The madlang people have gotten used to the It’s Showtime stage being a source of laughter with all the jokes and endless banter. But with the passing of one of its esteemed hurados, even for just a day the lights were dimmed, and the scene became solemn. Affection and love were still in the air, but it was bittersweet. They shared memories knowing that the man they spoke greatly of will now only remain in these moments from the past.
Both hurados and contenders of Tawag ng Tanghalan gathered for Alaala: Memories Of The Way We Were last November 2 to honor the legacy that Rico J. Puno has left. Throughout his career he has been idolized by both the masses and fellow artists. He was dubbed as the Total Entertainer, yet it seems he continues to be more than what his title promises, especially to his friends in this industry.
Randy Santiago recounted the kind of impact his Kuya Rico made during the ‘70s, “Isa si Kuya Rico, ‘Yaku Rico’, na talaga namang tumatak ang galing niya sa pagkanta.”
Gary Valenciano added that despite Rico J’s antics, he was still a deep and thoughtful man.
Rey Valera further emphasized how Rico J was truly on a league of his own. As a musical director, despite what was originally rehearsed, he would sing a song just because of the spur of the moment. Usually, he would sing Together Forever because the crowd loved it. Everyone would sing along. According to Valera, Rico J was the kind of performer who wanted everyone to be happy and also felt happy in the process.
Aside from the many stories retold, some of Rico J’s hits were also performed. There was Macho Gwapito, Sana Dalawa Ang Puso Ko, Magkasuyo Buong Gabi and more. Dulce gave a heartfelt rendition of Kapalaran and everyone shared the stage for Together Forever.
A prayer was then led by Gary V as everyone held lit candles. “Thank you that once upon a time the Philippines had a Total Entertainer and a Total Performer by the name of Rico J. Puno. There will never be another like him,” he said bidding farewell to the OPM icon and expressing gratitude for all the lives Rico J has touched.