Manila, Philippines – Hot-streaking tunesmiths Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana topped the fourth Philpop songwriting competition held at the Meralco Theatre last Saturday, July 25. Choosing to perform their own song, Thyro & Yumi and fellow R&B artist Jeric Medina came out as the big winners with “Triangulo.” The crafty lyrics and undeniably catchy choruses of “Triangulo” bested eleven other finalists and won Alfaro and Lacsamana their second Philpop title after “Dati” came out on top back in 2013.
Fans of Pinoy pop braved torrential rains last Saturday and still came to see the dozen finalists duke it out. Some of those fans have been overheard saying that this year’s lineup has been the strongest in the four years of the competition. An arguable point, but rings true somehow what with the diversity and creativity displayed by each of the songwriters–made up of veteran and newbie composers–and their interpreters.
Davey Langit, who came in as the first runner-up, opened the show with a spirited performance of his song “Paratingin Mo Na Siya.” With a string section and a bevy of ballet dancers and that deep cut ballroom dress, Lara Maigue paired creativity and class interpreting her own ballad “Nasaan.”
Meanwhile, competition newcomer Ramiro Mataro’s 70’s dance tinged original “Walang Hanggan,” was matched by an oversized mirror ball and synchronised boogie to match the disco vibe as he sung with co-interpreter Donnalyn Bartolome. Side A brought some easy-listening jazz pedigree to their compatriot-bassist Ned Esguerra’s song “For The Rest Of My Life.” Screaming fangirls got a treat as James Reid strutted and sang at the same time to Melchor Magno’s “Musikaw.” Young MC Pio punctuated the EDM-flavored song with a solid rap break. Up next was Kean Cipriano and Nadine Lutre, in her sparkly tutu, as they romped through songwriter Mark Villar’s alt-pop song “Sa Ibang Mundo.” The trio bagged the People’s Choice Award as well as the 2nd Runner up honors.
As the show winded down, exemplary performances were dished out by class A interpreters. Jinky Vidal proved she’s still one of the hottest R&B singers around when she let loose a bit of flash in the Soc Villanueva song “Kilig.” Not winning, but practically announcing her presence, one could hear the proverbial pin drop during Anja Aguilar’s whispery vocal highlights on the Melvin Morallos-written “I Owe You My Heart.”
Consummate pro Jon Santos gives a triple-A performance on Gino Cruz and Jeff Arcilla’s novel “Apat Na Buwang Pasko.” Speaking of contest pieces, The Company’s harmonies brought life to songwriter Paul Armesin’s “Tanging Pag-asa Ko.” The anthemic choruses of composer-writer Johann Garcia’s EDM tune “Edge Of The World,” who won Best Music Video award, was for sure the night’s most histrionic-filled production with a wire-harnessed Yassi Pressman flying off ledges while dueting with an earth bound Josh Padilla.
Philpop 2015’s Finals judges included Dawn lead singer and theatre actor Jett Pangan, composer Louie Ocampo, TV personalities Karylle, Kris Lawrence, Salamin frontman Paolo Valenciano and R&B artist Quest. This year’s winners earned a million pesos for first place, half-a-million for first runner-up and two-hundred and fifty thousand for second runner-up and bragging rights. Cash prizes was also given to the Best music video (chosen from all twelve videos) and the People’s choice award.