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OPM folk music icon Heber Bartolome, 73

FILIPINO musician
Heber Gonzalez Bartolome — FACEBOOK.COM/HEBER.BARTOLOME.18

FILIPINO musician Heber Gonzalez Bartolome passed away on the evening of Nov. 15, his brother Jesse confirmed. He was 73.

While Mr. Bartolome’s cause of death is not confirmed, his brother said that he had a lingering prostate illness for over a year.

Mr. Bartolome, best known for songs like “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy,” “Karaniwang Tao” and “Nena,” came from a musical family. Born on Nov. 4, 1948 in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, his parents were Deogracias Bartolome, a pastor and also violin and guitar maker, and Angelina Gonzalez, a zarzuela singer.

Mr. Bartolome earned a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Philippines in 1973 before founding a protest band band called Banyuhay Ni Heber during martial law together with his brothers Jesse and Levi. He performed around the country, as well as staged concerts in Australia and Europe.

He was also a former member and trustee of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP), a non-stock, non-profit organization that grants music users legal permission to publicly play, stream, broadcast, or reproduce.

Aside from playing music, Mr. Bartolome was also an educator and painter.

He was a Filipino Literature professor at the De La Salle University from 1981 to 1984.

In Sept. 2017, Mr. Bartolome held an art exhibit at the Philippine Consulate in Calgary. He also participated in art exhibits and competitions in Australia, Germany, Brussels, Austria, Spain, and China.

Details on the burial are to follow. — MAPS

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