Ilonggo is Hotdog Band vocalist

Do you know that the famous Hotdog Band, which prides itself of hits like Annie Batumbakal, Bongga Ka Day and Panaginip, has an Ilonggo vocalist?
He’s no less than Paul Clark.

Paul narrated that he loves singing even when he was still in elementary grade, but it was the lack of finances that hindered him from joining school activities.
When he reached college, he became active in singing again.
He joined singing competitions, became a part of the Sta. Teresita Parish Choir, was a cast of Jesus Christ Superstar musical and sang in weddings and even in funerals.
He made mention of the late George Canicula, Bimbo Muyuela and Benny Castillon of the University of San Agustin as his mentors as well as Jun Cortel of JPC Productions as the one who opened opportunities for him.
“It was from JPC that I developed my confidence on stage,” he said.
After a year with JPC, he decided to go to Manila to look for a job, with a plan to put singing aside.

“But God does not want me to stop entertaining people. Hanggang dito, kumakanta pa rin ako kahit may work na ako,” he revealed.

“Ang dami ko ring pinagdaanan bago ako nakapasok sa grupo ng Hotdog. Mismong si Rene Garcia ang naka-discover sa akin. The very genius! Mabait na tao and very cool,” he said.
Paul narrated that he was discovered by Garcia while playing in a bar owned by the latter in Makati.
“After naming kumanta, pinatawag kami sa table sa kabila. ‘Yun, pinakilala ako du’n sa mag-asawa na may-ari ng bar. ‘Yun pala si Rene Garcia. Siempre tulala ako kasi naman, Hotdog ‘yun. Sikat ‘yung mga kanta nila at dati nakikinig lang ako sa music and songs nila. Ngayon, kaharap ko na,” he said, laughing.
With the help of Garcia, Paul became part of a back-up group for concerts of the Cascades, Beatlefest, Rock in the Roots and Jhon Ford Coley.
“Then kinuha na ako for Hotdog. Nakasama ko ang mga kauna-unahang vocalists nila. Kasi every generation may singers sila,” he said.
“Our band is composed of Rene Garcia for lead vocals, Dennis Garcia, composer; Maso Diez Rivera, vocals; Roy Sadicon, guitar; Danny Favis, piano; Alberto Medrano, bass guitar; and Lehi Rebosura, drums.”

While there seems to be no let-up on music piracy, Paul reminds his fellow Ilonggos that this practice is very wrong.
“Pinapatay natin ang Pinoy musikero,” he said. “Kailangan din sana ng pagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pinoy,” he added.
Paul admits that putting a stop to music piracy is a difficult battle. “Dati, kung ‘yung tapes nga pwedeng maka-record from a radio station, how much more ngayon na super high tech na? Copy paste ka na lang, pwede ka nang gumawa ng sariling mong CD na maibebenta mo sa banketa di ba? Ang dami nang nagkalat na sites kung saan naida-download ang mga music at albums,” he said.
“Kapwa Pinoy din naman ang gumagawa nito,” he said.
So, it boils down to personal responsibility and the values formation of people, he stressed.
Paul also noted a decrease in appreciation for original Filipino music.
“Ang Pinoy mahilig mag-revive ng mga songs from other countries. Kaya nawawala na ang mga original compositions,” he observed.
“Based on my experience, medyo bumabagal ang kalakalan ngayon ng OPM. Alam mo naman ang mga Pilipino, mas idol pa nila ang mga foreign artists kesa sa sarili nilang kababayan. Tulad ngayon, ang dami nilang dinadalang performers na galing ibang bansa. At medyo konti na lang din ang bumibili ng CDs sa music stores,” he added.
Amid his observations, Paul still feels hopeful for the local music industry as he sees many talented local singers and composers in Iloilo.
“Sa nakikita ko, sobrang daming magagaling na composers and singers na Ilonggo. ‘Yung nga lang, when you say Ilonggo song, di naman natin ma-play sa ibang lugar sa Pilipinas unless an Ilonggo composes a Tagalog song,” he said.
“Let’s just continue to uplift and be proud of our music. Let’s help each other develop Ilonggo music. Iba pa rin  ang sariling atin. We should aim to stand out,” he concluded.(Kathy Villalon, The News Today Libre, February 15)

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