Few week’s before the ASOP – A Song of Praise Music Festival Grand Finals, I was already thinking about and arranging my bets on who will be my first grand winner for this year. I was always on the lookout on who will be on the top favorite of the crowd thru the online poll made by the ASOP team. And on my list includes;
1. Domingo Rosco Jr. “Puso kong Nabuksan” / Interpreted by Catherine Loria
2. Marlon Nabia “Sa’Yo” / Interpreted by Marielle Corpuz
3. Analyn Altejos “Purihin Ka Hanggang sa Kailanman” / Interpreted by Nikki Valdez
But off course it will still all depends on the taste of the judges on the night of the event. Aside from the three I also love the following:
4. Alex De Guzman “Sa Iyo Aking Ama” / Interpreted by Faith Cuneta
5. Gerwin Villa “Purihin Ka ng Aking Luha” / Interpreted by Jayson Fernandez
ASOP Grand Finals Night
I came at Smart Araneta as early as 6pm, I was given 8 tickets reserved for some of the blogger I invited in the event. I like to actually show my fellow bloggers how interesting the show is, unfortunately, some of my blogger friends back-out due to former commitments. I was accompanied by my friend William Thio while waiting for Arvin Ello of Vintersections.com to arrive.
When Vin arrived i gave him the patron tickets and we sat 10 rows starting from the back just near the judges table. We had a nice view on what is happening but a bit far from the main stage but just near from the panel of Judges.
The event started with a grand opening salvo of all the interpreters in all white singing the ASOP official jingle.
It was well performed and each interpreters have been given enough time to shine. Crowd goes wild when the batch of Nikki Valdez, Faith Cuneta and Kyla appear at the center.
The event was hosted by the main host of the program aired over UNTV 37, Mr. Richard Reynoso and Ms. Tony Rose Gayda.
Richard and Tony have been working together since the early days that is why you could actually see that they goes together very well. Smart Araneta Coliseum was full packed of people, and the ASOP production team have made it a good job, designing the whole area. The stage of the host was situated in the middle of the Arena, near the interpreters and just a few meters from the panel of judges.
For the nights event, aside from the regular 3 judges of the ASOP TV, an additional 3 judges were chosen. Members of the prestigious panel of judges are the country’s most respected music personalities like songwriters & hitmakers themselves Vehnee Saturno and Mon del Rosario, FILSCAP President and OPM Vice President for External Affairs, Noel Cabangon, OPM’s Inspirational Diva, Jamie Rivera, cause-oriented singer and songwriter Jim Paredes and Hon. Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III who is also a renowned composer and singer
Competing for the grand title, “Song of the Year 2012” are the twelve monthly finalists: Rigor Jay Arellano’s “I Will Still Praise You”, Edwin Marollano’s “The Sweetest Moment”, Alex De Guzman’s “Sa’Yo Ama” (To You, Father), Gerwin Villa’s “Purihin Ka Ng Aking Luha” (My Tears Shall Praise You), Annalyn Altejos’ “Pupurihin Ka Hanggang Sa Kailanman” (I Will Praise You Until Eternity) , Jaime Enriquez’ “Pag-ibig Ay Dios” (God is Love), Rommel Arguelles’ “Reasons To Believe”, Marlon Nabia’s “Sa’Yo” (For You), Domingo Rosco’s “Puso Kong Nabuksan” (My Enlightened Heart) , Jessa Mae Gabon’s “Be My Everything”, Anton Estrella Jr.’s “Purihin Mo ang Dios Oh Pilipinas” (Praise God, Oh Philippines) and Christian Obar’s “Ikaw ang Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman.” (You are the Now, Tomorrow and Forever)
And the lights turned off, the music plays and the first song entry was cued. The former member of Smokey Mountain, Jeffrey Hidalgo performed Edwin Marollano’s “The Sweetest Moment”
It was followed by an energetic performance by the vocalist of Imago, Ms. Aia De Leon performing Christian Obar’s “Ikaw ang Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman.” (You are the Now, Tomorrow and Forever)
Next song was “Puso Kong Nabuksan” performed by Ms. Catherine Loria, composed by Mr. Domingo Rosco Jr. This is one of my favorite song in the contest. It has this unique musicality and the offcourse a very poetic lyrics.
