OPM star Roel Cortez, the singer behind Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie, passes away.
He succumbed to colon cancer.
Cortez popularized the classic OPM (Original Pilipino Music) song, which became a hit in the 80’s and produced by WEA Records.
In 1986, a movie of the same title and directed by National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Lino Brocka (1939-1991) was released.
The song is also included in his 1992 album Best of Roel Cortez.
Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, a GMA TV network show, announced his demise on its official Facebook page.
According to the Facebook post, the legendary singer died on Wednesday, April 1, at around 9:30 p.m.
Roel Cortez was last seen alive on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, when the TV show featured his life story on March 22.
In the show, the singer, who was already bedridden, revealed that it was only during the first week of March that he had the courage to consult a doctor after almost a year of suffering chronic abdominal pains and difficulty in bowel movement.
It was only then that his family learned of his condition. He was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.
Freddie Aguilar in black T-shirt and beret sitting beside Roel Cortez in yellow T-shirt and lying on his bed
Through the TV show’s help, some of Roel’s colleagues in the music industry were able to offer their messages of support to their fellow artist.
Folk singer and OPM icon Freddie Aguilar, along with his wife, visited Cortez.
Jerico Rimas, the composer of Napakasakit, Kuya Eddie, who came with Aguilar, played a guitar and sang the classic song with the bedridden Roel.
Roel Cortez lying on a bed, with a blanket covering his bloated stomach
The now classic song (literally “It Hurts, Brother Eddie”) tells the tragic story of an overseas Filipino worker in an Arab country.
He narrates about his sacrifices abroad just to provide for his family back in the Philippines. Unfortunately, he learned from one of his two children that her wife was seeing another man.
When he finally returned home, he found out that his children were using drugs (marijuana) and his wife gave birth to a child, the result of her illicit affair.
His wife left him and took away with her all his savings.
“Kuya Eddie” refers to renowned Filipino radio host Eddie Ilarde (1934-2020).
He once hosted a radio program, where listeners could send him letters (which starts with “Dear Kuya Eddie”) to seek his advice about their personal problems.
Cortez is survived by his wife, Corazon, and their eight children.
His remains currently lie in state at the Ever Funeral in Pantok, Meycauayan, Bulacan and will be brought to its final resting place on April 9.