MANILA -- Singer Geneva Cruz took to social media to share her birthday message for her mentor, National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab.
He turned 67 last May 4.
Cruz is one of the members of the iconic '90s youth group Smokey Mountain, which was founded by Cayabyab.
On Instagram, Cruz posted snaps of her with Cayabyab, referring to him as her "Tatay" (father).
"Happy birthday to the man who discovered me and professionally trained me to become the performer I am today," Cruz wrote in the caption.
"To everyone, you are the National Artist of The Philippines for Music. But to us, your alagas, you'll always be our Tatay... our Tito Ryan! We love you so much! More blessings, vigor, and love!" she added.
In another post, Cruz shared a video of her 2020 reunion performance of Cayabyab's "Da Coconut Nut" with the National Artist and other members of Smokey Mountain.
Last year, in time for his 66th birthday, Cayabyab released a song that served as his gift to the nation as it continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Artist, who marked his 50th year in the industry last year, is best known for his classic OPM compositions like "Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika," "Kailan," "Tunay na Ligaya," "Iduyan Mo," and "Paraiso."
He is also behind the patriotic "O Bayan Ko."