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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Pulumbarit

Remembering National Artist and 'Inang Bayan' composer Ernani Cuenco

June 11 marks the 32nd death anniversary of Ernani Joson Cuenco, National Artist in Music.

Born in Malolos, Bulacan on May 10, 1936, Cuenco was a music teacher, musical director, composer, and film scorer.

According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Cuenco played with the Manila Symphony Orchestra (1960 to 1968) and the Manila Chamber Soloists (1966 to 1970).

Cuenco obtained his music degree in piano and cello from the University of Santo Tomas. For many years, he taught in his alma mater until he passed away in 1988.

Among his famous works are:

  • “Nahan, Kahit na Magtiis;”

  • “Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa;”

  • “Pilipinas;”

  • “Inang Bayan;”

  • “Isang Dalangin;”

  • “Kalesa;”

  • “Bato sa Buhangin,” and

  • “Gaano Kita Kamahal.

He was given the National Artist award posthumously in 1999.

The Philippine International Jazz Festival paid tribute to Cuenco on his 32nd death anniversary.

Cuenco is the father of actor and musician Jong Cuenco.

On Facebook, Jong paid tribute to his father on his death anniversary with a sax version of "Gaano Kita Kamahal."

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