Smart-Araneta Coliseum was filled to the brim while everybody’s heart was undoubtedly fuller after a new set of worship anthems and uplifting spiritual music were recognized in this year’s “A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival.”
Now on its sixth edition, the 31st PMPC Star Awards winner for Best Talent Search Program presented 12 finalists that passed the rigorous, year-long search for the newest praise songs on television.
These songs tackled depression, hopelessness, battle with cancer and death in the family in various mixes of genre—from R&B, jazz, glam rock and pop rock to ballad.
The 2017 finalists included: “Gabundok Man” by composer May Alona Trogue, interpreted by Brenan Espartinez; “Sumasamba Sa’Yo” by Joyner Dizon, interpreted by Dan Billano; “Ikaw Ang Aking Dios” by Lorna Petrasanta, interpreted by Liezel Garcia; “Sapat Na Ba” by Emmanuel Lipio Jr., interpreted by JV Decena; “Wala Kang Katulad” by Reymil Anania, interpreted by RJ Buena; “Ikaw Panginoon” by Jocelyn Canlas and Jonathan Bobis, interpreted by Jay-R Siaboc; and “Dahil Sa Iyo” by Carlo David, interpreted by Jay R.
Also competing in the finals were: “Carry On” by P.A. Atienza, Nonie Ramos and Nino Cristobal, interpreted Sam Mangubat; “If You Believe” by Gio Levy, interpreted by Apple Delleva; “You’re All I Need” by Jessan May Mirador, interpreted Kris Angelica; “Hallelujah To The One” by Zion Aquino, interpreted Gail Blanco and “Beside Your Heart” by Shane Kim Lumanog, interpreted Zsaris.
The event’s panel of judges consisted of the country’s most respected music personalities like songwriter musical director and producer Homer Flores; singer-actress Carla Martinez; multi-platinum recording artist and concert director Dingdong Avanzado; the head of the Music Publishing Star Music and New Media lawyer Marivic Benedicto; multi-awarded singer-songwriter and vocal arranger of The CompanY, Moi Ortiz and ASOP resident judge, Doktor Musico Mon del Rosario.
By the end of the night, the gospel fest named singer-turned-composer David’s Dahil Sa Iyo as the Song of the Year. With such feat, David won for himself P500,000 in cash prize.
Jay R, dubbed as the country’s R&B King, effortlessly delivered a smooth rendition of the song, earning himself the best interpreter award for his performance.
While many of the songs in this year’s line-up are emotional ballads, Dahil Sa Iyo is on the upbeat side.
Based on his story of finding completion and meaning in life after discovering God, the song inspires gratitude and sets out to send happy vibes through praise and worship.
Coming in as first runner-up was Mirador’s You’re All I Need (winning P250,000 cash) while Petrasanta’s Ikaw Ang Aking Dios (P150,000) finished as second runner-up.
Finally, Aquino’s Hallelujah To The One (P100,000) won third runner-up while Ramos, Atienza and Cristobal’s Carry On bagged the People’s Choice Award.
Non-winning songs still took home P20,000 each for making it to the finals while the Best Interpreter and People’s Choice awardees received P50,000 each.
Apart from setting the stage for the new batch of praise songs, ASOP also led the audience down memory lane revisiting the best praise songs for the past years performed by Bugoy Drilon, Mela, Gidget Dela Llana, Leah Patricio, Tim Pavino and Jason Dy, among many others.
The event also paid tribute to the late singer-actress Isabel Granada, who had been a guest judge of the songwriting tilt.
Renowned hitmaker and resident judge del Rosario said that ASOP is evolving out of the traditional gospel music.
Moreover, del Rosario said that ASOP always gives him hope over all the problems of the music industry.
“I think that more than any other project in the praise music genre, ASOP stands out. If you think of praise music in the Philippines, it’s impossible not to think of ASOP,” he ended.