I often rememberered the years of Metro Pop Song Festival—a classic singing and/or songwriting competition in the Philippines that enhances the industry of a known music genre called Original Philippine Music (OPM)—from the 1980s until early decade 2000s that was organized by GMA Network and the now defunct BMG Records Pilipinas (later named as Sony BMG in mid-decade 2000s after negotiations with rival Sony Music, slashing out “BMG” in late-decade 2000s, until mandatory management with Ivory Records in the Philippines in 2012). In the following early mid-decade 2000s ABS-CBN introduced a specialized, yearly seasonal, respective songwriting competition called Himig Handog Sa Bayaning Pilipino, Himig Handog Sa Kabataang Pilipino, and Himig Handog Love Songs. And now in 2012, ABS-CBN has had revived their signature songwriting competition from the past season as mentioned earlier, entitled as Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs. The purpose of that season is that not only give an even more popular and more twisting sentimental love songs but also give an upbeat, youthful melodic tunes.
In the past season, amateur Filipino song writers—mostly a loyal ABS-CBN TV viewers—may submit their original song craft by snail mail or participating event kiosks through the network. In the new season in 2012, they can now submit their song craft by e-mail or online submission from downloading a form from the official website. Of over thousands of submitted song craft for a thorough judging from secret office meeting for months, only twelve songs have been qualified for the finals match concert on February 24, 2012. So here are the list of competing twelve songs being created by a promising candidate of amateur composers and performed to sing by various ABS-CBN singing artists:
- Alaala. As an alternative hip of hit song offering to Yeng Constantino aside of her past hit youth-oriented-rock-love songs as well as her latest fifth studio album Metamorphosis with her carrier single Babay that already released this 2013, the theme of the song is about a flash-back and remembrance of their past youthful romantic experience, trying to reunite together.
- Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa. Former Little Miss Philippines contestant of longest running noontime show Eat Bulaga as child co-host in mainstream and singer Aiza Seguerra, who was behind her hit sentimental OPM song Pagdating Ng Panahon and Akala Mo in early mid-decade 2000s, had often felt emotional and teary eyed of such dramatic love song about long-distance romantic relationship who were worried their concerns in security and safety of their lives in spite of danger.
- Hanggang Wakas. Former MYMP lead singer Juris had excited to sing a dramatic song about a lady who was ready for passing her life because of uncurable sickness such as cancer, even though she often missed her beloved boyfriend because of their momentuous good moral romantic experience.
- If You Ever Changed Your Mind. The first of the song performed by a candidate singer-composer Marion Aunor who had a limited breathing and lowered tone with flats of her singing skills (relative to the voice of a singer Colbie Callat), this was based on her real romantic life that often occurred a break-up with her boyfriend during college years in Manila, of which its theme is about a tough decision whether the romantic life of a man and a woman would reunite again in spite of their life problems.
- Kahit Na. Known as a modified version of hit classic OPM rap song Humanap Ka Ng Pangit by Andrew E in the 90s, the theme of the song is about a guy (not indicating an ugly physical looks of his, compared to the classic ones about the advice for a lonely guy to love an ugly lady) who had frivolous emotional feelings being consoled by a diligent lady ready to welcome to love each other with every trials of life. Added up with world-class upbeat pop-dance background electronic music and enhanced bass-boost sound, giving up to awake the industry of making such genre, as well as other past OPM dance songs. Singer-host-actress Toni Gonzaga had often felt crazed to sing it with a little embarrassment for her chasteness.
- Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat. As a typical theme song performed by Daniel Padilla for an upcoming movie with Kathryn Bernardo coming in March of 2013, this funky melodic tune of the song having with a music piece of ukelele and other acoustic instruments may be compared to the hit song Billionaire by Bruno Mars, whose theme is about a sincere grant of diligent romantic affair.
- One Day. Singer Angeline Quinto had excited to sang that song piece that have a typical “Regine Velasquez-style” sentimental melody tune for the first time. The theme of the song is about a typical “once-upon-a-time and one-day” romantic tale in spite of their distant place and even realistic life trials.
- Puwede Bang Ako Na Lang Ulit. The song, in which its theme is about a man who wanted to love and trust again for his beloved lady by chance, was suited to sing for Bugoy Drillon who had only a soft breathing and tone of his singing skills.
- Sana’y Magbalik. Singer and former Pilipinas Got Talent Season One finalist Jovit Baldivino could rock his singing skills to sing a song about a man who wished to come back his beloved woman in long distance relationship.
