Rico J. Puno


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In 1994, Philippine independent Vicor Records released, Kapalaran (trans: Destiny), a compilation of songs recorded by Philippine male singer Rico. J. Puno for the label between 1976 and 1982. The album is dominated by easy-listening crooning in the mold of Perry Como and Vic Damone. While the music can be romantic, it is also boring for a listener who desires more variation, and more intellectual involvement. Nonetheless, this style of music is popular in the Philippines, even among the youth. However, easy-listening Philippine music does not sell outside the country. The album also contains remakes of international songs, including "One Last Memory" and "The Greatest Love of All." The lyrics to some love songs here have more substance than usually heard. The opening, "Kapalaran" (trans: Destiny), for example, which is one of Rico J. Puno's most famous songs, questions the vagaries of life and the meaning of destiny: for example, why are some people born rich and others born poor; and why does love sometimes come when a person least expects it. "Buhat" (trans: Since) is another of Rico J. Puno's famous hits, and the lyrics tell a sincere tale about love and life. "Ang Tao'y Marupok" (trans: People Are Brittle) asks why some people forget what God has done for them, and instead break rules and act selfish; it can be wonderful to live in this world, the song says, and a person should be grateful, especially when with people they love. Nonetheless, while the lyrics to these songs are meaningful, the music is boring and bland. Rico J. Puno puts much passion into the performances, however, and his sincerity is recognized and appreciated.

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