Musicians pay tribute to Hotdog band's Rene Garcia

Musicians pay tribute to Hotdog band's Rene Garcia

Hotdog band founder Rene Garcia, whose music influenced the Filipino music scene since the '70s, has died at 65. His brother and bandmate Dennis Garcia, confirmed his passing due to cardiac arrest on Sunday (09/02) with a farewell message and tribute on social media.

Many artists in the local music community express their sadness by the loss of the 'Manila' singer, who is considered as one of the pioneers of the '70s Manila Sound. Through Hotdog's popular hits 'Bongga Ka Day,' 'Panaginip,' 'Pan de Sal sa Umaga,' and 'Miss Universe ng Buhay Ko,' Garcia provided the country with a slew of songs for every man about the unique aspects of Filipino life.

Read some reactions and tributes to the late musician from across the local scene below.

Raymund Marasigan shares a cover of 'Manila' by The Eraserheads in honor of Garcia. 

The Company's Moy Ortiz thanks Garcia for his music.

One of the Hotdog band's vocalists on rotation, Zsa Zsa Padilla shares her 1983 duet with Garcia. 

Former Southborder frontman Luke Mejares shares his memories of Hotdog band's music.

Armi Millare of UDD shares a cover of 'Pan de Sal sa Umaga', along with a heartfelt message via Instagram.

With the untimely passing of Rene Garcia, I remember this Hotdog tribute the elusive @parallel_uno and I did in 2013 called Pandesal Sa Umaga. Hotdog are the godfathers of Manila Sound that dates back to the 70’s. The most popular and well accepted hits Manila and Bongga Ka ‘Day, Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko, Bitin Sa’yo (which @uddph did a cover back in 2006) among other beautiful songs were made by them.
It would take a visionary to pen and play these songs and but it doesn’t need a pair of discerning ears to appreciate them. Hotdog has left an archive of music to give us the Zeitgeist of the last 40 years if you will. As a songwriter myself I adhere to this so much and I am only glad that there’s so much more out there unearthed and unheard and this song is only one of the many.
When an artist passes on, they live forever in the spirit of their work (what inspired Giving Bearth, which is another product @parallel_uno and I did when we were 17) and in this vein it doesn’t feel like a loss but instead gratitude for the time artists like Hotdog have graced our lives with their work. One’s legacy could serve as a respite from the pain of losing someone close. So maybe what we do with our lives and our hands, we give with precision to honor our beloved for when we leave this place.

Francis Brew Reyes of The Dawn looks back at a memory from 1997.

Don't quite remember the year; probably '97. I was playing guitar for Kulay and we were booked to play some gigs at a hotel on Pioneer St. We were sharing a bill with a legendary OPM band. I've always admired the quirkiness--and range-- of Hotdog songwriting: the disco-pop "Bongga Ka 'Day" and the punk/new wave sarcasm (with non-new wave chord shifts!) of "Behh Buti Nga."

If memory serves, there was another act on the bill that soundchecked. I sat and watched, and this dude, Mr. Hotdog himself, sits next to me, introduces himself, and says, "You're Francis from The Dawn." "Yes sir..." I acknowledged, nervously, and flattered that he was aware of me. We proceeded, naturally, to talk about guitars. 

He also asked me, "Do you have plans of making a solo project?" Wasn't prepared for the question, but I stammered enough to express that I never thought about it, and I prefer being part of a band, really. "Okay. Well, if you change your mind, let me know." He looks at me intently, and emphasizes,"I'll help you out." He repeats the offer as he walks towards soundcheck, "I'm serious. Just let me know."

Never took him up on it; I was and still am too chicken, and I like being part of a gang. But those words of encouragement from somebody who impacted my initial relationship with the guitar (and someone whose passion was bursting here on Facebook), I will cherish forever.

RIP, sir Rene Garcia. Thank you for everything.

Mike Dizon of Sandwich, Pedicab, and Teeth recalls the last time he saw Garcia at the airport.

UDD drummer Ean Mayor sends his condolences to Garcia's family.

Myrene Academia of Sandwich and Imago shares her favorite Hotdog moment.

Listen to Hotdog's discography on Spotify: