Visayan Music Awards Songwriting Competition promises great show on July 27

The songwriters and interpreters at the Visayan Music Awards Listening Party.

TEN new Visayan songs are sure to find their way into every music lover’s heart and playlist.

An interesting mix of ballads, pop, jazz, alternative RnB and EDM made the Cebu media, bloggers and guests sit up and pick an instant fave or two during the Listening Party of the first ever Visayan Music Awards (VizMA) Songwriting Competition held last week at Asmara Urban Resort.

From the opening strains of composer Hakeem Duazo’s relatable “Alu” (the first to be performed during the event) to chanteuse Gail Blanco’s moving rendition of Fr. Reymund Quito’s emotion-filled ballad “Sama Lang Kanimo,” the Listening Party was an exciting preview to the Finals Night happening this Saturday, July 27, 7 p.m. at the Oakridge Pavilion in Banilad, Mandaue City.

Also making it to the Final 10 is Ramon Christopher Calam’s “Ayaw Sa Karon,” which could easily become every student’s anthem as it playfully tackles the dilemma of wanting to enjoy the company of friends while preparing for one’s exams. With its poetry-laced lyrics and LLS-inducing melody, “Balitaw” by award-winning literary and visual artist Adonis Durado and his 19-year-old daughter, Yana could very well capture the audience’s hearts come Finals Night.

John Peterson Villarin and Neil Salarda’s upbeat ditty “Hit & Run” is about falling in love only to be ghosted by the person one has fallen for. Reminiscent of OPM hits in the 90s, the alternative RnB entry, “Kalimtan Na Ka Karon” by Ruel Ceriño talks about pining for one’s lost love. Melay Libres’ “Lingi-a,” the only EDM track from among the 10 finalists, is pure eargasm, a joy to listen to over and over again.

Heartfelt storytelling and OST-worthy lyrics and melody make Ferdinand Aragon’s “Matag Paraiso” one of the early standouts. Written in three weeks for VizMa, the song recently landed on Spotify’s New Music Philippines playlist. Irving Guazon and John Stephen Cadeliña’s soulful ballad, “Natulog Mong Kasing-Kasing” captures that feeling of seeing one’s beloved again after a long time. With its distinctly Bisdak lyrics and humor, Atty. Fritz Baguio’s “Ngano” is poised to become a hit and possibly, a videoke staple.

According to VizMA project chairperson Barney Borja, the organizers received more than 500 entries from all over the country. The finalists were selected based on originality, quality of lyrics, great melody and dynamics and interesting structure.

The songs, submitted in their raw form, then went through the masterful hands of some of the country’s best musicians and sound engineers.

On the varied genres of the chosen finalists, Borja said the composers were grateful for the fresh arrangement given to their songs.

“Wa sila mag-expect nga ingon ato na ang arrangement sa ilang kanta,” he told Click Cebu, adding that there were a lot of good entries that choosing the finalists proved to be a daunting task. Thus, from an initial top seven, they decided on selecting nine and finally settled on 10 tracks.

Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985
Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985.

The 10 finalists will be performed live with the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra during Finals Night. They will vie for the grand prize of P100,000. The second and third placers will get P75,000 and P50,000, respectively while the fourth to tenth placers will bring home P10,000 each. All finalists will also be awarded a scholarship worth P150,000 from the Thames International’s Innovation and Creative Enterprise Program.

The VizMA Songwriting Competition Finals Night will feature performances by Cebuana hitmaker Karencitta, rock band Franco, music icon Max Surban and the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra. The event will be hosted by comedienne Giselle Sanchez.

Produced by the Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985 Foundation Inc. and endorsed by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, VizMa aims to recognize the men and women who have played an important role in the promotion of the Visayan language, culture and music.

For ticket reservations to the VizMA Finals Night, contact 0905-433-9070.


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