Rico J. Puno

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Rico J. Puno
Rico J. Puno on a 2019 stamp of the Philippines in the series "Pinoy Music Icons"
Rico J. Puno on a 2019 stamp of the Philippines in the series "Pinoy Music Icons"
Background information
Birth nameEnrico de Jesus Puno
Born(1953-02-13)February 13, 1953
Manila, Philippines
DiedOctober 30, 2018(2018-10-30) (aged 65)
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines
GenresManila sound
Years active1975–2018
Makati Councilor from the 1st District
In office
June 30, 2016 – October 30, 2018
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
Personal details
Resting placeThe Heritage Park, Taguig
Political partyUna Ang Makati (2018)
UNA (2015–2018)
PDP–Laban (before 2015)
SpouseDoris Tayag (separated)
ChildrenTosca Camille, Rio, 3 others[1]
Alma materPhilippine School of Business Administration (BA)
OccupationPolitician, businessman, entrepreneur, comedian

Enrico de Jesus Puno (Tagalog: [ˈɛnɾɪkɔ de ˈhɛsus ˈpʊnɔ]; February 13, 1953 – October 30, 2018), better known as Rico J. Puno (Tagalog: [ˈɾɪkɔ dʒeɪ ˈpʊnɔ]), was a Filipino singer, television host, actor, comedian and politician. He was considered as a music icon in the Philippines. He started the trend of incorporating Tagalog lyrics in his rendition of the American song "The Way We Were" and other foreign songs. Puno was known as a singer who regularly infused his on-stage performance with tongue-in-cheek comedy and adult humor. He hosted the noontime variety show Pilipinas Win na Win alongside Rey Valera, Marco Sison, and Nonoy Zuñiga for two months in 2010 replacing Kris Aquino. He also hosted on Happy Yipee Yehey! together with John Estrada, Randy Santiago, Mariel Rodriguez, Pokwang and Toni Gonzaga as one of the main hosts replacing Pilipinas Win na Win.

Puno was also active in politics. In 1998, he was elected as the city councilor of Makati from its 1st district until his third and last term ended in 2007. He ran for a comeback in 2010 as the vice mayoralty candidate of Makati, but was unsuccessful. In 2016, Puno was elected as a councilor in Makati, under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), until his death.[2]


Puno was born in Manila to Felipe Puno Sr. and Corazon J. Puno. He attended Victorino Mapa High School. Although he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Philippine School of Business Administration, Puno dreamed of becoming a singer.[3]

Music career[edit]

Puno introduced himself and his talent to the entertainment business by performing at folk houses and small clubs in Metro Manila. In 1975, while singing at the Palazzi, Puno met and performed with the American Motown group, The Temptations. Puno's talent was later noticed by the executive producers from Vicor Records (now Vicor Music). His first record was Love Won't Let Me Wait, while his first big hit was the Tagalog-infused The Way We Were.[3]

In 1976, Puno won the Aliw Award for Most Promising Entertainer. Two years later, he became Aliw's Entertainer of the Year. His Rico in Concert show at the Cultural Center of the Philippines launched him as one of the foremost Philippine pop stars.

In 1977, Puno covered the Carpenters song "Merry Christmas Darling" from his first Christmas album, The Spirit of Christmas which was originally sung by Karen Carpenter.

In 1978, Puno's popularity and his regular concerts at the Araneta Coliseum (now SMART Araneta Coliseum) in Quezon City and his performance tours in the United States broke records in terms of audience attendance. His fame also made him into a sought-after product endorser including advertisements for San Miguel Beer in the 1970s.[3]

In 1979, Puno represented the Philippines at the Tokyo Music Festival, with "Lupa" (Ground), a song that imparted messages on how an individual could strive to change for the better, on how to gain humility and other human values, on how not to judge others, and on how to struggle against one's own weaknesses.[4]

From 2001, the Greatest Hits series in Manila, produced by Viva Concerts helped maintain Puno's popularity. These Greatest Hits concerts brought him together with other hitmakers in the Philippine music scene during the 1980s, namely Philippine pop icons: Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga and Marco Sison.[3][4]

He also covered the song "Ang Huling El Bimbo" in 1994 which was originally a major hit for the Eraserheads.

He also covered the song "Mabuti Pa Sila" in 2010 and originally composed and recorded by Gary Granada.

During Puno's recent performances, he is often joined on stage by his oldest daughter, Tosca Camille.[3] Rico's son, Rox is also a singer and a band member.

