PhilPop tours the country with music advocacy

Maestro Ryan Cayabyab is conducting a nationwide tour to give free songwriting workshops

Maestro Ryan Cayabyab is conducting a nationwide tour to give free songwriting workshops

The Philpop MusicFest Foundation, an organization that seeks to educate this and future generations on the importance of our music to our cultural identity, and market Filipino music to the world, has been the force behind the most illustrious songwriting competition in the country that encourages both amateur and professional songwriters to use their genre, their theme, their song to inspire and affect others.

Soon after the 2013 competition announced its grand prize winner out of the 3,383 entries in July—the collaborative R&B composition of 21-year-old Thyro Alfaro and 22-year-old Yumi Lacsamana, “Dati,” performed by Sam Concepcion, Tippy Dos Santos and Quest—Philpop has once again taken its music advocacy to different schools around the country through the “Songwriting With The Maestro” program under Philpop executive director Maestro Ryan Cayabyab.

The vision of Mr. C, as he is called in the industry, is to have songwriters that will not just be inspired to create great music, but a generation of composers who will be even better than them at this craft. That kind of legacy is shared by his fellow Philpop board members and vanguards of the music industry Ogie Alcasid and Noel Cabangon.

“This is one of the major thrusts of Philpop, to educate and inspire”, revealed Mr. C. “We give a free workshop to thousands of college and high school students each year and we give them more than just the basics. They’re not necessarily music students, in fact we cater anyone interested in music. We provide techniques that will help them understand, appreciate and use songwriting.”

The attendees get to learn from Mr. C himself and other Philpop songwriters. Even local songwriters and music communities get to attend and expand their knowledge on songwriting. The result is a movement where great songs come from different people from different walks of life, with different stories and emotions, carrying different tunes and melodies, using different dialects, but all adding to the wealth of Filipino music.

Apart from Thyro and Yumi, Philpop finalists like Jungee Marcelo, Joey Ayala, Adrienne Buenaventura, Johnoy Danao, Raffy Calicdan and others have taken part in the movement and transferred knowledge to future songwriters who have also expressed their interest to join the Philpop 2014 competition.

Philpop has partnered with Liceo de Cagayan, University of Baguio, Ateneo de Davao, De La Salle University in Naga, and soon will hit Mint College, College of St. Benilde, Adamson University and other schools in Manila. They will also visit Cebu, Bohol, Aklan, IloIlo, Ilocos Norte, Pampanga, and several other key cities around the country.

To reach all these parts of the country, PhilPop forged a partnership with Air Asia Zest, whose tagline is a perfect fit for the competition.

“AirAsia Zest has always believed that Filipinos ‘can fly high.’ We believe that Pinoys deserve the great connectivity we can give them, and more especially, that they ‘can fly high’ in achieving their dreams and ambitions. Our partnership with Philpop is a great opportunity to help build the dreams of many talented songwriters all around the country,” remarked Jonathan Yabut, the airline’s representative to the project, who also happens to be the very first winner of Apprentice Asia.

Indeed, Philpop can open many doors to budding songwriters, as proven by the success of batch 2013’s compilation album, which achieved Gold Record status soon after it was launched. And now, with no less than Ryan Cayabyab leading the way for future contestants through this traveling workshop, more and more gold records are sure to be had in the coming years.

For updates on the “Songwriting With the Maestro Nationwide Tour,” log on to and For inquiries, e-mail


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