Filipino singer-songwriter and cancer survivor Zion Aquino dies

Keiko Necesario, Moira Dela Torre and more artists have paid tribute

Filipino singer-songwriter Zion Aquino has died. He was 42 years old.

The musician’s passing last Thursday (May 20) was confirmed on Facebook by his management company Cornerstone Entertainment.

“After lionheartedly dueling with cancer for years, Zion peacefully rests in the arms of our Lord today, May 20, 2021,” the post read. “To family, friends, and supporters of Zion, we extend our deepest and sincerest condolences. May our Lord bring you peace and comfort in this difficult time. Prayers from all of us at Cornerstone Entertainment.”

It is with profound pain that we extend our heavy hearts to the passing of the music maverick Zion Aquino @…

Posted by Cornerstone Entertainment Inc. on Thursday, May 20, 2021

Aquino had been fighting cancer for nearly a decade, having competed – and won – a singing contest in 2012 while carrying a colostomy bag on stage, part of his treatment for stage 3B colon cancer. In 2014, he was selected as a participant in the prestigious Elements Songwriting Camp.

Aquino’s cancer recurred in 2016 and progressed to stage 4, and a Billboard Philippines story published in 2017 said he was in remission. In 2019, he reportedly entered his third fight with the disease. That same year, he released the EP ‘Bagong Yugto’.

In December 2020, Aquino shared a video on Facebook in which he said he had been “in and out of the hospital for two weeks”, during which he lost 10 pounds. In the caption, he wrote, “It’s devastating to fight cancer 5x. But how can I if I got the entire Universe rooting for me to win over it”.

On May 9, the musician – real name Eros Aquino – had posted from his Instagram account an appeal for donations for his hospital bills and cancer treatments, hoping to raise PHP250,000 in two days.

Several Filipino artists, including Keiko Necesario, Moira Dela Torre, Francis Reyes of the Dawn and Yeng Constantino, have taken to social media to mourn Aquino. See their tributes below.

You fought a good fight, Z. Thanks for showing us what faith looked like. Now, run free in heaven.So thankful to have known you. Say hi to my Lola for me. We'll miss you.

Posted by Moira Dela Torre on Wednesday, May 19, 2021

You fought with every ounce of strength you could muster. But I suppose your incredible voice is needed in heaven's…

Posted by Francis Brew Reyes on Thursday, May 20, 2021