Here we have more traditional folk songs given the Jazz Funk treatment this time by Ryan Cayabyab.
Born Raymundo Cayabyab in 1954 in Santa Cruz, Manila, he suffered the death of his mother, Celerina Venson Pujante (she died of cancer at the age of 43), when he was 6 years old. His father, Alberto Austria Cayabyab, who was an ordinary government employee, struggled to support him and his three siblings. An opera singer and a college professor at the UP School of Music (to whom he considered her as his first piano teacher), his mother’s dying wish was that none of the children pursue a music career, as she knew how hard life it was, with often low earnings. At the age of 4, Cayabyab began his musical education with piano lessons.
Cayabyab initially took up Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Looking for work to support his studies, he landed with then-Senator Salvador Laurel as accompanist for the Chorale Ensemble of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Noticing Cayabyab’s exceptional talent on playing the piano, Laurel offered Cayabyab a scholarship to enable him to pursue an education in music.
Cayabyab graduated from the UP College of Music earning a Bachelor of Music, Major in Theory degree. Eventually, he became a full-time professor for the Department of Composition and Music Theory in the UP Diliman for almost two decades.
At the turn of the 21st century, Cayabyab was considering a move to migrate abroad with his family. Danding Cojuangco (President of the San Miguel Corporation) offered him a position to produce and perform new music to add to the Philippine music scene; Cayabyab accepted the offer as Executive and Artistic Director of the San Miguel Foundation for the Performing Arts. He served there for several years until the sudden closure of the foundation. He is still heavily involved in the music business till this day.