Rico was honored and awarded recently in ASAP Pinoy on the variety program ASAP, contributing his best in singing performing as a total entertainer who celebrated his 40th anniversary in music and entertainment movie and TV career in 2017.

Hit songs[edit]

Puno's hit songs included "Kapalaran" (Fate), "Buhat" (Ever Since), "Macho Gwapito" (Gorgeous Young Man), "Lupa" (Soil or Ground), "Damdamin" (Feelings), "May Bukas Pa" (There's Still Tomorrow), "Ang Tao'y Marupok" (People Are Fragile), "Magkasuyo Buong Gabi" (Together Through the Night) – a duet with Elsa Chan – and his Filipino rendition of "You Don't Have To Be A Star (To Be in My Show)".[3]

One of Puno's recent albums, is Aliw by Sony BMG Records. His carrier single was "Kay Hirap Mong Limutin" (It Is Hard To Forget You) by Lito Camo.[4]


The duration of Puno's career spanned more than four decades. He was a favorite of the Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation (PAGCOR) and other casinos around Metro Manila and the provinces. His performances included tours in the United States, Canada, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and European countries.[4]

Acting career[edit]

Aside from singing, Rico also ventured into acting as a comedian. His first movie was Bawal Na Pag-ibig in 1977. His first and only action thriller movie was Alas Dose (2001), where he plays as a bad congressman who bombs a preschool learning center.

Owing to his rising popularity, various TV networks and movie producers soon came knocking on his door for more acting/hosting opportunities. GMA Network hired Puno to host a noontime variety show, Lunch Date which first aired in March 1986 and served as a replacement for Student Canteen. However, in 1987 he left the show after it reformatted. In 1994–1995, he headlined another noontime show, Chibugan Na (It's Eating Time), aired weekdays at noon on RPN, with Hajji Alejandro.[5]

Puno returned as TV host for Macho Guwapito on the now-defunct Makisig Network. He was one of the judges in the inaugural week of the reality talent show Showtime on ABS-CBN. In 2010, he also hosted Pilipinas Win na Win and Happy Yipee Yehey! in 2011–2012.

Other ventures[edit]

Puno was also the owner of the karaoke bar, Coriks, at Vito Cruz Extension, Makati. He also managed a trucking business.

Political career[edit]

He won a seat in the Makati City Council for the first district in 1998.[5] Among Puno's notable ordinances filed during his first term was the installation of a surveillance camera in every convenience store in Makati that operates 24 hours a day, as protection against robbers who prey on convenience stores.[6] He left the city council after his third and final consecutive term ended in 2007. His seat in the city council was kept by his eldest daughter, Tosca Camille. He then teamed up with Junjun Binay to run for vice mayor of Makati in 2010. Although Binay won the mayoralty race, Puno lost to Romulo "Kid" Peña Jr., who was the running mate of then-outgoing vice mayor Ernesto Mercado.

As his daughter Tosca was term-limited, he successfully regained a seat in the Makati City Council in 2016 under the ticket of Abigail Binay.[2] In October 2018, he left the United Nationalist Alliance and was among the 13 councilors who pledged support to former Mayor Junjun Binay, who would run against his sister, incumbent Mayor Abigail Binay, in the upcoming 2019 elections.[7][8] He planned to seek reelection but died after he filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC).[9][10][11] He was substituted by his daughter Tosca, who would then go on to win a seat in the city council.


Puno died of heart failure on October 30, 2018, in St. Luke's Medical Center – Global City. He was 65.[9][12] He was laid to rest at The Heritage Park in Taguig.[13]


  • Special Lifetime Achievement Award, ASAP Pinoy 2017, ASAP Show, ABS-CBN 2
Year Award Giving Body Category Nominated Work Results
2008 Awit Awards Best World/Alternative/Bossa Music Recording "Sorry na, Pwede Ba?" with Brownman Revival Nominated




  • Instant Mommy (2013)
  • Who's That Girl? (2011) – Rico
  • Asboobs: Asal Bobo (2003) – Capt. Palma
  • Pakners (2003) – Richard de Guzman
  • A.B. Normal College (2003)
  • Alas-Dose (2001) – Congressman
  • Juan & Ted: Wanted (2000) – Mr. Mariano
  • Matalino Man ang Matsing Na-iisahan Din! (2000)
  • Alyas Boy Tigas: Ang Probinsyanong Wais (1998)
  • Sailor's Disaster (1994) – Bruno
  • Tom & Jerry: Hindi Kaming Hayop (1993) – Alfie
  • Dr. Potpot Travels to the Moon (1991) – Enzio
  • Isang Platitong mani (1986)
  • Annabelle Huggins Story (1982)
  • Bullet for Your Music (1978)
  • Silang Mga Mukhang Pera (1977)
  • Wow! Sikat Pare, Bigat! (1977)
  • Bawal Na Pag-ibig (1977)



