Six days after his passing, German “Kuya Germs” Moreno was laid to rest on Thursday afternoon at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City (Metro Manila).
His funeral procession came from GMA Network Center in Quezon City where his last wake was held marked with a Mass and a necrological service.
Moreno’s remains arrived a little before noon at the memorial park where close friends, including former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and his “adopted” children in the industry led by Billy Crawford were waiting.
Before the burial, Moreno’s family and industry friends recalled their fondest memories of the “Master Showman.”
Nora Aunor remembered the unwavering support Kuya Germs had given her since he co-hosted her musical variety show Superstar from the 1970s all the way to the 1990s.
“Kulang na lang po sa amin ay magpakasal. Mas mahal ko pa po si Kuya Germs kesa sa pamilya ko pagka’t mas malapit po sa akin si Kuya Germs. May mga insidente po na si Kuya Germs ang una kong nilalapitan.”
The multi-awarded actress announced that she is willing to continue Moreno’s legacy and even take over the reins of “Walang Tulugan,” his weekly Saturday midnight TV show on GMA network’s Channel 7 .
“Kung pwede lang sanang ako ang magpatuloy ng’Master Showman.’ Nakahanda po ako na ako ang gagawa ng mga ginawa niya, sapagkat alam ko po na mahal na mahal niya ang show na ‘yon. Kung hindi po aalisin ang show, gusto ko pong ako ang magtutuloy ng show niya para magpatuloy ang pagtulong niya sa mga kabataan ngayon na gustong pumasok sa industriya at makita ng mga tao ang talentong ibinigay sa kanila,” she said.
Moreno was laid to rest at past 1 p.m. and a ceremony of “letting go” immediately followed with 82 white butterflies, doves and balloons were released to symbolize his 82 well-lived years.
Some 500 fans and supporters gathered around Loyala to get a glimpse of the interment as well as the celebrities who came for the final curtain call for the “Master Showman.”
At the necrological service held at GMA on Wednesday night, Moreno’s grandchildren shared their fondest memories of their grandfather, who they fondly call “Papa.”
Jorel Moreno said, “Today, I’m here to share the other side of Papa that most of you may not know. Whenever we go out, I would see Papa staring at us just being ourselves in silence. I will never forget this one time while he was watching me and I looked straight into his eyes before looking away. And that time it meant nothing but now it all made sense. His silence meant so much because he was happy beyond words.”
“Today I bid farewell to a great man that I’m proud to call my grandfather but also to a great man who has lived a full life, a life of joy, passion and love. Someone who has lived doing what he loved until the end. Salamat Papa. Thank you for the love, lessons and values you have taught us,” added the young boy, breaking down in tears.
Another grandson, Youth Olympics gold medalist Luis Gabriel, or Gabby, also shared his fondest memories.
“As you all know, Papa is a selfless, generous and virtuous person but aside from that, you may not know that he was a very good gambler,” he revealed drawing laughter from the gathering that saw the likes of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, Marian Rivera, Manilyn Reynes, comedian Betong Sumaya, young actors Derrick Monasterio and Jake Vargas and ABS-CBN’s KC Concepcion, Erik Santos and Vina Morales.
“My first memory with him is playing tong-Its. I already knew how to play tong-its when I was 7 years old, and oh, how I wish I could play tong-Its with him again one last time.”
Close to tears, Gabby went on to say, “Papa, thank you for all the good values that you’ve taught us, kung paano magmahal ng kaibigan, kung paano dapat magmahal ng kapatid, magmahal ng walang kapalit. Dahil sa iyo, natuto akong unahin ang iba bago ang sarili.”
To close the service, Moreno’s only son Federico thanked everyone who had condoled with their family, and especially those who stayed loyal to his father.
“Master is now home, where he truly belongs. The ‘Master Showman’ is now with his Master,” he ended
The necrological service, which GMA Network organized for the “Master Showman” Wednesday night was literally a scene straight out of his show “Walang Tulugan.” Color, glitz, music, laughter and celebrity filled the two-hour tribute to the late pillar of Philippine show business, right where he hosted his weekly late night variety show at Studio 7.
The gathering also served as Moreno’s final homecoming at GMA Network where he started his TV career in the 1970s.
Dingdong Dantes and Jean Garcia hosted the necrological service, which had live performances of Moreno’s favorite songs. Gary Valenciano opened the service with Moreno’s theme song, “Send in the Clowns,” followed by Gerphil Flores’ “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” Christian Bautista’s “Smile,” The Company’s “Times of Your Life” and finally Dulce’s “Minsan ang Minahal ay Ako.”
GMA Network Chairman Felipe Gozon, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and non-showbiz friends Alice Eduardo (whom Moreno fondly called “fairy godmother”) and Lamoiyan Corp. president Cecilio Pedro were among those who gave eulogies for the man they remembered for his greatness, loyalty and compassion.