(Story by Jun Nucum)
Once more the pioneer of Manila Sound that started in the 1970s in the Philippines weave the old magic and rocked the Bal theater in San Leandro that saw Filipinos in the Bay Area from across the generations dancing and crooning to the tunes they were so familiar.
Yes the Hotdog of the Garcia brothers, Rene and Dennis (now retired), once again brought in their present day band members to entertain their avid followers from as young as ten to as old as sixty-five that made them relive the good old days for at least two hours that Saturday night of May 13’s Mother’s Day U.S. Concert Tour 2017 of the Best of Manila Sound.
The band members that accompanied Rene Garcia included Miles Poblete (lead female vocal), Roy Sadicon (2nd lead guitar and vocal), Junno Delos Santos (keyboard and vocal), Lehi Rebosura (percussion), Roy Rico J. Pangilinan (vocal) and Arthur Ritona (bass).
One of the more popular personalities that came early for the show was Cecile Azarcon, herself a prolific composer and singer of Original Pilipino Music (OPM), who accompanied her very promising Filipino-American wards Chloe Villegas and Zeyonce Brown. who was happy to watch the Hotdog band as a proud Pinoy.
“I love the songs, the music of the Hotdog that we grew up with. I think it is wonderful that up to now.na nandiyan pa rin ang mga kantang kinalakihan natin sa ma-appreciate ng mga generation natin ngayon. Ang ganda ng Pilipino music,” Azarcon disclosed.
(I think it is wonderful that they and their songs that we grew up with are still there and still being appreciated by the present generation. Our Original Pilipino Music is truly really very good and beautiful.)
Among the songs that the Hotdog band popularized, Azarcon admitted that the song Manila made a imprint in her like many other Filipinos living or working abroad.
“I love Manila, the song. Nakaka homesick pag narininig kong ang kantang yun. Gusto kong bumalik ng Manila, ng Pilipinas. Very meaningful naman din kasi ang lyrics. Like I keep saying, I am one of those who grew with the music of the Hotdog,” added Azarcon who also urged all Filipinos to keep patronizing their own OPM..
(I love the song Manila tha makes everyone homesick every time it is heard. That makes me want to come home to Manila, to the Philippines, The lyrics are also very meaningful.)
Keyboardist and vocalist Junno Delos Santos’ favorite Hotdog song is also Manila.
“Every time I played the first chords of Manila, I get goose bump especially in front of Filipino audience outside the Philippines. Every time we play Manila they get really excited,” Delos Santos shared.
At 35, Delos Santos regards being a band member since 2013 as a great opportunity even if the Hotdog music is what my parents adore and grew up with. Before then, Delos Santos was a member of other bands in the Philippines that also played Hotdog songs.
Chloe Villegas, one of the front act talents that night, felt very privileged to do it for the Hotdog.
“I have been a front act to Filipino talents since I was eleven and doing it for performers from back home makes me proud of my country. It is like being with Filipinos and I really feel honored doing it. I may not much about the Hotdog band but my parents do and their like very big fans. I am just hearing their music and I really like them.. . .
Suzanne Lansangan-Sabangan, lead vocalist of Sounds of Manila band based in New Jersey and who also opened for the band in 2009, consider the songs themselves as the secret formula for the Hotdog to last for forty years.
“The songs were very creative and reflect the culture during the time they were written. I think they’re innovators of OPM.. they created songs that reflect the culture and the era. For instance, lumabas ang Annie Batungbakal nung panahon ng disco. And lumabas ang Beh Buti Nga during the Punk Rock era. They also fused their music with the pop culture,” Lansangan believes. Their US Tour is produced by RB Entertainment.