Life­time Achieve­ment Awardees

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - GOLDEN AN­NIVER­SARY -

Cruz, Wil­fredo Buen­camino

(Willy Cruz)

Born Jan­uary 30, 1947

Mem­ber since Oc­to­ber 14, 1975

Hit songs: Sana’y Wala nang Wakas, Bi­tu­ing Walang Ningn­ing by Sharon Cuneta, Sana’y Magh­in­tay Ang Walang Hang­gan

Mu­sic is def­i­nitely in the blood of Wil­fredo Buen­camino Cruz, be­ing re­lated to such artists as Fran­cisco Buen­camino, Lor­rie Ilus­tre, Nonong Buen­camino, and pi­anist Ce­cile Li­cad. Willy had his first touch in mu­sic by study­ing pi­ano and clas­si­cal mu­sic, even­tu­ally mov­ing on to jazz, un­til fi­nally find­ing his niche in pop mu­sic which he ul­ti­mately be­came known for. Willy Cruz is also the com­poser be­hind the suc­cess of pop stars like Nonoy Zuñiga (Never Say Good­bye) Sharon Cuneta (Bi­tu­ing Walang Ningn­ing), Pilita Co­rales, Ha­jji Ale­jan­dro, and Nora Aunor, to name a few. He is also ar­guably one of the most pro­lific and most awarded com­posers for film, hav­ing writ­ten scores for at least a hun­dred movies. His suc­cess in the mu­sic busi­ness def­i­nitely came full cir­cle when, af­ter all the awards and be­com­ing an ex­ec­u­tive for com­pa­nies such as Vi­cor Mu­sic and Jem Record­ing, Willy went back to his roots in pi­ano and clas­si­cal mu­sic by pro­duc­ing his own solo in­stru­men­tal al­bum of songs per­formed in the pi­ano.

Cayabyab, Ray­mundo Cipri­ano

P. (Ryan Cayabyab)

Born May 4, 1954

Mem­ber since July 16, 1986

Hit songs: Tuwing Umuu­lan At Kapil­ing Ka, Araw Gabi by Regine V.; Kailan by Smokey Moun­tain, Kay Ganda ng At­ing Musika by Ha­jji Ale­jan­dro, Ku­muku­tiku­ti­tap by Joey Al­bert

It is easy to tell that Ryan Cayabyab is cer­tainly one of the big­gest fig­ures in the mu­sic in­dus­try to­day, sim­ply by the way that peo­ple re­fer him with a sin­gle let­ter ti­tle: Mr. C. He is the man be­hind a con­sid­er­able amount of Pi­noy clas­sic love songs (Tuwing Umuu­lan, Araw Gabi), two al­bums worth of Pi­noy Christ­mas clas­sics (Ku­muku­tiku­ti­tap, Heto Na Na­man), in­ter­na­tion­ally-renowned re­li­gious com­po­si­tions (Misa), and, un­doubt­edly, an ad­mirable vol­ume of mu­si­cal com­po­si­tions and ar­range­ments that cut across forms, gen­res (in­clud­ing TV, the­ater, and movies), and decades of OPM. When he was young, his mother, an opera singer her­self, had pre­ferred that he didn’t go into mu­sic be­cause it didn’t prom­ise a fi­nan­cially re­ward­ing life. But even af­ter earn­ing a de­gree in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion from the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines, Mr. C. still stud­ied and pur­sued a ca­reer in mu­sic. And aren’t we all glad that he did.

Hanopol, Michael A.

(Mike Hanopol)

Born April 10, 1947

Mem­ber since June 18, 1994

Hit songs: Laki sa Layaw, Ang Himig Natin, No Touch, Pana­hon and Titser’s Enemi No. 1 by Juan Dela Cruz Band, Katawan and Legs by Hag­ibis, Lagot Ka by Mas­cu­la­dos

