Ryan Cayabyab www.rmaward.asia

For “nurturing the gift and unifying power of music,” singer and composer Ryan Cayabyab is set to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the accolade often compared with the Nobel Prize.

Cayabyab, who rose to national prominence in the late 1970s with his signature composition “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika” (How Beautiful is Our Music), was particularly cited for mentoring other musical artists that have defined Filipino pop music.

“In electing Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab to receive the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognizes his compositions and performances that have defined and inspired Filipino popular music across generations; his indomitable, undeterred confidence to selflessly seek, mentor and promote young Filipino musical genius for the global stage; and his showing us all that music can indeed instill pride and joy, and unify people across the many barriers that divide them,” Cayabyab’s citation reads.

Cayabyab’s prolific work spans film, television, theater and even sacred music, meriting him the National Artist award last year.

Cayabyab will receive the award in presentation ceremonies on Sept. 9 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, together with four other Asian lifetime achievers.

The other Magsaysay awardees are journalist Ko Swe Win of Myanmar, for “building the quality and force of media’s truth-telling”; human rights advocate Angkhana Neelapaijit of Thailand, for “championing justice, case after painful case”; broadcaster Ravish Kumar for “harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless”; and anti-youth violence campaigner Kim Jong-ki of South Korea, for “stemming the destructive tide of youth violence.” (PressONE.ph)