“Labis ko nang ligaya dahil sa ikaw ay mahal ko.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Kahit Konting Pagtingin” by Ric Segreto | Ric Segreto was a name I was too young to appreciate. His biggest hits were in the 1970s and 1980s, and I remember none of the reaction when he died in 1998 of a tragic motorcycle accident. (Somehow I did know about the fact that it was a motorcycle accident that killed him.) I don’t remember hearing his songs much on the radio, which is why listening to his stuff in the past few weeks made me, finally, connect the dots. Oh, he sang this. Born to an Italian mother and a Filipino father in New York, Ric’s love of music had brought him to perform in the United States, Guam and Japan – but it was in the Philippines, then firmly in the grip of the Manila Sound, where his star would shine the brightest. “Kahit Konting Pagtingin” introduced the country to a soulful voice, both gritty and smooth, world-weary yet hopeful. And he crossed demographics: “Don’t Know What To Do” and “Loving You” remain firm favorites among the, er, classy crowd. Looking back it’s a regret he passed early. Would’ve been fun hearing him on the Sunday music shows, his music being paid tribute to, awkwardly, by today’s crop. He’d show them. [NB]

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