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Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Newsletter: PhilPop Himig Handog Songwriting Festival announces top 12 finalists for main competition


PhilPop Himig Handog Songwriting Festival continues its commitment to empowering the future generation of music industry professionals and hitmakers through its sustainable, world-class mentorship program.

The collaborative project, which was produced and presented by songwriting institutions PhilPop and Himig Handog, kicked off with a Digicamp series that is carefully designed to develop the skillset of aspiring participants in the fields of songwriting, music arrangement and recording, branding, marketing, career development, and intellectual property.

After organizing a two-month workshop-based training and songwriting class for some of the most promising industry hopefuls, the country’s top songwriting competition has finally selected 12 of the best entries that will advance to the main competition:

In alphabetical order, here are the finalists who made it to the PhilPop Himig Handog Songwriting Festival:

Luzon / Bulacan: Rinz Ruiz – “Papahiram”
Luzon / Laguna: Francis Contemplacion – “ATM”
Metro Manila: Tiara CinCo – “Wag Paglaruan”
Metro Manila: Kevin Yadao – “Ghostwriter”
Metro Manila: Rob Angeles – “MHWG”
Metro Manila: Geca Morales – “Langit Lupa”
Metro Manila: Alvin Serrito – “Kurba”
Visayas / Bacolod: Shantel Lapatha – “Tulala”
Visayas / Cebu: Relden Campanilla – “Dili Nalang”
Visayas / Cebu: Jimmy Grajo – “Salamat (Nga Wala Na Ta)”
Visayas / Bohol: Keith Quito – “Buhi”
Mindanao / Davao: Maric Gavino – “Taliwala”

The entries went through multiple rounds of adjudication, headed by an esteemed panel of Board Members, producers, key leaders, prominent songwriters, and decision-makers affiliated with both PhilPop and Himig Handog. 

According to ABS-CBN Music Creative Director Jonathan Manalo, one of the considerations for picking the top songs was based on quality in terms of songwriting and composition. He explains, “It was important to us that the songs were up to the standard that were set by both PhilPop and Himig Handog. We also wanted to see how effective the fellows were in applying the lessons and insights that they’ve learned from the PhilPop Himig Handog DigiCamp. We wanted to challenge the fellows to break borders and push the boundaries of Filipino pop music. Lastly, we also had to factor in the appeal and marketability of the entries since our goal was also for the top songs to appeal to a wide range of Filipino music listeners.”

This year’s PhilPop Himig Handog Songwriting Festival promises to be bigger and bolder as two of the most important songwriting organizations in the country team up to bring export-ready Pinoy Pop to the crux of global dominance. With combined resources and expertise to discover potential greats that could command cultural conversations beyond borders, the collaborative project aims to promote OPM on a scale that’s never been done before: break new territories and captivate the international audience with music that is distinctly global yet very Pinoy. 

“We’re excited with this batch of finalists from the PhilPop Himig Handog Songwriting Festival because it’s going to showcase how talented and brilliant Filipino Songwriters are,” said PHILPOP Executive Director Dinah Remolacio. “Fans of both PhilPop and Himig Handog can expect a diverse set of songs, not just in style but also in terms of representation and languages, among others. We also believe that longtime listeners of both organizations can also expect fresh tracks that have the potential to really grow the fanbase of Filipino Pop music. The songs of the Top 12 Finalists are a great representation of the current feel and the latest trends in Filipino Pop Music.”

PhilPop Himig Handog Songwriting Festival is an initiative of Himig Handog and PhilPop Music Foundation. This year’s game-changing event remains unwavering in its obligation to come up with innovative approaches in music-making and songwriting that are at par with international standards. The event is co-presented by Maynilad, Smart Communications, Inc., and TuneCore.


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