New blood versus veterans

This years Top 12 finalists with PhilPop founder Ryan Cayabyab

This years Top 12 finalists with PhilPop founder Ryan Cayabyab

Cayabyab announces 2016 PhilPop finalists
After weeks of sifting through thousand of song entries, the Top 12 finalists for PhilPop 2016 have finally been chose. From over 2,000 submissions from all parts of the country and abroad, the final contestants to represent different genres of music including rock, folk, ballad, and hiphop will be given the chance to have their music shared and enjoyed by a much wider audience.

The overwhelming response since the first competition shows just how much talent is packed within the confines of our country. This year’s Top 12 finalist are Aikee Aplacador (“Pabili Po”), JC Jocse (“Stars Are Aligned”), Jazz Nicolas and Wally Acolola (“Di na Muli”), Jeroel Maranan (“Sintunado”), Keiko Necesario (“Nobody But You”), Ramiru Mataro (“Kahon”), Johann Garcia (“Bibinibini sa MRT”), Soc Villanueva (“Lahat”), Joan Da (“Baliw sa Ex-Boyfriend Ko”), Paolo Guico and Miguel Guico (“Tinatangi”), Karl Guarano (“Friday Night”), Brian Cua and Mike Villegas (“Dumadagundong”).

The batch contains a healthy mix of fresh blood and competition veterans. Coming back this year to compete with the current crop are Soc Villanueva, Mike Villegas, Keiko Necesario, Ramiru Mataro and Johann Garcia. Them being back in the competition does not mean that they have an edge. PhilPop levelled their playing field with the newcomers the moment their names were pencilled in on the list.

PhilPop first-timer Aikee Aplacador couldn’t help but say “sobrang sasya, sobrang thankful at sobrang blessed” when he was asked to describe how he felt when he found out he is part of this year’s finalists. His voice was shaking either because of the cold he was overcome with emotions that the couldn’t talk. Jeroel Maranan has been sending songs to PhilPop ever since it started running. From 2012 to 2016, all he ever wanted was for his songs to be heard. This year, his song entry finally made it to the Top 12. The UPLB student felt all of his hard work and perseverance paid off at last.

Radio jock / rapper Aikee Aplacador’s entry “Pabili Po” is about a person’s quest to finding that one love that does not amount to anything. JC Jose’s “Stars Are Aligned” is his and his girlfriend’s “motto.” It talks about the things that seem to be working fine whenever you are with your partner, as if everything has already been written. “Di Na Muli” by Itchyworms drummer Jazz Nicolas and his best friend Wally Acolola is all about lost chances. According to Wally, he initially thought of Jazz’s mother when he was co-writing this song, but it eventually turned into something more relatable. The song aims to make people realize that some things should not be taken for granted.

“Sintunado” by Jeroel Maranan is another personal piece. On the story behind his entry, Jeroel shares, “Matagal na akong tumutog and before, medyo sabog yung buhay ko. Then when I met God, he changed my life. Parang siya yung tumono ng sintunado kong gitara ng buhay.” Ramiru Mataro’s “Kahon” is about learning how to be more truthful, and how you should not suppress your thoughts especially when you’re at the verge of losing everything that you have.

“Binibini sa MRT” by Johann Garcia shares his experience in the MRT, adding light and love to the hassles of commuting. Everybody must have experienced riding a packed train at some point in their life. This is somewhat dedicated to them. Soc Villanueva’s “Lahat” is everybody’s #relationshipgoals. This song contains his wedding vows to his wife when they celebrated their 25th anniversary.

“Baliw sa Ex-boyfriend Ko” by Joan Da is loosely based on a romantic comedy TV series that Joan watched. “Nobody But You” by Keiko Necesario is a song she wrote about that feeling of being sure that you are meant for someone, and that you’re too in love to let go of that person. Miguel and Paolo Guico’s “Tinatangi” expresses and magnifies the concept of having a faithful and undying love for someone through life by using metaphors to describe life such as a journey or “byahe” (in the verses), and times of day namely morning, sundown, and evening (in the refrains/choruses).

Karl Gaurano’s” Friday Night” was conceived because of friend’s poop joke. “I realized that whenever you step on excrement, it always gives you a nasty feeling. No matter how cheerful you are at that moment. That was when I had the idea of putting that particular experience in a club scene where everyone is supposed to look cool and have fun,” Karl explains. “Dumadagundong” is award-winning producer, arranger, DJ, and remixer Brian Cua’s work with composer, former Rizal Underground member, and returning PhilPop finalist Mike Villegas.

PhilPop continues its partnership with Viva Entertainment, one of the industry’s pioneering music organizations led by the visionary Boss Vic del Rosario. Viva will produce an album compilation of the 12 finalists, provide interpreters, intensive promotions, and mount the grand finals night that will happen on July 23 at the Kia Theatre. The grand winner is going home with P1 million in cash.


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