Ryan Cayabyab has been named a Ramon Magsaysay Awards laureate in the 2019 edition of Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize.
Raymundo “Ryan” Pujante Cayabyab, the Philippines’ National Artist for Music, was announced on August 2 as one of the 5 recipients of Asia’s premier prize.
Ryan Cayabyab and 4 other awardees will be joining the elite list of 330 men and women leaders who have been awarded by the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF) in over 6 decades of its existence.
RMAF cites Ryan Cayabyab for “Nurturing the gift and unifying power of music.” He is being recognized for “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.”
The multi-awarded composer is known to be a pioneer for the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) movement to promote contemporary Filipino music. The University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music professor continues to be involved in various initiatives that inspire and promote thousands of singers and songwriters in the country.
RMAF quotes Ryan Cayabyab, a Filipino Pride Advocate: “The next generation should be better than us for our country to move forward. For this to happen we must teach them everything we know at every possible instance. I like teaching, I like sharing what I know, and I like playing music. When I’m doing all these, I’m very happy.”
The 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Awards laureates include Cayabyab and two journalists: Myanmar’s Ko Swe Win and India’s Ravish Kumar; and two rights workers: South Korea’s Kim Jong-ki and Thailand’s Angkhana Neelapaijit.
Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor that celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named. The award is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader. In 2018, RMAF named Filipino peace negotiator Howard Q. Dee as a laureate.
“The Magsaysay awardees of 2019,” says RMAF President Carmencita Abella, “all reflect courage undaunted, in their commitment to build solutions to vital and complex issues in their societies. Theirs is moral courage that is unfazed by repressive systems, or social divisions, or institutional resistance, or deep cultural prejudice, or even by the burdens of building the capacities of others.
“Embracing the challenges of their respective advocacies, these leaders take bold, creative, and empowering actions that engage others to do likewise. Perhaps the most powerful impact of their leadership can be seen in the heightened moral courage they have inspired among the many whose lives they have touched.”
She adds, “Their approaches are all deeply anchored on a respect for human dignity, and a faith in the power of collective endeavor. We draw much hope from the 2019 Magsaysay awardees, and have much to celebrate about their accomplishments and greatness of spirit.”
This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize. They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal Presentation Ceremonies to be held on September 9, 2019 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
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