of History,” which featured artwork by in-house philatelic artists. The exhibit tackled subjects from important historical personages to heritage structures and even beauty queens.
Rene and his brother Dennis led the band Hotdog which became popular in the 1970s to the 1980s and a pioneer of the kind of pop music called Manila Sound.
Some of their famous songs are “Manila,” one of the key anthems of the last Southeast Asian Games hosted by the Philippines, “Bongga Ka ’Day,” “Annie Batungbakal,” “Pers Lab” and “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko.”
A contemporary of Hotdog was Juan de la Cruz Band which had Pepe Smith as frontman.
Among their hits are “Balong Malalim,” “Himig Natin,” No Touch” and “Titser’s Enemi No. 1.”
Meanwhile, Puno is remembered through his hits, “Buhat,” “Kapalaran,” “The Way We Were,” “Magkasuyo Buong Gabi” and “May Bukas Pa.”
Puno and Garcia passed last year while Smith died earlier this year.