From Nuffnang

Monday, November 5, 2018

Rico J. Puno, 65

Original Philippine Music legend Enrico de Jesus Puno, better known as Rico J. Puno, passed away on October 30, 2018, at the age of 65. According to a New York Times obituary, Puno "channeled American superstars to forge a distinctive brand of local soul music."

Photo Credit: Rico J. Puno Facebook

Rico J. Puno's career in the Philippine entertainment industry spanned more than four decades. His fame as a singer allowed him to establish his celebrity status on movies and television. Moreover, he ventured into politics as a member of the Makati City Council from the 1st District. In honor of his memory, following are some snippets of his life.

*** Born on Friday the 13th of February 1953, Rico J. Puno was the eldest among Felipe Sr. and Corazon Puno's six children who grew up in Balic-balic, a part of Manila's Sampaloc district.

*** Despite finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Philippine School of Business Administration, Rico J. Puno pursued a career in music and became successful.

*** In 1975, Rico J. Puno's big break happened at the Palazzi, where he was regularly performing as a folk singer. The Temptations were at the restaurant having lunch with executive producers from Vicor Records. The Motown group was so impressed with Puno that one of its members sang with him. Vicor went on to produce his first record, Love Won't Let Me Wait.

*** His moniker, "The Total Entertainer," is also the title of an album that was released by Vicor in 1977.

*** In the 1977 film Wow, Sikat! Pare, Bigat! Rico J. Puno is dubbed as "The Country's Top Musical Idol."

Photo Credit: Video 48

*** While being featured as a guest in the talk show Tonight with Arnold Clavio,  Rico J. Puno recalled that sometime in the '70s film actor Fernando Poe Jr. sought his help to serenade Susan Roces. Poe later paid him 650 pesos for singing Sunshine on My Shoulders about 20 times. The two famous men died almost 14 years apart, both at the age of 65.

*** Several noontime television variety shows showcased Rico J. Puno's talent as a co-host from the mid-1980s to early 2010s. These shows include GMA Network's Lunch Date (1986-1987) and RPN's Chibugan Na (1994-1995). On ABS-CBN, he was part of Pilipinas Win na Win (2010) and Happy Yipee Yehey (2011-2012).

*** In July 2018, Rico J. Puno also offered advice to aspiring singers as one of the judges in Tawag ng Tanghalan, an amateur singing competition currently aired as a segment of the ABS-CBN noontime show It's Showtime.

*** The name of Rico J. Puno's character in the ABS-CBN sitcom Home Sweetie Home is Vino "Daddy V" Valentino. It can be noted that his birthday is the day before Valentine's Day.

*** One of Rico J. Puno's final acting stints on television was in the ABS-CBN action drama series Ang Probinsyano. He played the role of Engelbert Moreno, with the given name of this character probably a nod to the English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck.

*** As a public servant, Rico J. Puno served for three consecutive three-year terms in the Makati City Council from 1998 to 2007. He was elected again to the council in 2016 for another three-year term.