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‘Bongga ka,’ Dennis

/ 01:09 AM June 11, 2014

HOTDOG, led by Dennis Garcia (back row, second from right) and brother Rene (back row, third from right), will reunite in a fundraiser for Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors.

Every time I visit Facebook, the posts of Dennis Garcia (Hotdog band’s main man)  never fail to pique me, or crack me up. How can I forget Hotdog’s “Careful, Careful” (with Zsa Zsa Padilla on vocals), theme of my mom Inday Badiday’s 1980s talk show, “See True”?

Creativity is a gift that Dennis was born with. Bongga ka, Dens!

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After countless hits, Hotdog is still at it.

Don’t miss their one-night concert, “Hotdog Together Again … Ayad (Rebuild) Tacloban” on June 17, 8:30 p.m. at the Dusit Thani Ballroom in Makati. (For tickets, call 8937349 or 5836782.)

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The band that gave us “The Manila Sound” urges fans to bring their dancing shoes and Annie Batungbakal moves!

Here’s my tête-à-tête with a true icon of Original Pilpino Music (OPM).

How are bands today different from those in the Manila Sound era?

Bands in the 1970s enjoyed lots of airplay and heavy media exposure. TV and radio people were enthusiastic about every new original song. This motivated Pinoy musicians to churn out more music.

Of Hotdog’s hits, which is your fave?

“Manila,” because of its effect on Filipinos, especially abroad.

What would you advise aspiring songwriters?

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Write from the heart; expose your soul. Enduring songs are about true feelings, not just rhyming words stitched together.

What is OPM’s biggest setback?

Government indifference. Nobody seems to care (or notice) that broadcast networks play more imported music than OPM. There may be rules in place (four OPM tunes per hour), but legislation is no substitute for a genuine desire to make sure that artists like Up Dharma Down or SinoSikat have a fighting chance against the One Directions of the world.

How has OPM changed?

Filipino songwriting talent has not diminished; it just fails to bloom.

Outside of your own hits, if you could pick one song as an anthem for Pinoys, what would it be?

“Bonggahan” by Sampaguita (composed by Gary Perez)  infects you with so much joy, you want to let your hair down, if you have any remaining.

Any concert rituals?

One very long sound check. Prayers with the band. A super-sized meal after the show.

What’s your creative process like?

A lot like love. You never know when it’ll  hit you. I make sure I always have pen and paper (even the receipt from my last meal at Milky Way).

What can you say about celebs who can’t carry a tune but sell albums and concerts?

I totally have no respect for them, sorry. They rob talented artists of a chance to shine.

What’s your take on singing contests on TV?

There should be less … that’s the best way to elevate quality.

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TAGS: Dennis Garcia, Hotdog, Music, Yolanda
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