Renee "Alon" dela Rosa, best known as the composer and singer of the huge OPM hit “Pusong Bato,” passed Wednesday, September 15, due to respiratory complications.
Dela Rosa's wife, Raquel Hernandez, told ABS-CBN News he expired at the Novaliches District Hospital at 7 a.m. He was 61. The family is still awaiting results of his COVID-19 tests at this time.
Prior to his death, Hernandez said she and her family sought emergency treatment, in a span of 48 hours, for dela Rosa in over 30 hospitals but was turned away due to overcapacity of patients.
“Naka-oxygen siya dahil may oxygen tank kami. Hindi namin matanggap na hindi siya nabigyan ng first aid man lang o dextrose," Hernandez recounted.
Before he fell ill last week, Hernandez recalled that he picked up sacks of rice from Freddie Aguilar, courtesy of Senator Manny Pacquiao. “Nasiraan sasakyan nila sa daan at na-expose siya sa ulan, nagkasakit na,” she said.
His colleague, composer Vehnee Saturno, remembers dela Rosa as a quiet presence in the pre-pandemic gatherings of the Filipino Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP). “Napakasimpleng tao despite his achievements, “ he said.
In a past interview, dela Rosa said the phenomenal success of "Pusong Bato" was its strong connection to ordinary people.
"Siguro dahil tinangkilik ng masa, pati ng bata. Nag-start sa YouTube ng 2010 noong nalaman ng Alpha Music na ako ang may likha ng kanta. Sabi nila Alon i-record natin tutal ikaw ang composer. Siguro sa awa ng Panginoon sa tagal ng paghihirap ko, sabi Niya siguro Alon huwag kang mainip. Bago ka man mawala sa mundo bibigyan kita ng hit song," he said.
"Pusong Bato" was also revived by "Pilipinas Got Talent" winner Jovit Baldovino and included in the soundtrack of the Coco Martin hit fantasy series "Juan dela Cruz."
His life was last chronicled in “Paano Kita Mapasasalamatan,” Judy Ann Santos’ show based on true-to-life stories, early this year.
Dela Rosa's family is yet to finalize details of his wake at their church in Kings Point, Bagbag, Novaliches.