By: Mauro Feria Tumbocon Jr, Director, FACINE
Today, January 7, a sad day for Philippine entertainment, when one of its most well-loved personalities, German Moreno, died from complications of stroke. He was 82.
Born of humble beginnings – he would peddle chichirias in Manila streets, then on the fringes of showbusiness as janitor and telonista at Clover Theater – Kuya Germs, as he was fondly called, in a career that spanned more than five decades across all media – live entertainment, radio, movies, television – rose to become one of the most influential names in Philippine entertainment.
He, part of a triumvirate of radio personalities then, which included Inday Badiday (Lourdes Carvajal) and Ike Lozada, that saw, shepherded the earliest years of Noramania – extreme teen fandom riding on the phenomenon of Nora Aunor and all the other young stars along with her (of course, this included Vilma Santos who became Aunor’s fiercest rival), parlayed his influence eventually in television, becoming a most successful tv host of the musical variety shows in mid-80s to the 90s, the daily teenage program, “That’s Entertainment” and the Sunday musical-variety extravaganza, “GMA Supershow”, both on GMA-7, two shows that bore imprint of his showbiz beginnings, envisioning himself as starmaker, much like his mentor, Doc Vera Perez of Sampaguita Pictures (the studio that gave him his biggest break), and as an impresario, which recalls his bodabil days at Clover Theater. (He was also the co-host of Nora Aunor’s long-running variety show, “Superstar”.)
As host, Moreno might not have the self-deprecating humor of say, Joe Quirino, nor the acerbic wit of Justo Justo, of the same period, but his was one of the pleasantness and unassuming attitude of an earlier generation of tv hosts which included Eddie Ilarde and Pepe Pimentel. One may say, Moreno could not have prospered in a more corrosive environment of the present (to cite, Willie Revillame or even, Vice Ganda); even then, he remained to be a “kuya” to everyone.
To those who knew him well, Moreno will be best remembered for his loyalty to friends and people who contributed to his career (notably the Vera-Perezes and Nora Aunor), his equanimity (his shows were open to all stars from different studios) and his generosity (he was always willing to help those in need).
Kuya Germs, you will be missed terribly. May you rest in eternal peace!