Willy Cruz: Portrait of a genius as a child prodigy
Who knew that composer Willy Cruz appeared in an LVN comedy movie when he was a kid? The budding musician had a cameo in Manuel Silos’ “Kuwentong Bahay-Bahayan” in 1953. Only 6 years old then, Cruz played the piano in the film, which starred children in adult roles, pre-dating Alan Parker’s 1976 kiddie gangster flick, “Bugsy Malone,” by over two decades.
According to filmmaker Mike de Leon, Cruz was the grandson of Gumercindo or Mang Sindoy, younger brother of LVN matriarch (and De Leon’s grandmother) Doña Sisang or Narcisa B. de Leon. The acclaimed director recalls: “In the movie, when one of the kids asked who the young pianist was, the reply was ‘Apo ni Mang Sindoy!’”
Cruz later composed the score and theme song (recorded by Nonoy Zuñiga) of De Leon’s 1985 drama film, “Hindi Nahahati ang Langit.” Cruz passed away last Monday after suffering a stroke.—BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR.
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