STAR sources said that Dennis died of renal failure Saturday night but the news was announced by his family only yesterday morning. He was 69.
Facebook / Dennis Garcia
Dennis Garcia lives on in ‘Manila’
Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — As they say, the creation will outlive the creator, and that’s true in the case of composer Dennis Garcia, who composed the iconic song Manila, which added a disco beat to the colorful opening of the SEA Games late last year.

STAR sources said that Dennis died of renal failure Saturday night but the news was announced by his family only yesterday morning. He was 69.

His death is said to have come as a shock to the family since it was so sudden.

“Dennis didn’t show any symptoms at all,” said talent manager Girlie Rodis, a friend of Dennis who was part of the SEA Games publicity team. “What I know is that Dennis and his group have lined up projects for this year, including a musical based on Hotdog music at the Resorts World Manila (RWM) in June.”

Together with his younger brother Rene Garcia, who died in September 2018, Dennis formed Hotdog, the band credited for introducing the so-called Manila Sound that gave birth to the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) in the early ‘70s. The brothers composed Manila, dedicating it to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are away from their families and longing for a taste of the homeland.

The original band had a lone female member, Ella del Rosario the voice behind the hit song Ikaw ang Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko. Aside from Dennis (bass guitar) and Rene (vocals/lead guitarist), the other original members were Ramon Torralba (second lead guitarist), Tito del Rosario (third lead guitar), Lorrie Ilustre (keyboards), and drummers Jess Garcia and Roy Diaz.

After Ella embarked on a solo career under Sony/OctoArts/Blackgold Records, the band recruited new members including Gina Montes, Maso Diez and Zsa Zsa Padilla on vocals; and Rene Enriquez and Andy Caberte on keyboards.

The band released its first album, Unang Kagat in 1974, followed by a series of hits that included Manila; Beh Buti Nga; Langit Na Naman; Pers Lab; Bongga Ka, ‘Day, and Annie Batungbakal, the latter two both made into films starring Nora Aunor.

Hotdog disbanded in the mid-‘80s and the members pursued other careers. Dennis co-founded Bandang Pinoy Co-Op, an organization that helps aging and retired musicians develop skills and find employment. However, every now and then, Dennis and Rene would be invited to do nostalgia concerts based on Hotdog hits.

Dennis’s wake is at Chapel 6 of The Heritage in Taguig City. Interment date has not been announced.

DENNIS GARCIA
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