One of the Philippines most respected artist & talent manager Wyngard Tracy passed away this past Tuesday, November 16. He was 58.
Wyngard was rushed to Makati Medical Center on October 20 in which he suffered his third stroke. The following day, on October 21, Tracy had an operation to remove the blood clot in his brain. Earlier in July, he underwent a heart surgery after he was rushed to the hospital due to a heart attack.
Wynn’s first job was as a TV production assistant in the 1970s at the KBS studios Channel 9 with my brother in law- Jun De Rivera before becoming a radio disc jockey on DWWK, the country’s first pop FM station. Soon after, he was tapped to manage the roster of talents in Vicor Entertainment Corporation. His first talent was Basil Valdez. Other talents he managed in Vicor include Pinky de Leon, Leah Navarro, and Maricris Bermont.
He later put up Artist Station, his own talent agency, which eventually managed the careers of my mom (Gloria Sevilla), brother- Mat Ranillo, niece- Krista Ranillo, Side A Band, Freestyle Band, Maricel Soriano, Richard Gomez, Pilita Corrales, Aiko Melendez, Arnel Ignacio and many others.
In his 30-plus years as a talent manager, Tracy is known for being a strict disciplinarian, a workaholic and for his good heart.
In an interview with Manila Bulletin in 2005, he said talent management is like “parenthood.”
“Para kang tatay. Managing is serious business because you are not only handling careers but to a certain extent, the lives of your talents,” he said.
He also plays honest with the public and the press. “My policy is this: I would protect you but not to the extent na magsisinungaling ako,” he explained.
“Sinasabi ko sa mga artista ko, ‘Sorry ka kung may ginawa ka talagang kalokohan, di kita pagtatakpan. I won’t deny it to press people. Siguro I’ll just say, ‘wag na lang natin pag-usapan or off-the-record na lang.’
“Madalas kasi, the press knows the truth already. Pag dineny ko, I’d be insulting their intelligence. That’s why I tell my talents, ‘Wag kayong magkakamali. Be careful. You better behave.’”
When asked what he still wanted to accomplish, Tracy said he wanted to manage retired talents.
“I want to manage veteran actors. Madami diyan na magagaling, pero walang trabaho kasi walang materials for them. Dito lang sa Pilipinas ‘yan nangyayari. ‘Ba’t wala kang trabaho?’ ‘Kasi matanda na ako.’ But in truth, they have become better with time,” he said.
Wynn fulfilled his frustrations as a singer when he became one of the contestants in the first season of Celebrity Duets, a singing contest featuring celebrities hosted by Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez.
He also became one of the judges of GMA-TV’s “Pinoy Idol” the Philippine version of American Idol in which in he was tagged as the Simon Cowell of the Philippines.
Before his death, Tracy specifically requested that there be no wake for him. Instead, he wants his family and friends to have a party.
A Mass for Tracy was celebrated Tuesday, 5 p.m., at the La Salle Green Hills chapel in San Juan. His remains was cremated then brought to his home at Rockwell Center in Makati City. Fellow talent manager Gina Martinez said its Tracy’s wish not to have a wake. “A party is scheduled on Thursday Nov 18.”
Singer-actor-comedian Ogie Alcasid, who worked with Tracy in the talent-search program “Pinoy Idol” said he wasn’t surprised that Tracy did not want his friends to organize a wake. “Gusto lang n’ya masaya. He never wanted to dwell on the sad things in life. I’d probably sing a song about friendship during the party. I’m also thinking of performing ‘Sumayaw, Sumunod’.”
Side A front man Joey Generoso said he would dedicate “Hold On,” the band’s hit song released in the 1990s, to the man who he said was like a brother to him. “It was the first song that the band recorded. From the beginning, Wyn [Tracy’s nickname] knew that it would be a hit. He was like that—he had an incredible gift of foresight.”
Joey added that after Tracy’s heart bypass operation, everybody thought he got better. “Now, I think God simply gave him the chance to say goodbye to his loved ones. We didn’t expect it [bypass] to have a side effect. He developed embolism shortly after the operation. Then, the stroke that put him into coma happened in October.”
“He was no longer conscious. Just the same, I said thank you to him for taking care of the band through the years. We learned a lot from him,” Joey added.
Comedian Arnell Ignacio, whose showbiz career was once managed by Tracy, said the death of his mentor was hard to accept. “At some point, I even thought he was invincible. He’s a great loss to the industry. Walang s’yang katulad.”
One month ago, Wyngard actually sent out a poem to his closest friends. It says:
My page has turned
a chapter’s closed
a brand new page
for me unfolds
and my new page
will never turn
nor for the old page
will I yearn
for my new page
is Heaven, you see
I’m home with Jesus
I’ve known Wyn, since I was kid through my parents & siblings. He and my brother in law Jun was instrumental in how I met my wife Bengil in 2001. They actually set us up to meet in a place in Foster City. We eventually got married months later. During our honeymoon, Wynn brought us to a hot springs in Los Banos were we became really close. It’s hard to imagine him gone because I’ve always pictured him to be someone who’s always active, always on-the-go.
Thank you for being a true and loyal friend of the family for all these years, through the good and bad times.
Rest in Peace Wyngard Tracy.