Renowned OPM composer Willy Cruz dies

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 17 2017 11:56 AM

MANILA – Prolific OPM songwriter Willy Cruz died early Easter Monday at the St. Luke's Hospital following a stroke last week. He was 70.

Cruz's sister, Magdalena "Bong" Africa, told ABS-CBN News that the composer expired after a week-long comatose condition at the hospital.

"Please remember Willy and his love for music and how he glorified God through his songs," said Africa.

Cruz left a rich legacy of songs which enriched OPM history. The list includes “Mahawi Man Ang Ulap,” “Pangarap Na Bituin,” “Kumusta Ka,” “Magandang Gabi,” “Kapag Puso’y Sinugatan,” “Sa Duyan Ng Pag-ibig,” “Init Sa Magdamag,” "Araw-araw, Gabi-gabi," "Doon Lang" and “Let The Pain Remain.”

A pianist, composer, arranger and musical director, Cruz is the grandson of the famous composer and musical director Francisco Buencamino and is cousin to renowned pianist Cecile Licad.

After his stint with the group Ambivalent Crowd where he worked with Celeste Legaspi, Cruz joined Vicor Music Corporation where he worked with Pilita Corrales, Nora Aunor, Cinderella and many other artists.

He also founded Jem Recording where he composed and produced songs for Hajji Alejandro ("May Minamahal"), Zsa Zsa Padilla ("Kahit Na") and Nonoy Zuñiga ("Never Ever Say Goodbye").

Cruz also did the soundtracks for “Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala,” “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas” and “Madrasta” where the Sharon Cuneta theme song "Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin" was also re-used for the teleserye "The Legal Wife.”

Cruz’s last public appearance was in December where he was given his own star at the Eastwood Walk of Fame. Prior to that, he also appeared on “ASAP” in July where he was given tribute for his contributions in the music industry.

The Cruz family has yet to finalize the details of the late composer’s wake and interment pending the arrival of some of their relatives from Europe.

Following the news of Cruz's death, several Filipino singers took to Twitter to express their grief over the renowned composer's passing.