Studio albums[edit]

  • The Way We Were (1973, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Kapalaran (1975, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Rico J. Puno (1976, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Spirit of Christmas (1976, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Rico Baby (1977, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • The Total Entertainer (1977, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Tatak (1977, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Macho Gwapito (1979, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Diyos ang Pag-Ibig (1980, Sunshine/Vicor)
  • Ako Ang May Nais (1989, Ivory Records)
  • Rico J. Puno (1991, Viva Records)[14]
  • Aliw (2001)
  • With Love in Our Hearts (2005)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Story Of: Rico J. Puno (The Ultimate OPM Collection) (2001, EMI Philippines)
  • Once Again... with Rico J. Puno, Marco Sison and Rey Valera Vol. 1 (with Marco Sison & Rey Valera) (2003, Vicor)
  • Rico Silver Series (2006, Viva Records)
  • Walang Kupas... All Hits (2008, Vicor)

Live albums[edit]

  • The Way We Were: Live (with Basil Valdez) (2004, Viva Records)
  • Rico J. Puno: Live in Hawaii (produced by Willy Martin)

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • The 2nd Metro Manila Pop Music Festival (1978, Blackgold)
  • Handog sa Pasko (1991, Viva Records)
  • Metropop Song Festival 1996 (1996, Infinity Music)
  • 25 Great Songs 25 Great Artists (1998, OctoArts/EMI Music Philippines)
  • Ultraelectromagneticjam! (2005, Sony BMG Music Philippines)
  • No. 1 Signature Hits OPM's Best (2008, Viva/Vicor)
  • Pinoy Sound Trip Vol. 1 (2008, Vicor)
  • Pinoy Sound Trip Vol. 2 (2008, Vicor)
  • 18 Inspirational Love Songs (2009, Viva Records)
  • Live Na Live: Unforgettable Live Performance (2009, Viva Records)
  • C.H.I.N. Picnic Celebration, Toronto Canada (produced by Joel Recla) (2012)

Soundtrack appearances[edit]


  • "All I Ever Want" (a finalist of Metropop Song Festival 1996)
  • "Cartada Dies"
  • "Kapalaran"
  • "Kay Hirap Mong Limutin" (Composed by Lito Camo)
  • "Macho Guwapito"
  • "May Bukas Pa"
  • "Sorry Na, Pwede Ba?"
  • "Together Forever"

Cover versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lo, Ricky (October 31, 2018). "Rico J. Puno, OPM legend, 65". The Philippine Star. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Jhong Hilario, Rico J. Puno elected in Makati". Philstar. May 10, 2016. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Rico J. Puno, The Total Entertainer, PhilippineFiesta.com, 2002–2003. Retrieved July 17, 2007 Archived March 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Rico J. Puno, Discography, Song Lyrics and Trivia, Geocities.com (undated). Retrieved July 17, 2007
  5. ^ Councilor Rico J. Puno's Profile Archived September 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Abby Binay 'nilaglag' ng mga konsehal, barangay chairman ng Makati". ABS-CBN News (in Filipino). October 10, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  7. ^ "Abby Binay condoles with family of late singer, Makati Councilor Rico J. Puno". ABS-CBN News. October 30, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "OPM icon Rico J. Puno passes away". ABS-CBN News. October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  9. ^ Cabalza, Dexter (October 11, 2018). "'Binay vs Binay' looms; Abby hits Junjun backers". Inquirer.net.
  10. ^ Custodio, Arlo (October 31, 2018). "Rico J. Puno, ' the Total Entertainer,' takes a final bow at 65". Manila Times.
  11. ^ "Rico J. Puno died of heart failure, says manager". Philippine Daily Inquirer. October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  12. ^ Aguilar, K. (November 8, 2018). "OPM icon Rico J. Puno laid to rest". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Concepcion, Pocholo (January 23, 1992). "Rico J. Puno makes a comeback". Manila Standard. Kamahalan Publishing Corp. p. 20. Retrieved May 26, 2021.

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