PhilPOP Proves That OPM is Alive and Kicking!

I am one of the millions of Filipinos who wholeheartedly support Original Pilipino Music (OPM) because I know how good many of my countrymen are when it comes to music whether it be composing, singing, playing instruments, and dancing. 

This year, we will witness the first ever Philippine Popular Music Festival (PhilPOP) further showcase the Filipino musical talent. The competition searches for the next, big Pinoy songwriter and, based on a record-breaking 3,000 song entries, OPM is indeed very much alive!

Entries came not just from the Philippines but also from Filipinos based in other parts of the world including the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and neighboring Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. 

PhilPOP is composed of respected local artists and prominent personalities coming from different industries who are brought together by a shared vision which is to spark renewed pride and enthusiasm in OPM and bring another golden age in Philippine music. After all the entries were screened, 14 finalists were chosen and recently presented to members of the media.

Music maestro and PhilPOP executive director Ryan Cayabyab expressed his thanks to all the kababayans who shared their compositions with them. "The mere fact that we received this overwhelming response for the very first PhilPOP Music Festival is a victory, not only for OPM, but more so, for the Filipino people." 

Maestro Ryan, whose career was also propelled by a song writing composition back when he was still an amateur songwriter, described that this is an exciting time for the local music industry. "With PhilPOP, we are helping shape the future landscape of OPM. The talent and the potential of the Filipino songwriter have always been there. We have proven it many times over. Now, the next step is to shine the spotlight on the best of the best."

Here's the list of the top 14 finalists in order of Song Title, Music, and Lyrics:
1. Himig ng Panahon by Timothy Anjello Alfaro 
2. Bigtime by Trina Belamide
3. Dulo ng Dila by Noah and Noel Zuniga Cabalquinto
4. Slowdancing by John Kennard Eleazar Faraon
5. Minsa'y Isang Bansa by Gary Granada
6. Brown by James B. Leyte and Jezreel S. De Oca
7. Kesa by Edwin B. Marollano
8. Piso by Kristofferson B. Melecio
9. 3:00am by Keiko Necessario
10. Takusa by Byron Ricamara
11. Tayo Tayo Lang by Ronaldo M. Sorioso
12. Kontrabida by Soc Villanueva
13. Negastar by Michael Angelo Santos Villegas
14. Bawat Hakbang by Karl Vincent H.Villuga

The top winning entry will receive P1 million in cash while two runners-up will each receive P500,000 and P250,000 respectively. A People's Choice award (listen to excerpts of the songs and vote here) will also be given to the most popular entry as decided by text votes. The final performances and competition will happen at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on July 14, 2012.

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