OPM guitar genius Jun Lopito passes away

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2022 01:27 PM

Jun Lopito, regarded as a guitar genius and a rock pioneer in the Philippines music industry, died Tuesday. He was 64.

Lopito completed his last album “bodhi3NMRK“ in 2020 under Ely Buendia’s Offshore Music label which announced his demise on its social media account. 

“The Offshore Music family is honored to have been part of your journey, Jun. Thank you for the friendship and the music. You will be missed. Rest In Peace. Jun Lopito. Our deepest condolences to his family,” Offshore stated in its post Wednesday. 

“\We recorded Jun’s last album at my house and during that time I got to know Jun as a charming, funny, thoughtful and spiritual person,“ Buendia told ABS-CBN News Wednesday. 

“It was a privilege even then to have been regaled by his rockstar stories and to hear him play guitar and sing from the soul. He was very professional and never complained when he was promoting his album. This is a sad day for Pinoy Rock. I will miss him terribly.” 

Best known for his bluesy guitar riffs, Lopito was one of the last links to the golden age of Pinoy rock in the last century. 

Born Wolfrando Lavalan Jr., Lopito was the son of late comedian and original Tawag ng Tanghalan host Lopito. 

Aside from his pioneering work in the band The Jerks in the 1970s, he also played with Joey “Pepe” Smith, Edmund Fortuno and Gary Perez in the band Airwaves. 

Lopito also performed with Sampaguita, Asin, Pinikpikan, Anakbayan, Grace Nono, among many others.

In 1995, he launched his band project, Bodhisattvas, considered a milestone in local rock music production. He was also credited with “Buddha Blues You,” a self-produced, limited release album.
 
Rock stalwart Chickoy Pura, a bandmate of Lopito in The Jerks, also paid tribute to him on his social media account. 

“A great honor to share music with you. As the song goes: We travel along singin' a song, side by side,“ Pura stated. “Rest well Jun. “