For the love of Rico J.
Aliw Awards Foundation, Inc. (AAFI) head Alice H. Reyes (third from left) during the presscon for the concert-tribute to Rico J. Puno with, from left, Rico’s son Rox, Beverly Salviejo, Rico’s daughter Tosca (a Makati Councilor), Jade Riccio and Njel de Mesa
Photos by Ricky Lo

For the love of Rico J.

FUNFARE (The Philippine Star) - July 16, 2019 - 12:00am

Cancelled: Ovation Productions has announced the cancellation of two shows: Chvrches scheduled Aug. 13 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum due to “unforeseen circumstances,” and Sting’s on Oct. 2 also in the same venue due to “scheduling conflicts.” According to Ovation, Sting hoped to return to Manila soon to perform for his fans. Those who have bought tickets to the Chvrches show are advised to check the Ovation Facebook for refund details.

*   *   *

All those who were at the mini-presscon for the tribute concert Rico J and His Angels at the social hall of Great Eastern Hotel last Wednesday were convinced that Rico was with them “in spirit,” especially when four of the featured performers dedicated songs for Rico J.

Before launching into a rendition of Duo De Flores De Lakme, Beverly Salviejo reminded everybody that she was actually trained in classical music as a member of the Manila Metropolitan Theater (Met) until she was sidelined into playing maids in movies.

True enough, Beverly sang with such infectious passion in a voice so powerful (Intensity 10, yes!) that I thought the four corners of the venue shook a bit. She sang the first part in French and then, telling the non-French-speaking crowd not to worry because she would do some ”translation,” she sent everybody roaring with laughter when she segued to a comedic version of Bahay Kubo.

Also classically-trained, Jade Riccio obliged with an “un-classical” rendition of Anak, never mind if it’s a Freddie Aguilar hit and not Rico’s since both she and Beverly, both Aliw awardees (Beverly a Hall of Famer) are doing Rico J songs (arranged by his long-time associate Butch Miraflor) in the concert, along with fellow performers Pilita Corrales (the first Aliw Entertainer of the Year honoree), Gerphil Flores (2015 Entertainer of the Year), Claire dela Fuente, Eva Eugenio, the Halili-Cruz Dance Company, Rita Daniela, and Rico’s children Rox and Tosca (a Makati councilor). 

Set for next Tuesday, July 23, at the Music Museum, the Rico tribute is produced by Aliw Awards Foundation, Inc. (AAFI) headed by Aliw founder Alice H. Reyes, conceptualized by AAFI trustee Joey Nombres. (Tickets are priced at P3,500 with cocktails; P2,500; and P1,000, available at Music Museum and AAFI. Or call Ticketworld at 891-9999.)

Asked what Rico J songs is their favorites, Tosca mentioned Cartada Dies (Oh, kung sa kutis super kinis ka, kartada diyes kang talaga…). “My dad wrote that song for me as soon as I was born,” said Tosca.

• Jade: The Way We Were.

• Rox: Kapalaran. “My dad always reminded me to strive for whatever I wanted to be. He wanted me to be on my own, at hindi dahil anak niya ako. It’s kapalaran, di ba? Destiny.”

• Alice: The Way We Were and Macarthur Park.

• Njel de Mesa (who hosted the presscon): “As a member of FILSCAP (Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc.), I listen to all of Rico’s songs.”

• Beverly: Damdamin. “It holds a special meaning to me because when I was younger I fell for a guy who didn’t bother with me….Kahit ako’y di mo ngayon pinapansin/ nakatanaw man sa iba ang paningin/Kailan ma’y huwag akalain na aking daramdamin/Ang pag-ibig ko ay nililihim ko rin….)

Another ChildHaus built in Quezon City

Childhaus head Ricky Reyes (left) and Childhaus big donor Hans Sy (right)...

The rain last Sunday didn’t dampen the spirit of celebs who graced the blessing of another Childhaus located on #90 Mapang-Akit St., also donated by Hans Sy like the one on F. Agoncillo St., in Paco, Manila.

Among them was McCoy de Leon who brought three boxes of sandwiches which he himself carried to the venue…roofed-off end of the street. Others included Tintin Bersola, Evangeline Pascual, LA Santos, Isabelle de Leon, Wilma Galvante, Gigi Santiago-Lara, Tates Gana and the 2019 Miss Earth Philippines beauties led by winner Janelle Lazo Tee (Willie Revillame’s former co-host in Wowowin).

The Childhaus in Paco is where cancer patients (mostly kids) temporary live while being treated at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH, a block away) and Childhaus Quezon City for patients being treated in surrounding hospitals like Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Children’s Medical Center and National Children’s Hospital.

...with McCoy de Leon, also shown at right with 2019 Miss Earth Philippines Janelle Lazo Tee (fourth from left) and her runners-up.

Childhaus head Ricky Reyes recalled that when Hans handed him a bunch of keys, he told Ricky, “All yours, Mader. A permanent home for your children. This is your Childhaus.”

The new Childhaus is bigger, complete with an improved lanai and social hall being adopted by businessman Sergio Yu. Other donors: Manny Sy and Mariano “Jun” Gao who adopted a separate dormitory for boys and girls; Jeanette Cu, the kitchen and dining areas; Leo Reingin, the entertainment area; spouses Ramon and Annie Santos, a mini playroom with rides and toys; lawyer Ped Faytairen, the Play & Learn Room; the late Dr. Erwin Estimo’s family, an isolation room; and a chapel in honor of Felicidad Sy.

“Donations just keep coming,” said Ricky, “mostly from anonymous donors. God bless them!”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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