Frank Pangelinan “Bokonggo will be missed in the CNMI, Guam and mainland United States by the thousands of Chamorro music fans. His passing away in Guam last week has saddened and shocked many of his friends on Saipan, Guam and those who knew Frank as a very aggressive and a dynamic musician.
Frank Bokonggo, as he is known in the CNMI, Guam and other Chamorro music fans living in the West Coast in the U.S. mainland, is a legend when it comes to Chamorro music. His song Triste Yu made Frank Pangelinan the most popular and admired entertainer for some time. Although Frank will be physically missed, his spirit will live in the hearts of many of us who remember him as a very popular artist in the CNMI.
Frank Bokonggo’s contribution in promoting and preserving the local music such as Triste Yu, I Pution, Ingratto, Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi, Patgon Neni, Down by the Shore of Saipan
Hago I Inan I Langet, and many other popular Chamorro songs, including the Chamolinian Christmas album that Frank Bokonggo, Candy Taman and the late Quirino Aquino recorded will long be remembered as part of Frank’s contribution to the Chamorro cultural heritage.
I remember the good old days when our group, Tropic Settee, was the island’s most successful and popular group of musicians in the ’70s and ’80s before Frank departed for Guam to share his talent with our fellow Chamorros there. The Tropic Settee included Frank Bokonggo on lead guitar and lead vocals, Candy Taman on the rhythm section and vocals, Ron Del Rosario on the bass guitar, Jun P.P.D. Duenas on keyboards and myself on the drums. Our group concentrated on promoting the Chamolinian hits of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. We performed at the Saipan Grand Hotel. From there we moved on to the Oleai Room at the Saipan Bowling Center where our group performed for several years. I must admit the song Patgon Neni was our most popular song, which brought the whole island to Oleai Room every weekend to listen to this song which originated from the island of Pohnpei.
Tropic Settee’s versatility in entertaining the young, the middle-aged, and the man’amko was one reason for our success. Let me also recognize my friend, Candy Taman for his very dynamic and God-given talent that made our band one of the most successful and respected groups ever assembled in the CNMI. With the Christmas season is right upon us, we will continue to hear Frank’s golden voice, together with Candy Taman and the late Quirino Aquino singing their Chamolinian Christmas collection of songs.
There were several requests during the last five years for a reunion of our band, Tropic Settee, so that our fans and people will be able to hear some of our very popular hits back then. However, health and other concerns prevented our group from coming together.
To my brother Frank Bokonggo, may our prayers guide you in your journey with the Lord toyour final resting place. God bless you.
Herbert Del Rosario
Band Leader (Tropic Settee Band)