His is a name as­so­ci­ated with the birth of Pi­noy Rock mu­sic and his im­age with a beret and leather out­fits. But what many peo­ple don’t know about Mike Hanopol is that be­fore he be­came the bassist of the Juan dela Cruz Band and be­fore he men­tored and com­posed songs for the group Hag­ibis, he be­gan earn­ing in mu­sic at the age of 14 as a band­leader in his years in the sem­i­nary. While some may find it hard to be­lieve, the same com­poser of hits like Katawan and Legs by Hag­ibis and Lagot Ka by Mas- cu­la­dos, has writ­ten songs that are in­spired by bib­li­cal teach­ings be­cause of his re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion. What’s more in­ter­est­ing is that these are his most head­bang-wor­thy tunes -- Ba­long Malalim is a song based on the Book of John and Laki sa Layaw speaks of bib­li­cal teach­ings against ar­ro­gance. But Mike Hanopol’s work is a tes­ta­ment to the mar­riage of these ironies and we can hear it in one of Pi­noy rock’s great­est an­thems which he com­posed: “Ang himig natin/ ang in­y­ong aw­itin / up­ang tayo’y magsama-sama / sa lan­git ng pag-asa”

Guardiano, Rey­naldo V.

(Rey Valera)

Born May 4, 1954

Mem­ber since April 10, 1993

Hit songs: Mr. DJ, Kahit Ma­puti Na Ang Buhok Ko by Sharon Cuneta, Kung Kailan­gan Mo Ako, Kung Tayo’y Magkakalay­o, Mag­ing Sino Ka Man, Pan­gako Sa’yo

The suc­cess of his mu­sic-mak­ing can def­i­nitely be ev­i­denced by the fact that his songs have turned into pop­u­lar TV shows. Rey Valera’s Mag­ing Sino Ka Man and Pan­gako Sa’yo have not only taken over air­waves

tran­scend­ing decades of OPM but over tele­vi­sions as well by be­com­ing ti­tles for the most well-loved soap op­eras of all time. Rey Valera is not only a well-known com­poser and mu­si­cian but also an en­ter­tain­ing host and co­me­dian. His ca­reer in the mu­sic and show­biz in­dus­try is one of the most col­or­ful, hav­ing com­posed for the 12-year old Sharon Cuneta (Mr. DJ) to com­pos­ing a song for his fans about his trau­matic bout with his im­pos­tor (My Fans Are In Trou­ble), to per­form­ing with his con­tem­po­raries such as Ha­jji Ale­jan­dro, Rico J. Puno, Nonoy Zuñiga, and Marco Si­son in the group “The Great­est Hit­mak­ers” that cel­e­brate the mu­sic of their era.

Chan, Jose Mari L.

Born March 11, 1945

Mem­ber since April 1,


Hit songs: Beau­ti­ful Girl, Christ­mas In Our Hearts, Can We Just Stop and Talk Awhile, Tell Me Your Name

His songs tell of sto­ries that ev­ery­one who has looked twice at an­other and felt the skip of a heart­beat knows. His voice coos and soothes and makes one wish that one’s life was be­ing scored by his mu­sic. His hits such as ‘Beau­ti­ful Girl’, ‘Tell Me your Name’, and ‘Can We just Stop And Talk Awhile’ are a sta­ple to the mod­ern Filipino ro­mance story just as his al­bum ‘Christ­mas in Our Hearts’ is a sta­ple to ev­ery home dur­ing the Yule­tide sea­son. Jose Mari Chan is def­i­nitely one of the most no­table English com­posers of OPM who con­tin­ues to cre­ate, com­pose, per­form, and col­lab­o­rate in mu­sic al­most 50 years since he started mak­ing mu­sic.

Saturno, Ve­nan­cio A.

(Vehnee Saturno/Joey


Born April 1, 1954

Mem­ber since April 1, 1986

Hit songs: Sana Kahit Min­san, Be My Lady, Till My Heartaches End, Mula sa Puso, Ikaw na Nga, Bakit Pa Ba, Dahil Tang­ing Ikaw

He speaks of suc­cess­ful song­writ­ing as some­thing that comes from the heart and not driven by the de­sire to make money and be­come pop­u­lar. It is not strange for Vehnee Saturno to speak of mak­ing mu­sic in this way, as he be­gan as a strug­gling song­writer him­self. He broke through to the mu­sic scene through the 1982 Metropop Mu­sic Fes­ti­val and rose to be­come one of the big names in the in­dus­try with hits such as Sana Kahit Min­san, Be My Lady, Till My Heartaches End, and Mula sa Puso. Be­cause of his own jour­ney into the mu­sic in­dus­try, Vehnee con­tin­ues to help other mu­si­cal artists that have lit­tle else but their tal­ent to make their mark in OPM.

