The lives of former Menudos, Robi Rosa and Ricky Martin

May 28, 2020
Robi Rosa and Ricky Martin
Robi Rosa and Ricky Martin

REMEMBER the 1980s popular Puerto Rican boy band Menudo na pinagmulan nina Robi (Draco) Rosa (50) at Ricky Martin (48) who stormed Manila’s concert scene with sold out concerts at the Araneta Coliseum three times over?

Ang Menudo ay binuo nung 1977 ng Puerto Rican producer na si Edgardo Diaz with five teen members up to 18 years old.  Once the member turns 18 ay pinapalitan siya ng bagong miyembro but in was in mid-80s nang sumipa nang husto ang kasikatan ng most popular Latin boy group worldwide nang maging miyembro sina Robi Rosa, Ricky Martin, Charlie Masso, Roy Rosello at Xavier Serbia.  Grabe ang naging reception noon ng mga Pinoy fans (kids and teens) nang magtanghal ang Menudo sa Big Dome nang dalawang beses nung mid-`80s.

Sa lahat ng  naging miyembro ng Menudo (about 45), walang alinlangan na sina Robi Rosa at Ricky Martin ang naging most successful sa kanilang respective solo careers.  They both joined Menudo in 1984 pero umabot lamang si Robi hanggang 1987 at si Ricky naman up to 1989 at pagkatapos nito ay saka nila hinarap ang kanilang respective solo career.  Ricky was 12 then at 14 naman si Robi.  Except for their Spanish hit songs, ang Menudo ay kilala rin sa mga English songs na kanilang pinasikat noon tulad ng “Hold Me,” “If You’re Not Here,” “Please Be Good To Me,”  “Explosion” at “I’m Going Back to the Philippines."

In 1988, Robi debuted as an actor sa pamamagitan ng “Salsa”.  Pinasok din ni Ricky ang acting career sa TV and films pero nanatili sa dalawa ang kanilang passion bilang singers.

Although magkahiwalay ang career nina Robi at Ricky, pareho silang naging successful. Although in terms of popularity, mas pumaimbulog ang kasikatan ni Ricky sa pamamagitan ng kanyang worldwide hit na “Livin’ La Vida Loca” .

Robi now Draco Rosa is a successful singer, songwriter, composer, record producer, dancer, multi-instrumentalist and entrepreneur.  He got married in 1990 sa actress-director na si Angela Alvarado and they have two kids na sina Redamo at Revel Rosa.

Nakilala ni Robi si Angela sa production ng kanyang debut movie na “Salsa” in 1988.  Angela is six years older kay Robi or Draco.

Nung April 2011, Robi was diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer.   Sumailalim siya ng traditional and alternative treatment sa Houston, Texas at sa Sta. Monica, California. Pansamantala siyang nawala sa loob ng halos isang taon.  In December 2012, he was declared cancer-free pero the following year, December 9, 2013 ay kinumpirma ng kanyang manager na ito’y bumalik and this time ay sumailalim na siya  ng pangalawang bone marrow transplant at apat na buwang quarantine.  Magmula noon ay muli siyang dineklarang cancer-free hanggang ngayon.

Unknown to many, nanatili ang pagiging magkaibigan nina Robi at Ricky even after their Menudo days. They have worked together  in some of the albums ni Ricky with Robi using a pseudonym na Ian Blake. They co-wrote and co-produced majority ng songs sa “A Media Vivir” album ni Ricky ganundin ang “Vuelve” album.  Roby wrote and recorded Ricky’s best-selling album at kauna-unahang English album kung saan kasama ang “Livin’ la Vida Loca” na nag-number one sa Billboard at bumenta ng mahigit 22 million copies worldwide.

Itinatag ni Robi ang sarili niyang kumpanya, ang Phantom Vox, isang multi-media production kung saan konektado rito ang kanyang Draco Cornelius Music, ang Vox Publishing at Vox Studio.

Bukod dito, nagtayo rin si Robi ng iba pa niyang mga negosyo tulad ng Ron Vagabundo Rum, his own coffee brand, Café Horizonte at sarili niyang clothing line, ang Vagabundo Clothing.  Nung 2011 ay tumanggap si Robi ng parangal mula sa Puerto Rico ‘s Chamber of Commerce bilang Businessman of the Year.

Sa part naman ni Ricky, hindi kaila sa lahat ang kanyang sexual preference.  It was in March 29 2010 when he publicly admitted na siya’y isang gay which he posted sa kanyang official website.

“I am proud to say that I am fortunately homosexual man. I am being blessed to be who I am. These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within,” aniya.

Pero bago nag-come out si Ricky, he was in an of and off platonic relationship with TV host Rebecca de Alba na tumagal ng mahigit 14 years.  Pinag-usapan na rin nila noon ang pagkakaroon ng sariling pamilya at plinano rin ni Ricky ang mag-propose pero ito’y na-overcome ng sarili niyang sexual orientation.

In August 2008, nagkaroon si Ricky ng twin sons na sina Matteo at Valentino Martin sa pamamagitan ng surrogacy.

In 2010, nagkaroon siya ng relasyon sa economist na si Carlos Gonzales Abella pero ito’y nagtapos nung May 2014.  Nung April 2016, he started dating Jwan Yosef, isang Syrian-Spanish painter.  It was in November 16, 2016 nang kanilang i-announce ang kanilang engagement sa programa ni Ellen DeGeneres at nung January 2018 ay in-anunsyo naman nilang dalawa na sila’y kasal na.

Bukod sa twin sons ni Ricky na sina Matteo at Valentino may dalawa na rin silang anak ni Jwan (through surrogacy) na sina Lucia at Renn Martin-Yosef.

Kasama si Ricky sa pelikula ng Netflix na "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" bilang lover ni Versace (Edgar Ramirez). Gumanap naman dito bilang serial killer na si Andrew Cunanan ang Fil-Am actor na si Darren Criss.