‘Huge loss to OPM’
As one of the founders of the seminal Filipino band Hotdog, Rene Garcia, with his distinctive voice and skillful guitar-playing, helped shape the so-called Manila Sound—the defining genre of the 1970s that fused disco, pop, jazz, rock and funk into a delectable musical brew that appealed to listeners from all walks of life.
Together with his brother and chief songwriter Dennis Garcia, Rene breathed life into enduring dance tunes like “Bongga Ka ’Day” and “Annie Batungbakal”; cheeky punk-lite bops like “Beh, Buti Nga”; and elegant love ballads like “Panaginip,” “Pers Lab” and “Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko.”
On Sept. 2, Rene, at 65, died of cardiac arrest—the news of which prompted an outpouring of tributes to the departed musician.
In a Facebook post, Dennis wrote, “I will miss you like hell,” referencing their iconic song, “Manila.” “I will miss my bandmate and brother. I will miss creating songs with him. I will miss performing onstage with him.”
Still, Rene’s spirit lives on with all the Filipino artists who have ever performed and covered Hotdog’s music.
Zsa Zsa Padilla
I worked for almost a year with Hotdog, before I was launched as a solo artist in 1983.
We recorded a two-track single written by the brothers: the novelty tune, “Careful, Careful,” and “Never Forget You,” a ballad duet that I sang with Dennis.
I will always treasure my first recording-studio experience with them. We also played at Circuit Disco, which gave me my first taste of live performance.
I was 17 years old when I joined their band. They helped introduce me to this business, which I have grown to love. And I will always be grateful for that.
Hotdog will always be remembered for its contribution to Manila Sound. Filipinos will never forget their timeless hits.
Thank you for the music!
Hotdog is the true Manila Sound of the 1970s. Like many essential musical works, Rene’s songs retell Manila’s stories of the ’70s, and will forever remain as the flag-bearer of Filipino popular music of that decade.
Rene Garcia and Hotdog’s music always makes me smile. I feel the same kind of joy when I listen to sunshine pop from the 1960s. Truly, the Manila Sound—of which Hotdog was one of the main proponents—is like sunshine pop: It glistens, and it’s warm.
We covered the beautiful classic, “Ikaw ang Miss Universe” for the Hotdog tribute album, “Bandang Pinoy, Lasang Hotdog” many years ago. (I wish we had done “Meow,” too!) I’m glad we had been a part of that, because Hotdog is one of our favorites.
Rene’s music will live on long after we’re all gone, like a fading sunset in Manila Bay.
He’s a music genius and a real guitar virtuoso. Concerts aren’t complete without his songs. He’s a hero of OPM, and his music will forever be in the hearts of Filipinos.
I’m a big fan of Manila Sound, especially the songs of Hotdog. I (with the band Color It Red) was part of the tribute album “Bandang Pinoy, Lasang Hotdog,” where I sang “Pers Lab” and “Bongga Ka ’Day.”
I believe I speak for other Manila Sound fans when I say that I dreamed of one day jamming with Sir Rene. His music captured
every possible emotion the Filipino people have. The lyrics were beautifully written; the music, beautifully composed. The songs have great arrangements and are easy to sing along to.
He’s a huge loss to OPM.
He was one of our most daring composers. He broke barriers and made the rules as he went along. He didn’t try to just make a hit. Instead, he created music his countrymen can be proud of.
He started the chain of hits that kids continue to rock to. OPM lost another fierce Filipino talent. His life will be remembered forever through his music.
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