It’s a bit much to describe the finals night of the first ever PhilPOP Music Festival as the greatest night of Original Pilipino Music. But for those who filled the Plenary Hall of the PICC to watch it unfold, it certainly felt that way.
With 14 engaging entries covering a wide array of genres, one can’t help but wonder why a good number of local releases continue to consist of cover versions, acoustic rehashes, and unbearable novelty tunes.
On this night, originality reigned supreme as Karl Vincent Villuga, a member of the eight-man vocal group, the Akafellas won the songwriting competition’s grand prize for his R & B flavored “Bawat Hakbang.”
Veteran songwriter Soc Villanueva took home 1st runner-up honors with another R & B tune in “Kontrabida” as interpreted by Sam Concepcion while singer-songwriter Toto Sarioso won 2nd runner-up with “Tayo Tayo Lang” that was performed by Ebe Dancel.
There was also a special Smart People’s Choice award given to the entry with the most number of text votes that went to the reggaefied “Brown,” written by James Leyte and by himself with the band, Brownman Revival.
Of course, it also didn’t hurt that the show itself was a glorious celebration of OPM’s greatest hits and then some.
Ogie Alcasid and Nikki Gil set the tone with their wonderful hosting job characterized by their humorous banter that extended during commercial breaks.
The interpreters also consisted of sought-after talents such as Nyoy Volante, Jay-R and Deejay Poblete, the band Rocksteady, Joey Ayala, South Border’s Luke Mejares and Duncan Ramos and YouTube sensation Marie Digby.
Memorable was the homage to the music of George Canseco, Willy Cruz, Ernani Cuenco, Jose Mari Chan and Ryan Cayabyab by the Ryan Cayabyab Singers, Christian Bautista, Erik Santos, Basil Valdez, Regine Velasquez and Sharon Cuneta.
There was Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola together with the Hot Legs bringing the house down with their performance of Rico J. Puno’s “Macho Guwapito.”
A special video tribute to Dolphy included the touching line, “Like an unforgettable song, his legacy will live on forever.”
An All-Star tribute to the Metropop Music Festival was the evening’s biggest highlight as Fil-Am violinist Bryson Andres, Bituin Escalante, Gian Magdangal, Jam Nieto, Reymond Sajor, Kris Lawrence, Gloc 9, Cris Villonco, Barbie Almalbis, Kitchie Nadal, Rachel Alejandro and Hajji Alejandro all came together to acknowledge the legacy of PhilPOP’s predecessor and inspiration.
Kay ganda ng ating musika? It certainly is—at least for one magical night.
Let’s hope that there’ll be more nights like this as PhilPOP tries to live up to its noble goals of reviving the glory days OPM in the years to come.