Pare­des, Jaime M.

(Jim Pare­des)

Born Au­gust 31, 1951

Mem­ber since Fe­bru­ary

15, 1989

Hit songs: APO Hik­ing So­ci­ety songs, Blue Jeans, Batang Bata Ka Pa, Heto Na, Naka­pag­tataka, Panalan­gin, Saan Na Nga Ba Ang Barkada, When I Met You

He is pop­u­larly known as one-third of the great trio that is APO Hik­ing So­ci­ety. The OPM clas­sics Blue Jeans, Batang-bata Ka Pa, and When I Met You are just a few of the songs he has com­posed for the group. But one more thing that ev­ery Filipino knows is that one tear-in­duc­ing song that marks the mile­stone of Philip­pine his­tory in the blood­less rev­o­lu­tion of EDSA. Jim Pare­des just hap­pens to be the com­poser of the song “Han­dog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo”. It is then no sur­prise that be­yond be­ing one of the most suc­cess­ful OPM mu­si­cians, he is also one of the most so­cially ac­tive artists of the times un­til to­day.

Rigor, Roberto N.

(Snaffu Rigor)

Born Au­gust 8, 1946

Mem­ber since

Jan­uary 21, 1975

Hit songs: Bu­lag, Pipi, Bingi by Fred­die Aguilar, Bato sa Buhangin by Cin­derella, Eto na Na­man by Gary V, Gusto Kita by Gino Padilla, Kailan by Basil Valdez

He takes the sim­plest of words and the most in­tense of emo­tions and melds them to­gether to come up with such hits as ‘T.L. Ako Sa’yo’, ‘Ma­cho Guwapito’, ‘Mr. Dream­boy’, and ‘Paano ang Puso Ko’. On the other end of his cre­ative spec­trum are deeply pro­found OPM sta­ples such as ‘Bato Sa Buhangin’ and ‘Bu­lag, Pipi, at Bingi’. Snaffu Rigor is a song­writer, vo­cal ar­ranger, per­cus­sion­ist, per­former, and mu­sic pro­ducer who played a key role in the ca­reers of bands like Cin­derella, Juan Dela Cruz Band, Donna Cruz, An­drew E., and April Boy Regino. His name is easy to re­mem­ber and is one that shouldn’t be for­got­ten.

Javier, Daniel M.

(Danny Javier)

Born Au­gust 6, 1947

Mem­ber since Fe­bru­ary

13, 1989

Hit songs: APO Hik­ing So­ci­ety songs, Puma­p­atak Na Na­man Ang ulan, Blue Jeans, Awit ng Barkada, Di Na Natuto

The other name in the trio that is APO Hik­ing So­ci­ety is Danny Javier. When APO Hik-

ing So­ci­ety made its 40-year mark in the mu­sic in­dus­try in 2010, the group de­cided to re­tire there­after. Though they no longer per­form to­gether as a group, the group’s most mem­o­rable songs like Puma­p­atak ang Ulan (1978), Kaibi­gan (1978), Ka­bilu­gan ng Buwan (1980), and Di Na Natuto (1988) which Javier com­posed will def­i­nitely live well be­yond 40 years in the hearts and minds of OPM lis­ten­ers.

De Leon, Flo­rante


Born Au­gust 22,


Mem­ber since

Oc­to­ber 11, 1977

Hit songs: Ako’y Isang Pi­noy, Sana (Pag-Ibig Na lang), Han­dog

Flo­rante is one of the names al­most syn­ony­mous to Manila Sound, a genre that emerged in the 1970s that is es­sen­tially the fore­run­ner of OPM that in­flu­enced all mod­ern gen­res of mu­sic in the coun­try. Flo­rante is the pi­o­neer of Pi­noy folk rock in­flu­enc­ing artists like Joey Ayala, Fred­die Aguilar, and He­ber Bar­tolome. Beyond mu­sic his­tory, Flo­rante leaves a mark in Filipino cul­ture with songs that ev­ery Filipino should know by heart like “Han­dog” and “Ako’y Isang Pi­noy”

