The death of Tristan Jedidiah "Teejay" Cruz, the eldest son of Tirso Cruz III and Lyn Ynchausti, came as a shock to showbiz fans, even if he had been away from the limelight for almost two decades.
Those who lived through the '90s will remember him as part of the original cast of Ang TV in 1992.
He also costarred in the films Eskapo and Rollerboys, which were both released in 1995.
He decided to leave showbiz in 2003.
Teejay graduated with a degree in International Studies from De La Salle University.
After his famous father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014, the 37-year-old former actor became drawn to activities benefiting cancer patients.
An article published in WhenInManila.com recounted how an activity with cancer-stricken children at the pediatrics department of the St. Luke's Medical Center—where Teejay worked—moved him deeply.
This happened in 2015, and led to the birth of his passion project, "Spike For Hope," in 2016.
A volleyball enthusiast, Teejay organized seasonal volleyball tournaments for the benefit of Make-A-Wish Philippines, a non-profit wish-granting organization for children with critical illness.
He teamed up with his good friend Abi Arcangel (seated, rightmost), who lost her mom to breast cancer at a young age.
Spike For Hope held its fifth season early this year.
Teejay turned 37 on October 22.
His mother Lyn wrote this heartfelt note: "I am blessed to have given birth to this son of mine 37 years ago, October 22, 1981 at 8:41AM. I praise and thank God for you!
"I am a proud mother because you have a very good heart, a hardworking person, and so full of talent!
"I pray for good health and more blessings to come your way.
"May the good Lord continue to use you mightily and for His glory.
"Happy Happy Birthday Teej, and many, many more birthdays to come! I love you so much! And most of all, Jesus loves you!"
Almost a month later, TJ succumbed to lymphatic cancer.
According to CancerSupportCommunity.org, lymphatic cancer or Lymphoma "is a type of blood cancer that develops in the lymph nodes and tissues of the lymphatic system, an important part of the body's immune system."
This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.