MANILA — “Master Showman” and GMA Network’s midnight television show “Walang Tulugan” host German “Kuya Germs” Moreno passed away at 3:20 a.m. Friday due to cardiac arrest. He was 82.
Kuya Germs suffered a stroke in January 2015 that sidelined him for several months but he was able to stage a comeback at “Walang Tulugan” at Channel 7 last June.
At times, he would appear in wheelchair to preserve strength and zing for the variety program.
Earlier Friday morning, a call to his son, Federico Moreno, and grandson Gabby, Youth Mixed Doubles Olympic gold medalist in archery, yielded no answer but his nephew and co-host, John Nite, announced the news through the GMA News Online.
“He passed on in the company of his family and friends. He lived a full life, touched so many hearts through the years, and helped make dreams come true for most of the biggest stars in the Philippine entertainment industry,” Nite said.
“We are deeply saddened by his passing but we are comforted by the thought that his legacy will live on,” he added.
In 2013, Kuya Germs celebrated his 50th year in the showbiz industry. He was always proud of his humble beginnings — starting as a utility worker at the once popular Clover Theater in Sta. Cruz, Manila in the 1950s.
He became a stage actor and later a film star and then a discoverer of future stars, adviser and in some cases, manager.
Always a generous man, he often paid for the needs of his struggling wards until they set on their own.
Actress-singer Jackie Lou Blanco, a long-time co-host of his “Walang Tulugan” TV program, said Kuya Germs was like a father to her children who came in and out of program.
“He is generous to a fault, very loving and forgiving, a friend and a confidant no matter the circumstances. We will miss him terribly but we hope he will find peace and eternal happiness beyond the great divide.”
Kuya Germs’ colleagues, friends, fans and acquaintances often praised him for his loyalty and professionalism.
GMA 7 said Kuya Germs has always been popularly known as a star builder in his youth-oriented show in the 1980s called “That’s Entertainment” for aspiring actors, dancers and singers.
Many of the show’s “graduates” became popular artists, including Lea Salonga, Manilyn Reynes, Gladys Reyes, Judy Ann Santos, Janno Gibbs, Billy Crawford, Donna Cruz, Ramon Christopher, and Lotlot de Leon.
A few years ago, he initiated the “Walk of Fame” in Eastwood, Quezon City, which is the local counterpart of the “Walk of Fame” in Hollywood, USA, to recognize artists, broadcasters, singers and others who made significant contributions to the showbiz industry. Lily O. Ramos/PNA / northboundasia.com