Ocampo, Jose Luis

J. (Louie Ocampo)

Born June 21, 1960

Mem­ber since

Oc­to­ber 7, 1999

Hit songs: Ewan by APO, Al­ways and For­ever, Martin and Pops; Ba­ba­lik Ka Rin by Gary V, Closer You and I by Gino Padilla, I’ll Be There For You by Martin Niev­era, Say That You Love Me by Basil Valdez, So Many Ques­tions by Side A, Tell Me by Joey Al­bert

There’s a cer­tain skill and magic that goes into mak­ing mu­sic that ev­ery other per­son will re­mem­ber and sing for decades over. Louie Ocampo has con­tin­u­ously cre­ated such mu­sic through­out his ca­reer with theme songs like Ba­ba­lik Ka Rin, Closer You and I. Ocampo is also pop­u­larly as­so­ci­ated with Martin Niev­era with the tracks Tell Me, Kahit Isang Saglit, and You Are My Song. To re­main as one of the most sought-af­ter mu­si­cians in the main­stream mu­sic in­dus­try even af­ter hun­dreds of com­po­si­tions and ar­range­ments is a feat not short of amaz­ing.

Fran­cisco,(Mano­ling Manuel V.


Born Fe­bru­ary 26, 1965

Mem­ber since Fe­bru­ary 20, 1988

Hit songs: Tang­ing Ya­man, Hindi Kita Malil­imu­tan

He was a high school fresh­man who was re­quired by Onofre Pagsan­jan, or Mr. Pagsi to the stu­dents of Ate­neo at that time, to in­ter­pret the Bi­ble verse Isa­iah 49:15 as a song. Along with three other group­mates, he fin­ished com­pos­ing the song in 30 min­utes which won as the best com­po­si­tion in class. The song is what ev­ery Filipino knows now as ‘Hindi Kita Malil­imu­tan’. The boy is Fr. Mano­ling Fran­cisco. It was from this ini­tial suc­cess that Fr. Mano­ling would con­tinue com­pos­ing mu­sic even­tu­ally form­ing the Bukas Palad Min­istry with col­leagues Nor­man Agatep and Jandi Ar­boleda. For one who has com­posed over 100 songs be­ing sung in praise and wor­ship all over the world, there is prob­a­bly no bet­ter and more ful­fill­ing feel­ing than to serve and touch peo­ple through mu­sic.

Su­bido, Danilo T.

born July 4, 1944

Mem­ber since

De­cem­ber 10, 1968

Hit Songs: Pan­gako by Cyn­thia Gar­cia, songs of Ed­die Pere­g­rina, Flip­pers and Marco Si­son

Back in the 1970s where be­ing an en­ter­tainer was syn­ony­mous to be­ing highly adept in mu­sic, Danny Su­bido made his name as a com­poser for many of the most pop­u­lar celebri­ties of the time. His songs are im­me­di­ately as­so­ci­ated with the likes of Ed­die Pere­g­rina, Vilma San­tos, Marco Si­son, and even Nora Aunor. His clas­sics like ‘My Pledge of Love’, ‘Sweet Six­teen’, ‘Hindi Na Ako Iiyak,’ and ‘Ikaw Ang Tangi Kong Ma­hal’ will cer­tainly guar­an­tee a trip down OPMmem­ory lane.

Hicban, Pablo C.

(Pablo Ver­gara)

