Rico J. Puno

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Rico J. Puno (born as Enrico de Jesus Puno on February 13, 1953) is a popular Filipino pop singing artist who is credited as a pioneer-promoter of original Filipino music. He started the trend of incorporating Tagalog lyrics in his rendition of the American song The Way We Were and other foreign songs. Also known as Rico J. and as The Total Entertainer, Puno is a singer who regularly infused his on-stage performance with comedy and jokes.<ref name=Carousel>Rico J. Puno, Caroustar of the Month, Carousel Pinoy Entertainment, CarouselPinoy.com, December 2004, retrieved on: July 17, 2007</ref>



Puno was born in Manila to parents, Felipe Puno Sr. and Corazon J. Puno. Although he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Philippine School of Business Administration, Puno dreamed of becoming a singer.<ref name=Carousel/>

Singing career

File:Rico J Puno The Way We Were.jpg
Collector's edition poster for Rico J. Puno's Tagalog version of the song The Way We Were.

Puno introduced himself and his talent to the entertainment business by performing at folk houses and small clubs in Metro Manila. In 1975, while singing at the Palazzi, Puno met and performed with the American Motown group, The Temptations. Puno’s talent was later noticed by the executive producers from Vicor Records. His first record was Love Won't Let Me Wait, while his first big hit was the Tagalog-infused The Way We Were. <ref name=Carousel/>

In 1976, Puno won the Aliw Award for Most Promising Entertainer. Two years later, he became Aliw's Entertainer of the Year. His Rico in Concert show at the Cultural Center of the Philippines launched him as one of the foremost Philippine pop stars. In 1978, Puno’s popularity and his regular concerts at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City and his performance tours in the United States broke records in terms of audience attendance. His fame also made him into a sought-after product endorser including advertisements for San Miguel Beer Corporation in the 1970s.<ref name=Carousel/>

In 1979, Puno represented the Philippines at the Tokyo Music Festival in 1979, with Lupa (Dirt), a song that imparted messages on how an individual could strive to change for the better, on how to gain humility and other human values, on how not to judge others, and on how to struggle against one’s own weaknesses.<ref name=Fiesta/>

Hit songs

Puno’s hit songs included Kapalaran (Fate), Buhat (Ever Since), Macho Guwapito (Good-looking Young Gigolo), Lupa (Dirt), Damdamin (Feelings), May Bukas Pa (There's Still Tomorrow), Ang Tao'y Marupok (People are Weak), Magkasuyo Buong Gabi (Together Through the Night) - a duet with Elsa Chan - and his Filipino rendition of You Don't Have to Be a Star (to Be in My Show). <ref name=Carousel/>

One of Puno’s recent album is Aliw by BMG Records. Its carrier single was Kay Hirap Mong Limutin (It is Difficult to Forget You) by Lito Camo.<ref name=Fiesta/>


Among his contemporaries in the original Filipino music industry, Puno is one of the still consistently-active performers since he launched his career in 1975. The duration of his career as a Philippine singer now spans three decades. He became a favorite of the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation (PAGCOR) and other casinos around Metro Manila and the provinces. His performances included tours in the United States, Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and European countries.<ref name=Fiesta>Rico J. Puno, The Total Entertainer, PhilippineFiesta.com, 2002-2003, retrieved on: July 17, 2007</ref>

The Big Five concerts

From 2001, the Greatest Hits series in Manila, produced by Viva Concerts helped maintain Puno’s popularity. These Greatest Hits concerts brought him together with other Greatest Hitmakers in the Philippine music scene during the 1980s, namely Philippine pop icons: Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga and Marco Sison.<ref name=Carousel/><ref name=Fiesta/>

Beyond showbusiness boundaries

From 1992 to 1993, Puno had a noontime variety show, Chibugan Na (It's Eating Time), aired on weekdays at 12 noon on RPN 9, with Hajji Alejandro.<ref name=GEO>Rico J. Puno, Discography, Song Lyrics and Trivia, Geocities.com (undated), retrieved on: July 17, 2007</ref>

Puno is also the owner of the karaoke bar, Corix, at Vito Cruz Extension, Manila. He also manages a trucking business. In 1988, he became a Makati City councilor.<ref name=GEO/>

Passing the torch

During Puno’s recent performances, he is often joined on stage by his oldest daughter, Tosca. <ref name=Carousel/>


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See also

Original Source

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