Illness strikes Pinoy musicians  | Inquirer Entertainment

Illness strikes Pinoy musicians 

By: - Desk Editor
/ 09:21 PM November 15, 2017

Pepe Smith - Arthur Manuntag - Tonet Lipana

From left: Joey “Pepe” Smith, Arthur Manuntag, and Tonet Lipana

The health of Filipino musicians has caught public attention following a series of incidents in the past few days.

On Nov. 11, singer Arthur Manuntag – former member of the band Second Wind and currently known for his renditions of jazz standards – suffered a heart attack onstage during a corporate event at The Manor in Camp John Hay, Baguio.


A Facebook post from one of his friends recounted that Manuntag “flatlined three times,” was revived, but slipped into a coma.


The Inquirer has tried to speak to his wife Kathryn and son Sean Paolo, but they have not replied.

However, another Facebook post said that Manuntag has shown vital signs and seemed to be tickled while he was being given a sponge bath.

On Nov. 13, guitarist Tonet Lipana – formerly of the Rage Band and a regular presence in jazz gigs around town – died of heart failure. Friends said his heart condition, diagnosed a few years ago, required angioplasty, but he opted for herbal medicine.

On Nov. 14, guitarist Fidel Garcia – formerly with the band Jablunk and also known for his blues and jazz leanings – died of brain and kidney complications.

Likewise on Nov. 14, Joey “Pepe” Smith – widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of Pinoy rock as drummer and lead singer of the Juan dela Cruz Band – suffered a stroke as he was being driven home by his manager Mark dela Cruz to Antipolo.

Dela Cruz rushed him to Metro Antipolo Hospital where Smith underwent emergency treatment. He is now recovering but still confined in the hospital, Dela Cruz told Inquirer.


Dela Cruz added that Smith – who is turning 70 on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and is scheduled to headline the multiband lineup “Pepe Smith Rockfest” on Nov. 18 at Amoranto Stadium – would want to postpone the concert to allow him to recuperate.

Most Filipino musicians have no medical insurance. /atm

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