Photo Credits: Raffy
Written by: Tosca Puno
Papa you were not just an OPM Icon, but you reminded them especially the Baby Boomers of the Golden Years of Original Pilipino Music. You reminded them of how tough it was for local artists to break in the music scene and how a thin guy in Bell Bottoms known as Rico J. Puno would bravely lead them all to the rise of OPM in the Philippines.
Now I understand why your fans especially the senior citizens clad in wheelchairs and walkers would always, ALWAYS watch your shows. You reminded them of their haydays, the times they were falling-in-love, their youth & years of vigor, happy times, heartbreaks turned into victories, songs of hope, and you just made it easy everytime they watch you or listen to your music. It was because of your charm, amazing God-given talent and humor that transcend time and social classes. They love you because you are you. No pretensions. You have bravely shown them who you were that they have forgiven even your naughtiness on stage and embraced it as art. They embraced you as their very own, Macho Gwapito. You have become a need to Filipinos. When Filipinos would need entertainment you would always be first choice. You became a need to our OFWs that watching you perform meant an hour or two of bliss, forgetting how homesick and lonely they were.
Thank you for sharing to all of us what you knew about Music and passionately shared it with all of us with that lucid husky voice uniquely your own. Some might have something similar however it was because it was intentionally copied to sound like you. You are like no other in the Music Industry, Mr. Rico J. Puno. It just so happens that the Rico J. Puno that the whole world loved, was also my earthly father.
God, You have given me the privilege to call him Papa, to love and respect him, be loved by him and even be taught by him, a Filipino Legend. I would forever be grateful to YOU for choosing my earthly father for me.
Let me end this blog with gratefulness not just to God but to all who have loved my Dad when he was still alive. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for making my Papa happy too.