WATCH: Ryan Cayabyab corrects biggest misconception about him
Jan Milo Severo ( - August 21, 2019 - 10:41am

MANILA, Philippines — Just like other successful stories in the entertainment industry, National Artist Ryan Cayabyab’s journey to where he is now is not a walk in the park. 

In a recent interview with, the composer who is also fondly called "Mr. C" tracked back his journey to stardom that made him a better person. 

“I'm not sure if people think that I got it so easily. I think the story is the same with most people who succeed. Most of us really pass through a certain phase in life that made us very hungry to achieve something,” Cayabyab said.  

“But in my case, my mother died, my father was a single parent and he worked in the government so I could see that we're not well-off and I could see that if I help my father earlier on siguro it will alleviate the needs of the family,” he added. 

The death of his mother made him realize the struggles of life, but it also fueled him to strive for greatness. He worked after high school as a pianist to help his family. 

“As early as in the elementary school, I could feel that we needed more funds, so high school pa lang iniisip ko na what work can I do so I can help my family to have a better life. Eventually after high school, my first job is being a pianist of a choir,” he said.  

“Why I'm telling this story? This hunger to help alleviate your situation is a very important force that you would want to try. Kasi otherwise, if your life is easy or already there is something in your table, you won't try harder. Actually, we worked so hard because we want our lives to be better. I guess in mine, it came in a very early age,” he added.  

Seeing things in a different perspective, Cayabyab said the death of his mother was a “gift” because it made him work hard. 

“When people say, 'Kawawa ka naman namatay ang nanay mo, you didn’t grow up with a mother,' I think it became a gift if you asked me. It became a gift for me to realize that very early in life that kailangan mapuno 'yong absence na 'yon by this, maybe by working, by trying to have a goal in life that you will try to reach,” Cayabyab said. 

“Even now, I say I worked very hard but I enjoyed it. That's another secret. I think you won't feel it like work when it is something that you really wanted to do,” he added. 

“MaestroRy: A Tribute to Ryan Cayabyab” will be held at the Theatre at Solaire on August 31. This one-night-only concert will interweave through storytelling and song, the life, the music and the legacy of arguably the most celebrated Filipino composer-artist, living legend, Maestro Ryan Cayabyab. 

Fusing together stellar performances by the best of Philippine music to honor Mr. C’s 50 years in the industry - from OPM Icons such as Kuh Ledesma, Basil Valdes, Cocoy Laurel and Celeste Legaspi with contemporary hit makers Morisette, Nicole Asensio, Thyro, Bleu Rascals, Auto Telic, Urban Dub and IV of Spades, to treat listeners to special renditions of various Mr. C classic compositions such as “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika," “Paraiso,” and “Tuwing Umuulan.”

There will also be a premium showcase by original members of Smokey Mountain and by the children of Mr. C, Krina Cayabyab with her singing group BaiHana and Toma Cayabyab with his band Debonair District. 

"MaestroRy" will be hosted by multi-talented performer Jon Santos and directed by Paolo Valenciano, with musical direction by Mel Villena and with the special participation of Mr. C himself.

The concert is a major fundraiser for the high school Silver Jubilarians of St. Scholastica’s College (SSC) Manila. Proceeds will support SSC Manila HS 95, Inc.'s Homecoming and charitable efforts including various programs being run for and by the Benedictine sisters. 

"We are grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with the industry's finest to honor a National Artist for Music and newly-minted Ramon Magsaysay awardee," said Garlic Garcia, speaking on behalf of SSC Manila HS ’95.  

Out of kinship and friendship with Mr. C, Audie Gemora and Gina Godinez of Solaire, Twinky Lagdameo, Jay Block of Outbound Asia, Nicole Asensio and SSC High School Manila 95’s very own, Garlic Garcia, came together with the Scholastican batch to celebrate the music of the Maestro with a truly unique cast. Never before has such a diverse group of performers collaborated to celebrate the music of one.  It will truly be a night to remember as generations of music lovers come together to honor the music of the one and only, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab.

Tickets for “MaestroRy” are now available at Ticketworld outlets and are priced from P1,680 (Silver) to P11,200 (VVIP inclusive of cocktails).

MaestroRy: A Tribute to Ryan Cayabyab” is presented by Solaire and St. Scholastica’s College Manila High School 1995; and brought to you by Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation.

For media or sponsorship inquiries, please contact Jill Elicano-Tan, or 0917-8565455. — Video by Erwin Cagadas Jr.

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