Willy Cruz, writer of hit OPM classics, dies
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Wilfredo "Willy" Buencamino Cruz, the songwriter who has written many popular Filipino songs – including hits such as "Bituing Walang Ningning," "Kahit Na," and "Sana'y Wala ng Wakas" – died at the age of 70 on Monday, April 17.
In a text message to Rappler, Willy's niece Cheska Africa confirmed that her uncle died due to heart failure from kidney problem at St. Luke's Medical Center, Quezon City.
News of his death was made public after a number of artists took to social media to express their condolence to the family.
Nonoy Gallardo, husband of singer Celeste Legaspi, was among the first ones to announce the sad news.
"Our dear friend Willi Cruz is now in eternal peace. Please say a prayer for him," he wrote on Facebook.
Sharon Cuneta posted a healtfelt message to the man who wrote some of the songs she performed and even quoted lines from it.
"My Willy Cruz, my Willy has left me.
"My dearest, I have no words. Only tears and gratitude and love. What kills me is you didn't have to go this soon. I will love you forever," she said.
Lea Salonga tweeted: "Rest in God's loving arms, Willy Cruz. You have left such a legacy of amazing music to remember you by."
Rest in God's loving arms, Willy Cruz. You have left such a legacy of amazing music to remember you by.— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) April 17, 2017
Singer-songwriter Jim Paredes posted: "My friend and mentor Willy Cruz passed away at 1AM this morning. Such sad news. May you have peace in God's loving arms."
My friend and mentor Willy Cruz passed away at 1AM this morning. Such sad news. May you have peace in God's loving arms.— Jim (@Jimparedes) April 17, 2017
Ogie Alcasid posted: "RIP Mr. Willy Cruz. Thank you for the wonderful music that you have created for the Filipinos."
RIP Mr. Willy Cruz. Ty for the wonderful music that you have created for the Filipinos.— ogie alcasid (@ogiealcasid) April 17, 2017
Songwriter Jungee Marcelo posted on Facebook: "One of my songwriting heroes, paalam (goodbye) Maestro Willy Cruz. Thanks for being a major inspiration sir, so glad to have interviewed you in the past, andami ko pong natutunan, tunay na henyo, saludo po. (I've learned so much, you are truly a genius. Salute.)
"I've been a solid songwriting fan of sir Willy's masterpieces since the '80s, exquisite songwriting, perfect marriage of music and lyrics."
Singers Jed Madela and Tim Pavino also praised Willy.
"RIP Willy Cruz... I may have not met you or worked with you but your songs were part of our lives," Jed tweeted.
RIP Willy Cruz... I may have not met you or worked with you but your songs were part of our lives.— Jed Madela (@jedmadela) April 17, 2017
"RIP to one of OPM's legendary composers, Sir Willy Cruz," Tim said.
RIP to one of OPM's legendary composers, Sir Willy Cruz. :(— Tim Pavino (@TimPavino) April 17, 2017
Considered as one of the Philippines' top songwriters, Cruz has worked with a number of top artists such as Sharon Cuneta, Nonoy Zuñiga, Pilita Corrales, and more. He is also a composer, and has arranged or written scores for countless movies and advertisements in his decades-long career.
In 2016, Willy was honored for his contribution to music at Eastwood's Walk of Fame and was given his own star.