For Hajji Alejandro and Rico J. Puno, performing ‘never gets old’

May 22, 2017 - 6:20 PM
Rico J. Puno and Hajji Alejandro.

Hajji Alejandro and Rico J. Puno may well be in their 60s, but both are still very popular attractions on the concert circuit.

Both gentlemen — whose solo careers flourished and paralleled each other during the period dubbed as the Golden Age of Original Pilipino Music in the 1970s and were even considered as rivals at one point — continue to turn back the hands of time with one successful show after another.

In a recent interview with InterAksyon, Hajji, now 62, says he’s very fortunate to be associated with separate groups of performers. Together with Rico J., Rey Valera, Marco Sison and occasionally Nonoy Zuñiga, they have headlined a series of concerts where they are collectively called OPM Hitmakers.

As a former member of the legendary Circus band along with the likes of Basil Valdez and Tillie Moreno, the former Kilabot ng mga Kolehiyala has also topbilled a series of concerts with former New Minstrels mainstays Eugene Villaluz and Louie Reyes.

And he still tours with daughter Rachel Alejandro for shows of their own.

“It never gets old,” Hajji says about singing all his life. “I love this job. I don’t even call it a job because you don’t work music, you play it.”

Rico, 64, expresses a similar sentiment and feels very fortunate to be able to entertain people after undergoing a triple bypass operation in 2015 that affected his voice. The singer once dubbed as “The Total Entertainer” was able to recover and become even stronger after the operation. But he admitted that he also had to make a little lifestyle change that included giving up smoking and drinking.

“I don’t go out that much as well. I reserve my energy because I’m again a councilor of Makati where I pledged to help the senior citizens there,” Rico shared.

Rico and Hajji will perform in the same show once again together with singer-comedian K Brosas in “Three in One,” dubbed as “a concert like no other” and happening on June 3, Saturday, at The Theatre at Solaire Resort & Casino.

Hajji said that as with most of their concerts, he and Rico are expected to sing their classic songs like his own “Nakapagtataka,” “May Minamahal” and “Panakip Butas” and Rico’s “Macho Guwapito,” “May Bukas Pa” and “Kapalaran.”

“In our group, we have to sing our own hit songs. The audiences will not like it if we don’t do that,” Hajji quipped.

Hajji added that while the solo performers are allowed to do the songs that they want in solo numbers, it gets more exciting when it comes to production numbers with fellow performers.

“That’s the part where we deliberate and give our own inputs, especially in the opening song, the strong middle production numbers and the closing numbers,” he added.

“And it’s not just limited to the songs. What makes a particular show great is the repartee of the performers with the audience and one another.”

With the inclusion of K Brosas, who can captivate audiences with her powerful voice and sense of humor that is as bawdy as the one Rico is known for, “Three in One” promises to be an engaging extravaganza of music and comedy.

For ticket information, visit