Born June 26, 1938

Mem­ber since

June 1, 1987

Hit Songs: Bakit Ako Mahi­hiya by Didith Reyes, Bakit Ikaw Pa by Geral­dine

His name may not be as pop­u­larly known to many but Pablo Ver­gara is one of the coun­try’s most tal­ented and most pro­lific mu­si­cal per­son­al­i­ties. He has com­posed and writ­ten more than 200 songs in­clud­ing “Bakit Ako Mahi­hiya?” (Didith Reyes), “Ma­hal, Saan Ka Nang­gal­ing Kagabi?” (Imelda Papin); Bakit Ikaw Pa? (Geral­dine), “Babae, Ugat ng Pagkakasal­a” (An­thony Castelo,) and “I’ll Never Let You Go” (Marco Si­son). Aside from com­pos­ing songs, he has done a lot of other work in var­i­ous ar­eas or mu­sic such as scor­ing more than 100 Filipino films, and record­ing more than 70 long-play­ing al­bums. He was also the mu­si­cal di­rec­tor of singing tal­ents such as the Rey­card Duet, Mani­lyn Reynes, and Ed­die Mesa. The breadth of work he has pro­duced is not sur­pris­ing for one who learned play­ing the gui­tar at the age of four and be­gan his mu­si­cal ca­reer at the age of 18. He also sat as a mu­si­cal di­rec­tor for DYNA Record­ing com­pany as well as worked for other record­ing com­pa­nies like BMG, Univer­sal Records, Al­pha, Viva, Vi­cor, and Syn­ergy. He is still very much ac­tive in the mu­sic in­dus­try to­day, serv­ing as the present Vice Pres­i­dent of the United Film Mu­si­cal Direc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (UFIM­DAP) and Pres­i­dent of the Pilipino Mu­si­cal Direc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion Inc.

De la Peña, Ernesto

J. (Ernie de la Peña)

Born Oc­to­ber 26,


Mem­ber since

Jan­uary 21, 1975

Hit songs: Lupa, May Bukas Pa, Ka­palaran by Rico J Puno and Magsayawan by VST

Ernie dela Peña has com­posed a num­ber of Filipino playlist sta­ples such as “May Bukas Pa” and “Ka­palaran,” pop­u­lar­ized by Rico J. Puno, “Araw-araw, Gabi-gabi” sung by Didith Reyes, and “Lupa” which won 2nd prize in the 2nd Metro Manila Pop­u­lar Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in 1979. He also com­posed VST’s “Tayo’y Magsayawan”, a song that no Filipino party, then and now, here and any­where else in the world, is com­plete with­out.


Odella­va­nia L.

(Odette Que­sada)

Born Jan­uary 13,


Mem­ber since April

27, 1988

Hit songs: Till I Met You by Kuh Ledesma, Farewell and I Need You Back by Ray­mund Lauchenco, Grow­ing Up by Gary V

Odette Que­sada was only 17 when she started tak­ing over the mu­sic scene in the 1980s by win­ning the Metro Manila Pop Mu­sic Fes­ti­val con­sec­u­tively for two years, in 1982 with the song “Give Me a Chance” per­formed by Ric Se­greto win­ning sec­ond place and fi­nally bag­ging first place in 1983 with “Til I Met You” per­formed by Kuh Ledesma. She made more hits af­ter that: “I Need You Back,” “Don‘t Know What To Do, Don‘t Know What To Say”, “Farewell,” “Grow­ing Up” sung by Gary Va­len­ciano, and “To Love Again” sung by Sharon Cuneta. From com­pos­ing songs for other artists, she moved on to singing her own mu­sic with songs like “Friend of Mine”, “You’re My Home”, “Dito Lang” and “Wala Nang Nasa Isip.” Not only did Odette take over the air­waves with her songs, her mu­sic also be­came pop­u­lar with, and in turn ef­fec­tively pop­u­lar­iz­ing, such brands as Mag­no­lia Cho­co­lait, McDon­alds, Tide Deter­gent and John­son’s baby prod­ucts with the jin­gles she cre­ated.

Ino­centes, Ce­cile A.

(Ce­cile Azarcon)

Born Novem­ber 15, 1959

Mem­ber since April 20,


Hit songs: Ikaw ang La­hat Sa Akin, Even If, How Did You Know, I Think I’m In Love

Ce­cile Azarcon Ino­centes started in the mu­sic in­dus­try at barely 20 years old, af­ter Basil Valdez asked if he could record the song “Lift Up Your Hands” which she sang with pi­ano ac­com­pa­ni­ment af­ter a re­hearsal. Since then, she’s cre­ated a num­ber of Most Re­quested Hits (MRH) like “Ikaw ang La­hat Sa Akin” by Martin Niev­era, “Even If” by Lea Sa­longa, “How Did You Know” Gary Va­len­ciano, and “I think I’m in Love” by Kuh Ledesma. Ce­cile is now based in Cal­i­for­nia and just late last year, a CD en­ti­tled Sounds of Manila Sings Ce­cile Azarcon was re­leased to mark her 35th year in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

