Final curtain for Master Showman
Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – When members of the Vera-Perez clan gather for their weekly lunch tomorrow, they will be missing one member. He’s none other than German “Kuya Germs” Moreno, who died of cardiac arrest at 3:20 yesterday morning at the St. Luke’s Medical Center. He was 82.

“He was like a member of our family,” Marichu “Manay Ichu” Maceda told The STAR. “He never failed to attend our family’s Sunday lunch and other family occasions.”

It was the Vera-Perez’s Sampaguita Pictures that built up Moreno as a comedian. Moreno first worked as a janitor at the Clover Theater until he was discovered by theater-owner Don Jose Zarah, who cast him as Christ in a Lenten presentation.

“Aside from his contribution to the industry,” said Gloria Romero, one of Moreno’s close friends, “he was also a devoted family man, proud especially of his grandson Luis Gabriel Moreno, a champion archer. He built up several stars.”

It was Moreno’s nephew John Nite who rushed his uncle to the hospital a little past midnight Thursday after Moreno suffered cardiac arrest.

“The doctors tried to revive him,” said Nite. “He slipped into a coma and never recovered.”

Nite is the son of Moreno’s sister Pilar.

“He was the only survivor of seven children,” added Nite, “the youngest.”

Aside from Nite, Moreno is survived by his son Federico.

“We are condoled by the flood of sympathies both on social media and phone calls,” said Federico. “Now we know that my father is well-loved.”

GMA Network issued the following statement:

“GMA Network deeply mourns with the entire entertainment industry the passing of our beloved German ‘Kuya Germs’ Moreno.

“The Master Showman will be greatly missed by his friends and fans both here and abroad, especially those in show business where he devoted the best years of his life.

“Kuya Germs was responsible for building the careers of the biggest stars we now have.

“The epitome of a loyal Kapuso, his dedication to the industry will serve as an inspiration to all. We pray for his eternal repose.”

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada condoled with the Moreno family and expressed sadness at the passing of the veteran comedian and television host.

Estrada, an actor before making a career in politics, noted Moreno was an outstanding Manileño in 2014, “and from whose guidance and tutelage emerged at least two generations of showbiz personalities now carrying the torch of fine entertainment.”

The wake for Moreno is at Mt. Carmel Church on Broadway St., Quezon City. The first night was devoted to family members and close friends. Public viewing starts today until Wednesday, Jan. 13, when Moreno’s remains will be buried at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, together with those of his loved ones.  – With Jose Rodel Clapano

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