by aLfie vera mella
The ballad “Kapalaran,” by Rico J. Puno, was a favorite of mine during my childhood in the 1970s. It was one of the first songs that I got to memorize and sing as a child. I even remember singing this in duet with a cousin of mine, Alvin Napiza. Our fathers and uncles and aunties would enjoy letting the both of us sing together some of the popular songs of the time, but their common favorite was Puno’s “Kapalaran.”
I’m unsure now, but I think the song (or it could be “May Bukas Pa,” another Puno song) was used also as part of the soundtrack of a Niño Muhlach movie in the late ’70s.
I had the chance to meet Puno in person for the first time in 1994. He was one of the hosts of the Philippine TV noontime variety show Chibugan Na, on Channel 9. My former band Half Life Half Death guested on the show to promote our single “Alimango.” Puno was the one who introduced us. We made an impression on him; because the next time we guested on the same show, several months after, he gladly introduced us again and he remembered us especially for our New Wave hairstyles.
Rico J. Puno is a Filipino traditional Pop singer who started his singing career in the mid-’70s. Many of his songs are in the ballad form, but he also recorded a number of upbeat Pop and Novelty ditties. Aside from his classic “Kapalaran” (1976), his other popular songs include “Macho Guwapito,” “Ang Tao’y Marupok,” “Buhat,”and “May Bukas Pa.”
On March 14, 2015, Puno is one of the featured singers in the concert OPM Pop Legends. The other performers would be fellow traditional Pop singers Hajji Alejandro, Marco Sison, and Eva Eugenio. The show will be held at Club Regent Event Centre. Opening the show are the Winnipeg local bands haLf man haLf eLf and Elisi and solo artist Levy Abad.