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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 18, 2015

Future National Artist Ryan Cayabyab Announces The Impressive 12 Finalist Songs In This Year's Philippine Popular Music Festival (Philpop)

FUTURE NATIONAL ARTIST Ryan Cayabyab is very proud of this year’s finalists in the 3rd Philippine Popular Music Festival (Philpop) where he’s the executive director. He has reason to be proud as we’ve listened to all the 12 entries and they’re all impressive. The judges will have a hard time choosing the winner as they’re all exceptionally good.

“We got a total of 2,500 entries from Filipino songwriters all over the world,” says Mr. C. “We then trimmed it to 1,000, then 100, then to the final 12. Napansin ko, the judges, ayaw na nila ng style heard last year at gusto nila, ng iba, ng bago naman. So far, sa songs na nasali sa Philpop, we already had 50 million hits sa internet so alam mo kung aling mga kanta talaga ang pumapalo sa listeners. Ang maganda sa Philpop, we just don’t stop with the contest. We go around the country with our young composers conducting songwriting workshops. So far, we’ve been to Baguio, Naga, Bulacan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, GenSan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and the reception is really good. Ang dami talagang kabataang magaling mag-compose. And it’s so exciting that after we partnered with Ivory and Universal Records before, this year, our partner is Viva Records. This is a homecoming for me because I used to be the musical director of one of their artists then, the Ambivalent Crowd. My song ‘Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika’, the first Metropop winner, was also first released by Boss Vic del Rosario in 1978 under Vicor’s Blackgold label.”

Viva’s VP for Corporate Media Baby Gil says: “We’re very excited about our partnership with Philpop because even if Viva is involved in other entertainment media like film and TV, our main thrust has always been music. We will help the finalist songwriters in choosing the interpreters and producing their songs, including their music videos.”

The 12 finalist songs are: “Triangulo” by Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana, who are a real life couple writing commercial jingles. They won the grand prize in the first Philpop with their song “Dati”. “Triangulo” is about a love triangle that plays on the words “try ang gulo”.

“Tanging Pag-asa Ko” by Paul Armesin, a mechanical engineer whose entry in the 1st Philpop, “Segundo” won the People’s Choice Award. “Tanging Pag-Asa Ko” is an inspirational gospel song.

“Apat na Buwang Pasko” by Gino Gonzalez Cruz and Jeff Arcila, both commercial jingle composers and seasoned arrangers. The song is actually a protest against the country’s overlong celebration of the holiday season. “September pa lang, naririnig mo na kasi ang Christmas carols,” says Gino.

“Musikaw” by Melchor Magno Jr. When the other composers were asked which song do they think is their toughest competitor, most of them chose “Musikaw”. Melchor is the youngest composer at 20. It’s the first try of this Laguna-based marketing student to join Philpop and he shows great promise. The song is clever, catchy, very fresh and we told him to get James Reid of Viva to interpret his song for him.

“Walang Hanggan” by Ramiro Mataro, another very young composer who’s taking up computer programming but decided to pursue his passion for music. His techno-pop song incorporates jazz, alternative and R&B.

“Edge of the World” by Johannes Daniel Garcia, a 31-year old teacher who’s a Japanese and Korean pop music fan. His electronic dance music song is a high energy tune about nature and travelling to escape one’s mundane life.

“Paratingin Mo Naman Siya” by Davey Langit who was also a finalist last year with his song “NGSB (No Girlfriend Since Break)”. A radio jock at Pinas 95.5FM who’s also a much in demand wedding singer, he got the idea for his song in the weddings he has attended. It’s a plea to God to send him the woman of his dreams, being a hopeless romantic.

“Nasaan” by Lara Maigue, whose career got a great boost when her song “Sa’yo na Lang Ako” made it to the top 5 in the 1st Philpop. TV5 got her as a singer- actress in “Trenderas” and she’s now managed by Ogie Alcasid’s A Team, along with Davey Langit. Most of the finalists are upbeat tunes but her “Nasaan” is about losing someone close to her heart. She herself wants to interpret her piano-based ballad but we think it will get a great boost if they’d be able to convince Viva’s Sarah Geronimo to interpret it for her.

“For the Rest of My Life” by Ned Esguerra, a bass player for Side A Band. His grandparents are both members of the Philippine Philharmonic and his dad is with UP Madrigal Singers. His song is a sweet ballad influenced by Michael Buble.

“Sa Ibang Mundo” by Mark Villar, a 30-year old amateur composer who has joined Philpop before but it’s only this year that he made it to the finals. His entry starts as a bluesy Tagalog love song that slowly transforms into an upbeat dance number.

“I Owe You My Heart” by Melvin Joseph Morallos, conductor of the St. Louis University Orchestra in Baguio. He’s been submitting entries in past Philpop contests, along with his wife, but it’s only this year that he made it to the finals. He says his song is actually a collaboration with his wife and their baby.

“Kilig” by Soc Villanueva, a veteran composer who has joined Philpop last year with his song “Babalikan Mo Rin Ako”. Now based in Australia, “Kilig” has clever lyrics that equate certain food items to “kilig” factors in romance. He says he’ll keep on joining Philpop until he wins the grand prize.

The Philpop grand finals will be held on July 25, with a top prize of P1 million, presented by Smart & Spinnr, Meralco, Maynila and PLDT Home.