National Artist Ryan Cayabyab’s eclectic, remarkable music as performed in Kapamilya shows

In his almost five stellar decades in the entertainment industry, it’s truly undisputable that the “Maestro” Mr. Ryan Cayabyab is indeed one of the most successful and most prolific musicians in the country.

During that span, he was able to rake in innumerable recognitions and accolades from various award-giving bodies. He also showcased his musical prowess through the shows he got featured in here in the Philippines and abroad and embarked on command performances for some of the most powerful monarchs and heads of state in the world. Best of all, he added life to OPM and local media as a whole through the music and songs he composed.

Thus, we’re all delighted when it was announced that he is one of the seven recipients of the Order of National Artist this year, the highest national recognition awarded to Filipinos who made significant and formidable contributions to the development of Philippine Arts.

The revered accompanist, music director, composer, and conductor received the National Artist for Music title, honoring his works that range from theater musicals and choral and orchestral pieces to commercial recordings of popular music, film score, and television specials.

Unbeknownst to us, he was the one who composed and rearranged the classical version of the jingle used by ABS-CBN as its station ID and the score of the opening and closing billboards of TV Patrol and ANC’s The World Tonight.

Apart from that, his award-winning weekly late night musical show Ryan Ryan Musikahan was also aired by the network from 1988 to 1995. After more than a decade, he once again had a regular television stint on ABS-CBN when he was tapped to be the headmaster of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 in 2008.

As we join Mr. C in celebrating another terrific milestone in his life, we compiled a few of the songs he wrote and composed that truly endeared us through the years.


This is undeniably one of the popular love songs on the airwaves from the very first-time Smokey Mountain, the group he formed in the early 1990s, recorded it up to the present that many renditions of it were made. It was also chosen as the theme song of the 2018 blockbuster flick “It Takes A Man and A Woman,” performed by its lead actress Sarah Geronimo.

“Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika”

As ASAP paid tribute to the music of the “Maestro”, some of the Philippines’ most talented singers, spearheaded by Gary Valenciano, graced the stage to sing a few of his hits and closing the number by belting out the empowering “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika”.

This song was first recorded by Hajji Alejandro and won grand prize in the first Metro Manila Popular Music Festival in 1978.

“Iduyan Mo”

A lot of OPM singers did their take on this enchanting Basil Valdez-Ryan Cayabyab collaboration, such as Morissette who performed it during one of her shows at the Music Museum.

“Tunay Na Ligaya”

Another original hit by Basil, this song was also revived a number of times, just like actor-dancer Enrique Gil whose version was included in his 2013 album King of the Gil. He had the chance to sing it with his loveteam partner Liza Soberano in one of their production numbers together in ASAP.


Far from the songs of love he composed, this Smokey Mountain hit is a creative depiction of how does it feel like to live in a dumpsite and how people residing there yearns for the compassion and respect of those who don’t live their plight.

In 2013, the Top 8 artists of The Voice Philippines performed this moving song together with the Payatas Kids Choir.

Limang Dipang Tao

Another song that deviated from his repertoire of mellow love tracks, various artists also let us hear their own takes to this upbeat tune narrating a woman’s amusing misadventure. Some of them were Celeste Legaspi, Lea Salonga, and Barbie Almalbis’ band Barbie’s Cradle.

In 2016, female singers Emmanuelle Vera, Klarisse de Guzman, and Liezel Garcia, or collectively known as “O Diva”, one of groups of the reality music competition We Love OPM: The Celebrity Sing-offs, chose this as their piece for the grand finale.

“Araw Gabi”

Written by the 64-year-old esteemed musician for his wife’s last birthday before they got married, this 33-year-old song suddenly become one of the anthems of people who are struck by love. It was originally sang by Nonoy Zuniga, but it was Regine Velasquez’s mesmerizing version that catapulted it to the immense popularity it has achieved through the years.

Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo commenced the ‘love month’ in 2013 as she sweetly sang this on her weekly musical program Sarah G Live.

“Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka”

Another song he originally composed for Basil, the Asia’s Songbird once again made her own remarkable rendition of a Ryan Cayabyab masterpiece as she included this on her 2000 record Regine Live: Songbird Sings the Classics. A year after, Eraserheads injected a refreshing and modern take on this when they recorded it as a part of their second compilation album Eraserheads: The Singles.

In 2015, crooner Jason Dy performed this live during his guesting on Kris TV.

“Nais Ko”

Clad in different traditional attires representing Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, We Love OPM Grand Winner “Tres Kantos”, comprised by Jovit Baldivino, Bugoy Drilon, and Tawag ng Tanghalan alumnus Dominador Alviola Jr. wowed the madlang people with their winning rendition of this Basil Valdez classic on It’s Showtime stage in 2016.

“Can This Be Love”

Definitely one of the most popular lovesongs composed by the great Maestro, this was popularized by Smokey Mountain in 1991 and was revived by Sarah Geronimo in 2005 as the theme song of the blockbuster movie with the same title top-billed by Sandara Park and Hero Angeles.

“Better World”

The Voice Kids Philippines coaches Bamboo Mañalac, Sharon Cuneta, and Lea Salonga commenced the third season of the reality singing competition in 2016 by performing their powerful version of this another Smokey Mountain original.

Congratulations on your new recognition, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab!