Asop not a competition for Gerald and Radha
Theater artist Gerald Santos never feels like he’s in a competition whenever he joins the annual A Song of Praise Music Festival (Asop) as an interpreter.
More than anything, he said, the experience is actually a respite of sorts from the pressures of everyday life.
“I love the theme of the contest because it keeps me grounded. It helps me take my mind off my hectic schedule. And every time I interpret songs in this contest—or sing praise songs, in general—I do feel comforted,” he told the Inquirer at a recent press conference for Asop’s eighth grand finals, which will be held tomorrow at the New Frontier Theater.
Gerald, who was part of the recent UK tour of “Miss Saigon” and the local staging of “Sweeney Todd,” will lend his voice to finalist Chris Givenchi Edejer’s entry, “Pupurihin Kita.”
“While I don’t consider myself as a very religious person, I’m spiritual. It’s always a pleasure to sing such kind of music because it makes me feel like God is always beside me; that He will always be there and never leave me. I’m able to connect with Him. It gives me good vibes,” he pointed out.
And for some reason, taking part in similarly themed projects seemingly leads to even more blessings, he observed.
“After doing ‘Pedro Calungsod: The Musical,’ the opportunity to join ‘Miss Saigon’ came,” related Gerald, who was also an interpreter in the contest’s first and third editions.
Like Gerald, former Kulay member and “The Voice” season 1 finalist Radha Cuadrado doesn’t see Asop as a competition.
“The intention of the festival is a noble one. It’s not about who can hit the highest note or pull off the best riff—it’s about the song’s message. Everybody’s a winner here,” said Radha, who will interpret “Ikaw ay Ikaw” by Vanduane Badua.
“It’s about the heart,” she added. “Whatever I’m singing, I make it a point to reach the listeners—whether it’s through the melody, lyrics or the way I deliver them.”
Radha grew up singing in church, she said, so performing worship songs isn’t new to her.
“But it’s still a different vibe. I love the fact the musical styles of the entries aren’t what you would usually expect. They’re written for the listeners of today,” she said.
“I have always loved soul and gospel music, too. And I naturally gravitated toward those, because of the heart and energy they give off,” Radha added.
The 10 other finalists at this year’s Asop, which airs on UNTV, are: “Oh Ama” (composed by Jhoter Jone Villan); “Alay Ko” (Pau Ortiz and Maddonna Rosas); “Don’t Give Up” (Cherry Labating); “Dios ang Katotohanan” (Darrell Joseph Villanueva); “You are Wonderful” (Franz Loren Bigcas); “Di Mabilang na Tala” (Carlo David); “God Has His Purpose (Lambert Reyes Jr. and Roman Cundangan); “Sagwan” (Aiza Narag); “Ako ay Tunay na Magtatagumpay” (Shaun Billones); and “Tahan Na” (Rinz Ruiz).
Asop’s Song of the Year awardee will take home P800,000 cash.
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