CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan – They refer to him as “Kuya Pepe”, the legendary icon and exponent of Pinoy Rock music in the Philippines.
This coming Sunday (Dec. 17), Pinoy rock icons Coritha, Lolita Carbon (Asin) and Heber Bartolome (Banyuhay) will rock this historic city via a reunion concert which they have dedicated for the speedy recovery of fellow Pinoy Rock legend Joey Pepe Smith of the Juan dela Cruz Band, who recently suffered a mild stroke and is now recuperating.
“Kung nakikinig siya, nababasa niya kami sa pahayagan at napapanood sa TV at maging sa social media, sana’y sumigla siya at makadalo sa konsiyerto naming nila Coritha at Lolita. Para sa kanya at sa kany6ang mga fans ang konsiyertong gagawin naming sa Lingo sa Malolos, Bulacan,” Bartolome said.
The activist songwriter of the 70’s and 80’s said it was Pepe Smith who revolutionalized Pinoy Rock when composed “Ang Himig Natin”, the venerated national anthem of Pinoy Rock music.
Bartolome, whose signature songs “Nena”, “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy”, “Karaniwang Tao” and “Almusal” are still being admired even by millenials, said that the Malolos Concert dubbed as “Pamaskong Handog para sa Bulakenyo –Isaang Gabi ng OPM” will be more memorable because a bandmate of Pepe Smith will also sing some of their iconic songs.
He also said the upcoming concert which will be held at the Tikay-Morato Concet venue at the Back of Shakey’s Malolos, is some sort of a homecoming concert for him, being a native of Bulacan.
“Lumaki ako sa Bgy. Gatbuka, Calumpit, sa Bgy. Sta. Ana, Bulakan at sa Bgy. Minuyan, San Jose del Monte City,” Bartolome said.
He said that their music continues to live on because it mirrors every day lives of ordinary people.
“Ang aming awit ay sumasalamin sa totoong buhay at sa lipunan,” he added.
Coritha, for her part, said their songs has live on because people can easily relay to its message by listening to the lyrics and enjoying the melody as well. She and Lolita Carbon said they are glad that they are doing the concert for free.
“Masarap ang pakiramdam kapag napapasaya natin an gating mga kababayan at napupukaw ang damdaming makabayan, “ Cortha said.
Eric Illescas, one of the concert promoters and proprietor of Shakey’s Malolos and Hap Chan, said the concert was made possible because Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alavarado and City Mayor Christian D. Natividad are very supportive of the cause of local musicians.
The event is also a production of the Bulacan PNP Press Corps headed by its President Orlan Mauricio of Manila Standard and MetroNews-Bulacan, the oldest English weekly newaspaper in Malolos.
It is also sponsored by Philstar, Cargill, Aristocrat Restaurant, San Miguel Brewery, Purefoods, Rotary Clubs of District 3770, MetroNEWS, Jaycees, Mighty Corporation, Provincial Historiy, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office with Ronda Balita, Tugon Balita, Weekly Blue Print and Radyo Bulacan as media Partners. —EMIL G. GAMOS