Just recently, the Original Pinoy Music scene has lost another icon after Dennis Garcia, one of the founding members of the legendary 70’s pop band Hotdog and pioneer of “Manila Sound”, died at the age of 69.
The heartbreaking news was disclosed by his youngest daughter Isa via a post on his Facebook page last January 19, yet not mentioning the reason of his untimely demise. His death came less than two years after his younger brother and Hotdog co-founder Rene succumbed to heart attack in 2018.
Founded by brothers Dennis and Rene Garcia after disbanding their former band Red Fox in the mid-70s, Hotdog originally had 10 members and was slowly getting known in the Manila concert scene during that time. But after going through a number of members, they were finally able to establish their final lineup, comprised of female lead singer Ella del Rosario, Mon Torralba on rhythm, Lorrie Illustre on keyboard, Jess Garcia on drums, Dennis on bass, and Rene on lead.
Their debut single was “Ikaw Ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko”, which they released by the time when Manila was chosen for the first time as the venue of the prestigious beauty pageant Miss Universe in 1974.
In an article he wrote for an online news portal, veteran recording artist and writer Danee Samonte disclosed that it was him who talked to his boss, Manuel Villar Sr. – the owner of the leading pop radio station at that time DZBM and of Villar Records – to release their album, giving birth to the “Manila Sound” phenomenon.
As we pay tribute to one of our country’s greatest musicians of all-time, here are the five production numbers from ASAP inspired by Hotdog.
Cladded in psychedelic outfits, Angeline Quinto, Jona, KZ Tandingan, Yeng Constantino, and Zsa Zsa Padilla got everyone in the studio grooving as they put a different twist in one of the band’s all-time hits “Annie Batungbakal”.
Instead of being the one to receive gifts, it was Teen King Daniel Padilla who treated us on his birthday three years ago as he served us not only with his dapper looks, but with his suave voice and snazzy moves as well, as he thrilled us with his rendition of “Manila”.
We’ll definitely keep coming back to this exhilarating ASAP musical number that paid homage to one of the greatest guitarists we’ve ever known – Rene Garcia – who died a few days prior to this.
Opening the set was Prince of Pop Erik Santos who serenaded us with “Ikaw Ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko”. It was succeeded by the boppy and delightful performance of “Beh Buti Nga” courtesy of ASAP G! members Jeremy Glinoga, Isabella Vinzon, Jayda Avanzado, Kyle Echarri, and Ylona Garcia.
Pop-Rock Royalty Yeng Constantino was joined by Gary Ariola and Bob Guzman, the two remaining members of another 70s all-male pop group called The Boyfriends, in singing “Bongga Ka ‘Day”. Ice Seguerra and The Company then took center stage as they performed “Annie Batungbakal”.
Before entertaining us with his version of “Manila”, Concert King Martin Nievera delivered first a touching message for Rene.
“An empty chair for a great songwriter. Rene, we owe you not only Manila sound, but the heart and soul of OPM as well. It’s been a great journey and we’re so happy and proud that we were all proud of it. And now, you are at home in the best seat in the house. Thank God, there’s TFC in heaven. We thank you for your music. And on behalf of everyone here right now – Erik, Yeng, Ice, The Company, ASAP G!, and the Boyfriends – we love you, we will miss you, and we will hear you in every song,” he said.
We’re able to watch another awesome performance of Hotdog’s “Beh Buti Nga” on the ASAP Natin ‘To stage as Morissette and Darren Espanto enthralled us with their take on the all-time favorite hit.
Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo seemingly immortalized “Annie Batungbakal” as she conquered the stage in her glittery sky-blue jumpsuit that truly captured our gazes! She was later on joined by her fellow ASAP Natin ‘To artists in capping off the concert-level musical extravaganza.
We might have lost another legend in Mr. Dennis Garcia, but his and his band’s music and legacy have been long engraved both in the local music industry and in the minds of those who grew up listening to their ditties. Long live, Hotdog! Long live, OPM!