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Pinoy music icons Rico J, Pepe Smith, and Hotdog’s Rene Garcia honored in collectible stamps

Philippine collectible Stamps
The music legacies of Hotdog’s Rene Garcia, Rico J. Puno, and Joey “Pepe” Smith are given tribute in the new collectible stamps of the Philippines. Credits to PHLPost.

Pinoy music icons Total Entertainer Rico J. Puno, rock icon Joey “Pepe” Smith, and Rene Garcia of the Hotdog band were honored in the newest collectible commemorative stamps issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost).

PHLPost launched the “Pinoy Music Icons” commemorative stamps during celebrations of the 252nd Anniversary of the Philippine Postal Service and the 25th year of National Stamp Collecting Month held on November 15, 2019, at the historic lobby of the Manila Central Post Office (MCPO).

The honor given to the three Original Pilipino Music (OPM) artists were received by their families in an event that also launched a special exhibition of the Pinoy music icons’ memorabilia at the MCPO lobby which runs until November 22.

PHLPost explains the selection of the OPM artists in their new stamps:


Rene Garcia of the iconic Hotdog band pioneered the Manila Sound, a musical genre that mirrored not only the distinctive music of the era but also the sentiments of many Filipinos toward their culture and homeland. Rene also composed songs like Annie Batungbakal, Bongga Ka Day, Beh, Buti Nga, Bitin Sa ‘Yo, Ikaw Ang Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko, Dying To Tell You, Langit Na Naman, Sana Maganda Ako and many more. Garcia died of cardiac arrest on September 2, 2018, at the age of 65.


October 30 of the same year at 65, Rico J. Puno aka “The Total Entertainer” also died due to heart failure. Rico J, a pop singer and a pioneer-promoter of Original Filipino Music (OPM), rose to stardom after channeling American superstars to forge a distinctive brand of local soul music in the 1970’s covering American hits — including Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were” and Marvin Gaye’s “Baby I’m for Real” — in a mix of English and Tagalog, the country’s dominant language. He delivered the classic line, “Namamasyal pa sa Luneta…/ Na walang pera…” in a soulful rasp that reverberated on the airwaves during the early years of the martial law era.

He also ventured into dance-friendly songs like “Macho Gwapito,” but music listeners here and abroad would prefer his easy-listening croons in Filipinized versions of The Greatest Love of All, One Last Memory, and more so with his catchy, memorable ballads such as “Kapalaran,” “Buhat,” “Ang Tao’y Marupok” and “Lupa.”

The music legacies of Hotdog’s Rene Garcia, Rico J. Puno, and Joey “Pepe” Smith are given tribute in the new collectible stamps of the Philippines. Credits to PHLPost.


January 28, 2019, Pepe Smith the “Mick Jagger of the Philippines” and the Father of Philippine rock passed away at the age of 71. Smith’s status as a rock icon was paved when he joined the Juan de la Cruz Band as a vocalist and a drummer who personified Pinoy Rock and made a real music genre locally. He dared to live his life without any reservations or compromises. Their masterpieces include “Balong Malalim,” “Beep Beep,” and “Kagatan” but “Ang Himig Natin” trumps them all by its original claim of being the true sound of the young Filipino under the boot of the ’70s martial law. Pepe’s plaintive cry emphasizes the essence of rock music as a Pinoy musical genre.

Aside from paying tribute to their contributions in Philippine history, culture, and arts, PHLPost took notice of the important role the three Filipino music legends played in linking the past and the present generations through their own brand of music, paving the way for the further enhancement of Original Pilipino Music.

“The stamps serve as tiny windows of a nation. It’s about time that we truly recognize the big role of OPM in the development of our Filipino Culture,” PHLPost said.

The Pinoy Music Icon stamps selling started November 11 at Php45 each for a total of Php135 for a strip of three in a souvenir sheet.

The stamps and Official First Day covers of “Pinoy Music Icon stamps” are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio 1000, and in other area post offices nationwide.

PHLPost has commemorated important milestones in Philippine arts and culture, among them, the golden anniversary of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the centennial celebrations of Philippine Cinema, and Catriona Gray’s winning moment at the Miss Universe pageant.

SEND congratulations in the comments below to the families of the OPM artists immortalized in the Philippines’ official stamps.

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.

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