Stars pay tribute to Master Showman in ‘50 Years with Kuya Germs’; airs Saturday

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German Moreno, as usual, delivers a tearful, nostalgic speech. MARINEL CRUZ

MANILA, Philippines—Filipinos have been losing sleep for 50 years because of him now it’s time to remember the man every stars call “Kuya Germs.”

“We are what we are because of you. You’ve made our dreams come true.” Thus said actress Jackie Lou Blanco, who was among the hundred performers at the “50 Years With Kuya Germs” show held Wednesday night to celebrate the golden anniversary in show business of comedian, TV host and star-maker German Moreno.

Blanco’s thoughts were echoed by Sharon Cuneta, Dawn Zulueta, Maricel Laxa, Jean Garcia and Lani Mercado—Moreno’s other cohosts on “GMA Supershow” (1978-1997)—who were also present that night at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

The three-hour show also featured artists whom Moreno has worked with from his beginnings as a comedian on the “bodabil” stage to the big screen, from “GMA Supershow” to the highly successful youth-oriented program “That’s Entertainment” (1986-1996), and from the weekly sitcom “Idol Ko Si Kap” (2000-2005) to his current program “Walang Tulugan With the Master Showman.”

“It’s hard to imagine what Philippine show business would have been without Kuya Germs (Moreno’s nickname),” said GMA 7 chair and CEO Felipe Gozon during his welcome address. “We’re proud to say that most of his years on television was spent with the Kapuso network. With him, ‘di lamang walang tulugan, wala ring iwanan (it’s not only forbidden to sleep, it’s also prohibited to leave).”

GERMAN Moreno, the Master Showman with the Midas touch

Gozon presented Moreno a coffee-table book titled “Kuya Germs: 50 Years in Show Biz.” Network president and COO Gilberto Duavit handed Moreno a plaque of appreciation.

One of the highlights of the event was the dance showdown that featured GMA 7 talents and Billy Crawford, now a contract artist of rival channel ABS-CBN. Crawford had a falling out with his mentor Moreno in 2008 over his decision to transfer to the Kapamilya network. The two have patched things up since.

Another noteworthy moment on the show was the airing of a video message from ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio, who also considered Moreno as one of her mentors. Concio was one of Moreno’s co-hosts in GMA 7’S “Germspesyal” (1980-1983). “You’re a true star-maker. I salute you for having a huge heart for this industry. You are one of its important pillars. Thank you for the love,” said the Kapamilya exec.

Among those who went up the stage to pay tribute to Moreno were Gloria Romero, Susan Roces and Gina Alajar. The country’s top singers Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Pops Fernandez, Martin Nievera, Dulce, Raymond Launchengco and Rachel Alejandro performed some of Moreno’s favorite tunes.

Popular “That’s Entertainment” mainstays Janno Gibbs, Manilyn Reynes, Sheryl Cruz, Tina Paner, Jessa Zaragosa and Vina Morales also serenaded Moreno. Keempee de Leon, Pilita Corales, Carmen Soriano, Elizabeth Ramsey, The CompanY and the Club Mwah dancers were part of a bodabil-themed production number.

GMA 7 artists Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Rachelle Ann Go, Mark Bautista, Gian Magdangal, Jolina Magdangal, Julie Anne San Jose, Frencheska Farr, the trio La Diva, among others, also showed their support.

“Let us teach the youth how to be grateful, to look back at their roots, to not be ashamed of their past,” said Moreno during his thank-you speech. “I was never ashamed to say that I’ve worked as a janitor before joining show biz… I’ve gain a lot of friends through the years. Kayo ang kayamanan ko.”

“50 Years With Kuya Germs,” under the direction of Al Quinn, will air on Saturday night on the Kapuso network.

Email mcruz@inquirer.com.ph

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