Get to know the Philpop 2018's 30 semifinalists

Christian Melanie Lee
PhilPop Foundation announced the Top 30 Semifinalists to this year’s music festival. A non-profit organization led by Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, PhilPop Foundation reinvents itself this 2018. With the theme “Music. Powered by Pinoys,” and coming from a year-long and nationwide songwriting boot camps in 2017, the foundation adopted a grassroots approach to discover and develop the most talented songwriters in the country, and prepared them for the 2018 songwriting festival. 

Numerous aspiring composers across the country submitted song entries to join PhilPop. Over 100 judges – established figures in the music industry, music educators, youth groups, college students, religious communities and advertising executives – screened the songs, narrowing them from a thousand down to 30 entries.

This year’s semifinalists are as diverse as their origins and music genres. PhilPop strongly advocates for song entries written in the vernacular. Some of the entries in the Top 30 were written in Hiligaynon, Bisaya, and other local language. According to PhilPop Executive Director Dinah Remolacio, the “foundation’s pivot to change the format and competition timing was imperative to encourage more songwriters outside Luzon and the greater Metro Manila to join the festival. Embracing the biennial campaign by starting with the songwriting boot camps and then the festival proper was implemented to arm songwriters with knowledge and songwriting essentials that will push them to be confident to showcase their masterpieces, even those written in local language.”

All semifinalists’ entries will be produced by Viva Records, PhilPop 2018’s official record label-partner.

They are also required to undergo an intensive coaching camp on July 23- 24 in Tagaytay City, spearheaded by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, PhilPop Coaching Camp Master and foundation board member. He firmly believes that education is the key for the country’s music industry to move forward. According to Mr. C., “The next generation should be better than us hence, the best way to do this is to teach them everything we know at every instance possible.” Having been involved with PhilPop since its inception due to his desire to develop songwriters, he now works together with other music industry stalwarts such as Jazz Nicolas, Ebe Dancel, Jungee Marcelo, Trina Belamide, Jonathan Manalo, Wally Acolola, Thyro Alfaro, Yumi Lacsamana and Jungee Marcelo to guide the semifinalists in refining their creations.

From the Top 30 compositions, only ten will make it to the final round. These ten entries will be showcased to the public on November 30 in the PhilPop Festival Finals Night that will be held at Capitol Commons in Pasig City.

Here's the 30 Semifinalists:

1. AEIOU - Kenneth John Pores (General Trias, Cavite)

2. Ako, Ako - Jeriko Buenafe (Taguig, NCR)

3. Away Wa’y Buwagay - Eamarie Gilayo and Jovit Leonerio (Davao City, Davao Del Sur)

4. Bumbero - Michael Llave (Quezon City, NCR)

5. Di Ko Man - Ferdinand Aragon (Cebu City, Cebu)

6. Ikaw Ang Aking Pag-ibig - Mark Jay Felipe (Guimba, Nueva Ecija)

7. Isang Gabing Pagibig - Carlo Angelo David (Quezon City, NCR)

8. Kariton - Philip Arvin Jarilla (Antipolo, Rizal)

9. Kelan Kaya? - Sarah Bulahan (Mandaluyong City, NCR)

10. KilabI - Karlo Frederico Zabala (Valenzuela City, NCR)

11. Korde Kodigo - Jeremy Sarmiento (Davao City, Davao Del Sur)

12. Laon Ako - Elmar Jan Bolano and Donel Transporto (Tigbauan, Iloilo)

13. LDR (Layong ‘Di Ramdam) - Russ Narcies Cabico (Quezon City, NCR)

14. LGBT (Laging Ganito Ba Tayo?) - Kyle Pulido (Davao City, Davao Del Sur)

15. Lilipad - Agatha Morallos and Melvin Joseph Morallos (Baguio City, Benguet)

16. Loco De Amor! - Edgardo Miraflor, Jr. (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental)

17. Mahirap Magselos - Paul Hildawa (Makati City, NCR)

18. Makisabay - Carlo Angelo David (Quezon City, NCR)

19. Malilimutan Din Kita - Marvin Blue Corpuz (Koronadal, South Cotabato)

20. MMRA - Oliver Narag (Valenzuela City, NCR)

21. Nanay Tatay - Teodoro Festejo III (Davao City, Davao Del Sur)

22. Oka - Michael Angelo Aplacador (Pateros, NCR)

23. Perfectly Imperfect Human - Barry Villacarillo (Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu)

24. Pilipit (Paano Sasabihing Mahal Kita) - Sean Gabriel Cedro and John Ray Reodique (Antipolo City, Rizal)

25. Promise Sorry Note - Michael Angelo Aplacador (Pateros, NCR)

26. Pwede - Agatha Morallos and Melvin Joseph Morallos (Baguio City, Benguet)

27. Tama Na - Michael Rodriguez and Jeanne Columbine Rodriguez (Makati City, NCR)

28. Unang Adlaw Nga Wala Ka - Therese Marie Villarante and Henrick James Pestano (Talisay City, Cebu)

29. Utang - Ignacio Dennis Roxas (Malolos, Bulacan)

30. Yun Tayo - Donnalyn Onilongo (Angono, Rizal)

The reveal is just in time as the local music industry is celebrating the Linggo ng Musikang Pilipino (LMP). As a kickoff event of LMP2018, PhilPop stays true to its mission—to discover original songs and foster appreciation for these original compositions that truly reflect Filipino culture and identity.

PhilPop is an initiative of the MVP Group of Companies, Mid Atlantic foundation for Asian Artists, Inc. (MAFFAA, Inc.), and NYXSYS Philippines. PhilPop’s President, Ricky Vargas believes in the significance of strengthening our culture thru music. And as the foundation continues to expand and respond to today’s music scene challenges, Maynilad’s SVP and PhilPop VP Patrick Gregorio says, “Maynilad champions Filipino creativity, that’s why we invest in them. This is more than a corporate social responsibility. This is calling and we are honored to be in the position to help shape our future thru music.”