Ely Buendia urges people, companies behind ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ plagiarism issue to ‘make this right’

/ 12:53 PM August 06, 2020
Ely Buendia

Ely Buendia (Image: Instagram/@elybumbilya)

OPM icon Ely Buendia appealed to the “people, companies and corporations” involved in the “Ang Huling El Bimbo” musical plagiarism issue to set things straight as their actions “will set a precedent and have repercussions in the years to come.”

“You alone have the power to make this right. You have the power to teach a young man and all the young people out there about to join the world, our children, a most valuable lesson that can have no other effect except make them good and become better,” Buendia said on Facebook yesterday, Aug. 5.


Prior to Buendia’s statement, CJ Villavicencio, winner of the online talent contest “The Pop Stage,” issued a public apology after being accused of plagiarizing concept and musical arrangement from the said musical.


I am appealing to the people, companies and corporations involved in the AHEB plagiarism issue. You alone have the power…

Posted by Ely Buendia on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

“You have the power to stand up for and give back to the art which has been a source of life for all of us,” Buendia noted. “You have the power to set an example and for once do the right thing, and become a beacon of hope in these dark times ruled by greed, hate and lies.”

“Yes there are even more pressing matters out there, but in the end this will not just be about a song, a contract, a million pesos, or credit,” he added.

Without specifically naming anyone, Buendia asked those behind the contest: “On which side of history do you want to be on? Search your hearts for the truth and it will set you free.”

CJ Villavicencio

Image: Facebook/@cjvillavicencio03

For winning “The Pop Stage,” Villavicencio is entitled to P1 million in cash and a one-year contract with Viva Artists Agency. He performed a medley of Eraserheads songs for the grand finals.

The panel of judges included Matteo Guidicelli, Lani Misalucha, Jed Madela, Ritz Beltran and a representative from fastfood chain Popeyes, which sponsored the talent contest.


Villavicencio’s performance earned wide criticism online, including those from Buendia and Myke Salomon, who arranged “Pare Ko” for the “Ang Huling El Bimbo” musical.

Salomon alleged that Villavicencio “ripped-off” the musical arrangements of the musical without permission, pointing out that among the criteria for judging in the said contest was originality.

Theater actor Stephen Viñas and composer-dancer Jef Flores have, meanwhile, posted videos on Facebook pointing out the similarities between Villavicencio’s production and that of the musical.

Ang Huling El Bimbo musical

The cast of “Ang Huling El Bimbo” the musical in its 2019 staging. Image: Facebook/aheb2019run

Villavicencio in his now-deleted apology on Facebook, meanwhile, stressed that “there was no intention whatsoever on my part to plagiarize,” and apologized if he “hurt the theater community.”

After the judges were called on by netizens to take action on the issue, Misalucha tweeted on Aug. 4 that “the team is doing something about it.”  /ra


Plagiarism? Ely Buendia, Myke Salomon allege ‘Pop Stage’ winner ‘ripped-off’ ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ musical

‘Pop Stage’ winner says ‘no intention’ to plagiarize ‘Ang Huling El Bimbo’ musical

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TAGS: Ang Huling El Bimbo, CJ Villavicencio, Ely Buendia, Eraserheads, Musicals, plagiarism
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