Rene Garcia along with his older brother Dennis started off playing professionally with the band Red Fox in their early teens. They eventually formed a new band named Hot Dog and invited Ella del Rosario of Assumption Convent as female solo vocalist.
At a time when Filipino music was hardly favored and practically in limbo, Hotdog, the Pinoy pop rock band spring boarded Filipino music and started a revolution that we know today as Original Pinoy Music. It was during the 70’s that the local music industry was topped by foreign music that were playing disco and funk sounds. Most local artists would imitate these foreign tunes in the hopes to become visible. However, when Ella del Rosario, Dennis Garcia, Rene Garcia, Ramon Torralba (who composed the mega hit song Pers Lab), Lorrie Ilustre, Jess Garcia and Roy Diaz de Rivera first came together, the music landscape in the Philippines completely changed.
The band started the phenomenon of “Manila Sound” which transformed the industry, giving it a fresh, new, and authentic Pinoy sound that undeniably captured millions of Filipinos of all socio-economic classes-from the masa to the rich and high-class. Hotdog’s music created songs with delightful rhythms intermixed with catchy lyrics of Tagalog and Taglish reflecting the situations and sentiments of ordinary Filipinos.
Manila Sound was popularized by their many hit singles: “Ikaw Ang Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko” (“You Are the Miss Universe Of My Life”), “Panaginip” (“Dream”), “Langit Na Naman” (“Heaven Once Again”), “O Lumapit Ka” (“Oh, Come Closer”), “Bitin Sa Iyo” (“Left Hanging Over You”), and “Dying to Tell You”, among others. The name “Manila Sound” derived from Hotdog’s hit single “‘Manila'”, which has come to epitomize this genre.
Rene Garcia passed away from cardiac arrest on September 2nd 2018.
I have included some of Hotdog’s lesser known funkier gems for your listening please below: