Roberto Jose “Bert” Nievera, known for singing ballads including “Salamat sa Pag-ibig” (1996), passed away at the age of 81 on Tuesday, March 27.

News of his death was announced by his son, singer/actor Martin Nievera, in an Instagram post. Mr. Rivera died of multiple organ failure at the Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to a report by ABS-CBN.

“You gave me life, you gave me dreams, you gave me a haircut. I will never forget you Dad! I love you!” Martin Nievera said in an Instagram post, which included a photo of him and his father.

Mr. Nievera, called the “Timeless Balladeer,” broke into the industry in the late-50s and gained popularity in the ‘60s for songs like “Misty”, a Johnny Mathis original released in 1959.

File photo of Filipino balladeer Roberto Jose “Bert” Nievera taken in 1991. — BW ARCHIVES

He first gained attention after winning the search for the Johnny Mathis of the Philippines contest of the variety show, Student Canteen which aired from 1958-1990.

This same song, Mr. Nievera said in a 2001 interview with Ricky Lo for The Philippine Star, is what he considers the “song of his life.”

“The line in it that touches me the most is the last one… I’m too misty and too much in love,” he said in the interview. — Zsarlene B. Chua