PhilPop is more than just a songwriting competition | Inquirer Entertainment

PhilPop is more than just a songwriting competition

By: - Reporter
/ 12:27 AM March 07, 2016

TILT organizers, led by Ryan Cayabyab (front row, third from right) and Viva representative Baby Gil (standing, third from right), with finalists

TILT organizers, led by Ryan Cayabyab (front row, third from right) and Viva representative Baby Gil (standing, third from right), with finalists

THE ANNUAL PhilPop songwriting competition may guarantee an attractive P1-million cash prize for the winner, but money is just a secondary reason budding and seasoned composers alike join the tilt, which is now on its fifth edition.

For this year’s finalists, who were introduced at a recent press conference, the learning experience, exposure and the opportunity to meet other musicians with whom they could potentially collaborate, are more important than anything else the contest offers.


“There are still a lot of things about music I could learn. Sometimes you feel that you’re already good at what you do. Then, you meet the other finalists and realize that that isn’t the case,” said Johann Garcia, who wrote the entry, “Binibini sa MRT.” “It helps expand your network.”


“I see it as a journey toward gaining new knowledge and improving my songwriting skills,” added Paolo Guico, who came up with the song, “Tinatangi,” with his twin brother, Miguel.

Ramiru Mataro (“Kahon”), whose biggest goal is to have his compositions professionally arranged and recorded, pointed out that PhilPop helps young songwriters release music in different platforms. “This is a good way for us to be heard,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Karl Guarano (“Friday Night”) said that entering the competition is a good way to gauge one’s current skill level—and how he or she measures up against other artists. “It’s not just about the money,” he said. “The fact that I’m in the finals only means that I’m doing something good. ”

For other contestants, being in PhilPop inspires them to venture out of the box. “It challenges me to compose better songs and step out of my comfort zone,” pointed out Keiko Necesario (“Nobody But You”).

“I want to gain experience, improve my craft and show that I can do other things, too. I want to go beyond hip-hop,” said Aikee Aplacador, radio jock and rapper (“Pabili Po”).

Rounding up the 12 finalists are: JC Jose (“Stars Are Aligned”), Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola (“’Di Na Muli”), Jeroel Maranan (“Sintunado”), Soc Villanueva (“Lahat”), Joan Da (“Baliw sa Ex-Boyfriend Ko”) and Brian Cua and Mike Villegas (“Dumadagundong”).


The Top 12 songs were culled from over 2,000 submissions, from here and abroad, by a group of adjudicators composed of music artists and industry insiders, including Yumi Lacsamana, who won the competition in 2013 and 2015, with her boyfriend Thyro Alfaro.

“To ensure fairness, the songs were evaluated without revealing who their writers were,” Lacsamana, whose tandem with Alfaro is one of the most sought-after today, told the Inquirer. “We only knew who the composers are the same time as everyone else,” she stressed.

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As in previous editions, the 2016 roster features a mix of first-timers (Jose, Maranan, Da, the Guico twins, Aplacador, Guarano), past finalists (Villanueva, Mataro, Garcia, Necesario) and industry veterans (Cua and songwriting partner Villegas of The Rizal Underground, and Acolola and partner Nicolas of Itchyworms). Viva Entertainment will produce the finalists’ album. The finals night will be held on July 23 at Kia Theatre.

TAGS: Entertainment, Music, PhilPop

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