- Scared To Death. This typical funeral song that—as we ever wished to hear that song in mainstream airwaves very soon—may be ideal to play with built-in car stereo over “car delivery coffins” on ordinary funeral march in local communities in the Philippines. As with other classic funeral songs and some religious songs on every funeral rites, the theme is about a single man or single woman who was struggling to face every emotional trials even if he or she would wished to have a romantic affair. Singer and former finalist and winner of The X Factor Philippines KC Tandingan, who had limited breathing and tonal intensity of her singing skills due to medical operation that suffered vocal cord cancer since she was in teen years, had tried to sing this for the first time even though she does not have a pending recording project for a few years.
- Tamang Panahon. The second of the song performed by a candidate singer-composer Wynn Andrada for ABS-CBN Star Records, the theme is about a memorable moment of a teen romantic affair waiting to love again for a right time to marry at their mature age.
- This Song Is For You. A modified Philippine version from the classic 80s sentimental love song by Barry Mannilow, the lyrics, the melodies, and themes of the song were different from original ones. I can’t able to explain this fully (as singer Erik Santos had often satisfied to sing that song piece), but probably the quality of its content is often far unique.
Before the finals night held in SM Mall of Asia Arena in February 24, 2013 and during a rehersal at ABS-CBN Studio 10 in a press interview from ABS-CBN News, singer-host-actress Toni Gonzaga had said the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs “serves as a reunion and joint-forces of various ABS-CBN Star Records artists and a revitalization of Philippine music entertainment industry” in spite of rampant mainstream Korean pop music invasion that would be unhealthy in fair trade and competition. Other ABS-CBN artists were also satisfied and excited to sing the crafted song from promising candidate composers, saying there’s “always be friends and not to beat each other” in order to cooperate their music business.
There were three options to vote: one by means of SMS voting after listening a featured song on DWRR-FM 101.9 MHz or MOR regional FM radio stations or watching a featured music video on MYX Channel; second by means of voting slip from official CD release at leading music record bars; and thirdly by means of online overseas vote from ABS-CBN.com affiliate website of leading Philippine overseas TV channel The Filipino Channel. The highest number of votes of featured song craft and music video on the aforementioned competition will win a special prize of only tens of thousands of pesos, while the majority judging for best featured song craft will win one million pesos.
But in spite of the fact that all twelve songs were in high-quality and high-popularity state and that would possibly become mainstream in various high-rated FM radio stations through a majority of oridinary Filipino listeners, the judges—such as various ABS-CBN management and guests Ogie Acasid and Sarah Geronimo—during the finals have had often difficult to regulate the score concerning the quality of the content of various song craft finalists that often gave a mere 100%, so therefore, I thought, the organizer had decided to make a majority judge vote rather than to include a full basis from majority SMS, CD Audio case-enclosed slip, or overseas online votes from loyal ABS-CBN TV viewers. Before they vote wisely, they discussed in secret meeting on which song would deserve as momentuous and highly appraised song content. (See list below the complete results after the finals.)
ABS-CBN RNG MOR FM Listener’s Choice: Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat
DWRR-FM Tambayan 101.9 MHz Manila Listener’s Choice: Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat
CD Audio Album Buyer’s Choice: Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat
TFC Online Vote Choice: This Song Is For You
Best Music Video Produced by Colleges/Universities: Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat
Best Song by Majority Judging: Kahit Na (5th place), Scared To Death (4th Place), If You Ever Changed Your Mind (3rd place), Hanggang Wakas (2nd place), Anong Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa (grand winner)
Whether the rest of the eleven out of the twelve songs aside from the winning ones would not deserved to win a grand prize, the most important is that all featured songs of the aforementioned song festival in the Philippines of 2013 produced by ABS-CBN deserves to be a winner of listening taste to every Filipino audience, outleading other song festival for the past few decades.
Himig Handog P-pop Love Songs is still out in CD Audio album release at leading record stores, offer good this 2013. We will have to wish for listening to play various songs featured on aforementioned song festival of ABS-CBN of 2013 after the finals all over high-rated FM radio stations such as Love Radio, Yes! FM, iFM, Home Radio, Pinas FM 95.5 Manila, Bombo Radyo Star FM, WOW FM, Energy FM, BIG Radio, and WIN Radio aside from DWRR-FM and MOR FM. In the meantime, if you want to watch free-to-air ABS-CBN Channel 2 in Mega Manila, click here to download in PDF format.