Legendary Pinoy rock and blues guitarist Jun Lopito was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and is in need of immediate medical attention.
In her private message to a certain Tita Maricel, Lopito’s daughter Bebop Lavalan said her father is still “undergoing outpatient workup and to date, a few diagnoses have been established for which further evaluation is needed.”
The music legend has been getting some assistance from Hearts of Music (HOM), a non-government organization founded by jazz and ska singer Skarlet Brown in her desire to fasten and preserve the health and livelihood of Filipino musicians.
Skarlet Brown also known as Myra Rauro, who fronted Put3Ska in the early 90s, confirmed that HOM paid for Lopito’s initial tests even though his ailment had not been made public yet at the time.
“Yung iba nga akala hindi ako kumikilos kasi nga discreet lang,” Skarlet shares.
Aside from HOM, the Brownbeat All-Stars also had a ‘pass the hat’ thing at Tomato Kick during a gig.
“We managed to raise P11,000 that contributed to Jun’s medical needs,” Skarlet added.
But the need to raise more funds for Lopito’s increasing medical expenses has prompted his daughter Bebop to ask for more help from well-meaning friends and perhaps some concerned fans.
“We are reaching out to concerned, kind souls who are interested and willing to offer assistance to Jun. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org where we will continue to forward info, updates, and developments,” Lavalan appealed.
As of this writing, there are at least two fund-raising gigs for Lopito. There will be a May 16 gig dubbed as “Blues for a Blues Man” at The Bar1951 in M. Adriatico Street in Malate, Manila. Among the featured performers will be Rolly Maligad of Cocojam, the Bleu Rascals, together with Blue Way, Lagkitan, and Paul Puti-an of Coffee Break.
Brown said that there will also be a June 18 fundraiser at Saguijo where she will be one of the performers.
The 55-year-old guitarist born Wolfrando G. Lavalan Jr. is the son of the late comedian Lopito and is one of the pioneers of Pinoy Rock n’ Roll.
He has played guitar or at least jammed with legendary bands and rock icons like The Jerks, Cocojam, Anak Bayan, Tropical Depression, Blitz, Runaway Boys and Joey “Pepe” Smith, and most recently, Mr. Bones and the Boneyard .
He has released his first and only album “Bodhisattvas” in 1995, which featured equally great artists including Joey “Pepe” Smith, Grace Nono, Cocojam, Spy and late great drummer Edmund Fortuno, who also succumbed to a rare disease.