Va­len­ciano, Edgardo Jose

Martin S. (Gary Va­len­ciano)

Born Au­gust 6, 1964

Mem­ber since Jan­uary 22,


Hit songs: Di Bale Na Lang, Could You be Mes­siah, Eto na Na­man, Nar­ito, Muli, Sa Yah­weh, Sana Maulit Muli, Shake It Off, Shout For Joy, Take Me Out of the Dark

Un­de­ni­ably one of the most pro­lific, wellawarde­d, and greatly ad­mired fig­ures in the mu­sic in­dus­try is Edgardo José Martín San­ti­ago Va­len­ciano, more known to the Filipino pub­lic as Gary Va­len­ciano and fondly re­ferred to as Mr. Pure En­ergy. In the three decades of his mu­sic ca­reer, Gary has re­leased 26 al­bums, many of which have been awarded var­i­ous multi-Plat­inum al­bum recog­ni­tions, and he has also been named “Best Male Per­former” eleven times. A lot of his songs are known to in­spire many in dif­fer­ent pos­i­tive ways, suc­cess­fully un­der­scor­ing mes­sages of faith in tracks that eas­ily gain main­stream pop­u­lar­ity. Tracks like “Shout For Joy,” “Sa Yah­weh, “Take Me Out of the Dark” are a few of those that def­i­nitely in­fects one with en­ergy, both to the body and to the soul. Gary works hard not just for mu­sic but also for causes be­yond his craft, be­ing named UNICEF Philip­pines first Na­tional Am­bas­sador in 1998.

Aguilar, Fer­di­nand P.

(Fred­die Aguilar)

Born Fe­bru­ary 5, 1953

Hit Songs: Anak, Mag­dalena, Es­tudyante Blues, Min­danao

He was a stu­dent of Elec­tri­cal Engi­neer­ing be­fore he dropped out to pur­sue mu­sic at the age of 18. He had a rough start as a street mu­si­cian but even­tu­ally moved on to play in folk clubs and bars. This ex­pe­ri­ence sep­a­rated him from his fam­ily and in­spired him to write what was go­ing to be­come one of OPM’s most im­por­tant an­thems, the song “Anak”. Fred­die Aguilar’s mu­sic is one that is very Filipino in sound, in theme, and in mes­sage. With songs like “Mag­dalena,” “Es­tudyante Blues,” “Min­danao,” “Luzvi­minda,” and “Ipaglal­a­ban Ko,” Aguilar and the sounds of his gui­tar is able to delve into the ex­pe­ri­ence of the Filipino peo­ple, the strug­gles of each in­di­vid­ual and the strug­gle of a na­tion through time.

Granada, Gary

Born April 4, 1960

Hit Songs: Sarang­gola sa Ulan, Upuan, Tagum­pay Nat­ing La­hat, Ka­pag Nananalo ang Gine­bra, Ka­pag Natat­alo ang Gine­bra

Gary Granada came from very hum­ble be­gin­nings, work­ing odd jobs to help his par­ents sup­port their fam­ily. It was his fa­ther who urged him to learn the ukulele, the gui­tar, and sing Visayan kundi­mans. From then on, he con­tin­ued to play mu­sic un­til he started mak­ing his own. He has com­posed and writ­ten over 200 songs that eas­ily ap­peal to the Filipino sen­si­bil­ity with his catchy tunes, re­lat­able lyrics, and hu­mor­ous in­ter­jec­tions. His mu­sic ac­tu­ally ex­plores many very rel­e­vant themes, mak­ing hard-hit­ting com­men­taries on the cur­rent so­cial mi­lieu (“Ba­hay,” “Earth­keeper,” “Philip­pines 2000,” “Ero­planong Papel”) Granada also gained pop­u­lar­ity be­cause of the songs he has writ­ten about the pop­u­lar bas­ket­ball team Gine­bra (“Ka­pag Nananalo ang Gine­bra,” “Ka­pag Natat­alo Ang Gine­bra”). What could ar­guably but most fit­tingly be one of his best songs is “Sala­mat, Sala­mat Musika” which speaks of the power of mu­sic in bring­ing joy and won­der into life.

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