|Ryan Cayabyab, Daniel Grospe, Krist Melecio, Thyro Alfaro and Yumi|
I initially thought that after the finals night of the Philippine Popular Music Festival (PhilPop), I wouldn’t hear anything more about it until it was time again to call for entries for the following year’s edition. But I was wrong since the PhilPop Foundation, Inc. has planned some events in order to promote not only the album featuring the finalists of the competition but also songwriting in general through the Songwriting with the Maestro tour.
The Album Promotional Tour
Before the songwriting workshop started, PhilPop also had an album promotional tour over at TriNoma. I wasn’t planning to go there since I was committed to attend something else. But plans didn’t go my way and I ended up dropping by a bit which I didn’t mind at all. There were a handful of finalists there like Keiko Necesario, James Leyte, Thyro Alfaro, Edwin Marollano, Mike Villegas, Krist Melecio, Kennard Faraon and Toto Sorioso. Some of the interpreters were also there like Yumi, Daniel Grospe, Cathy Go and the Akafellas. It felt odd that Karl Villuga, the grand prize winner was no longer there since he already flew to
that time. Some familiar faces were there too like Vince of The Ryan Cayabyab Singers, Vida and Kris from Maynilad and of course, Ryan Cayabyab. It was the
first time I saw these many finalists since the finals. Too bad that I didn’t
bring my CD’s of Toto Sorioso and Cathy Go for them to sign since I didn’t even
plan to be there in the first place.
I arrived about an hour and a half before the show started while the Akafellas were still doing their sound checks. I hung around a bit and chatted with some of the finalists and interpreters while waiting for the show to start. I was only able to see a performance of Negastar by Cathy Go accompanied by Mike Villegas on guitar and also sung by Keiko herself. Unfortunately, I had to miss the rest of the performances since I had to catch the next screening of the 6th International Silent Film Festival which was my original plan on that day.
Songwriting with the Maestro at San Beda College
During the finals night of the Philippine Popular Music Festival, a short video was presented giving the audience a glimpse of what to expect after the competition. One of the projects shown was the planned songwriting workshops that will tour around the country. Thankfully, the kick off leg of this songwriting workshop happened in Metro Manila specifically at San Beda College. I haven’t been to the San Beda campus but I managed to find my way which is just a testament to all the things that I could do for the sake of music.
Aside from Ryan Cayabyab, the finalists joining the workshop during the initial announcement only included Kennard Faraon, Toto Sorioso Noah Zuñiga, and Krist Melecio. But the workshop ended up with more as Keiko Necesario, James Leyte and Thyro Alfaro also attending. Patricia Hizon whom I haven’t seen since the finals hosted the affair which was had students not just from San Beda but also from other universities like
and Centro Escolar
University . Tomas among the audience. University
The workshop didn’t tackle too much the technical side of songwriting. Ryan Cayabyab only touched upon the characteristics of the minor tonality compared to the major. He also talked briefly about textures and colors which is usually the territory of the musical arrangers. He focused mainly on songs as a tool for expressing one’s self, for education, for promotion of culture/tourism and to sell a product among other things. It is a very general introduction to songwriting or any creative process. I for once believe that one had to learn how to appreciate, and in case of music, to listen differently not just as a music consumer, before one learns how to create.
Probably the most anticipated part of the workshop that afternoon were the song numbers performed by the finalists present: Keiko with 3AM, Kennard Faraon with Slowdancing, Krist Melecio with Piso, Noah Zuñiga along with DJ Poblete with Dulo ng Dila, James Leyte with Brown, Toto Sorioso with Tayo-Tayo Lang and Thyro Alfaro with Himig ng Panahon. It was surprising to witness the very positive reaction by the students among the audience. They even demanded another song from DJ Poblete and she and Noah obliged with a song called Huli Na ‘To.
I guess that many of the students weren’t even aware of the songs or the songwriters before the workshop but I am pretty sure that when the workshop ended, they will find it hard to forget their names and their works. And some of them may have already been inspired to try to write a song or two after witnessing the performances.
|Standing from left Keiko Necesario, James Leyte and Toto Sorioso|
Seated from left Ryan Cayabyab, Krist Melecio and Kennard Faraon
What made me really excited during the workshop was the announcement not just of the second edition of PhilPop but also of a new competition called Pintig which will be leaning towards the kundiman. I will definitely post more information regarding these two competitions once they become available to me. After the successful San Beda leg which started the nationwide tour, the workshop flew over to
which I heard was also equally successful. Songwriting with the Maestro will tour
in Cebu and Puerto Prinsesa this October, Naga and
Legaspi in November, and then in Baguio