The crowd goes wild when Renz Verano performed at the stage with the song composed by Mr. Jaime Enriquez – “Pag-ibig ay Dios“. This song was one of the favorite songs voted online garnering more than 25 thousand votes on the poll held before the event.
By the way, judges were also giving comment to each of the performed songs, They were called randomly. For the 5th finalist, the song “Sa’yo” composed by Mr. Marlon Nabia and performed by Marielle Corpuz.
After the powerful performance of Marielle Corpuz, the song composed by Mr. Rommel Arguelles was next, “Reasons to Believe” performed by Philippine Idol 2006 runner up Gian Magdangal
After the 6th finalist, A special performance of the night, OPM balladeer and ASOP TV host Richard Reynoso sang Alay Sa’Yo, one of Kuya Daniel Razon’s masterpieces. Kuya Daniel Razon and wife, Arlene, enjoyed singer Richard Reynoso’s rendition of his composition Alay Sa’Yo.
First Pinoy Idol winner (2006) Gretchen Espina took the center stage for her performance of Rigor Jay Arellano’s I Will Still Praise You.
After a year of waiting, ASOP TV’s first monthly winner Rigor Jay Arellano heard the last words of the judge he picked from the judges’ bowl about his composition. The man of few words (as Tita Tony Rose commented) Noel Cabangon said that overall he likes the composition.
The song “Purihin mo ang Dios Oh Pilipinas” composed by Mr. Anton Estrella, and performed on stage by Ms. Gail Blanco was an upbeat song featuring different dialects in the Philippines. Sen. Tito Sotto describes the song as “Exciting!”
Mr. Alex De Guzman’s song “Sa’yo Aking Ama” was said to be done 3 days for lyrics and 3 days for music and after a week he already submitted his entry to ASOP. When Alex made the song he knows that even he will not win in the contest, he is already a winner to God. Telenovela Diva Ms. Faith Cuneta interpreted the song.
A product of the producers pick is next to perform. The producers picked winner was Gerwin Villa’s “Purihin Ka ng aking Luha” and performed by Jayson Fernandez, who was a former vocalist of Rivermaya and current frontman of Sta. Maria band, The song’s youth-subdued melodic contour, as judge Mon del Rosario described it, made it the favorite of the young audience.
Jessa Mae Gabon was writing compositions since she was 17, but she had never made any songs for God, not until she discover and joined ASOP Songwriting Competition on UNTV 37, She was very happy to know that her composition and creation was very well appreciated in the competition. The Philippine’s RNB princess “Kyla” performed the song “Be my Everything” composed by Jessa Mae Gabon.
Nikki Valdez has been very emotional singing the song “Pupurihin ka hangang sa Kailanaman” from the past recordings and monthly finals. According to Nikki, it felt like it was destiny for her to sing this song composed by Analyn Altejos.
After watching all the finalist, the pressure is really on for the judges, even my seat-mate is already casting and making a judgment by giving scores on who will be the winners in the event.
The Birth of ASOP Music Festival
Kuya Daniel Razon, who conceptualized ASOP TV, explained that it was Bro. Eli Soriano of Members Church of God International who brainchild the song writing contest. Prior its TV version launch in August last year, ASOP music festival was an anticipated biannual event at MCGI and is in continued search for best praise songs from composers within the organization alongside ASOP TV.
Kuya Daniel also reiterated that the ASOP TV competition is open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, and is free from biases as to the choosing of the winners.
“We have invited acclaimed judges to judge the musicality and everything about the song. Our participation in the contest is to give tokens to encourage composers to create songs of praises to God,” he added.
AND THE WINNER IS …
Finalists nervously waited the announcement of winners. Philippines’ Inspirational Diva Jamie Rivera awarded the People’s Choice award to Jaime Enriquez’s song “Pag-ibig ay Dios”. The award was based at the previous voting held online for their favorite song entry for “Song of the Year 2012 – People’s Choice Award”.
Here’s a link of the song Purihin Mo ang Dios, oh Pilipinas
ASOP Music Festival is presently accepting song entries for its second year. Grab this chance now and let your song be lined-up in the first ever songwriting competition for praise songs in Philippine Television. And good news to all the people who did not have the chance to watch the grand finals you can tune-in to UNTV this coming October 14, 2012, 8:30PM, Sunday, right after ASOP Music Festival (7:00 p.m.) to watch the full coverage of the first ever A Song of Praise Music Festival Grand Finals Night.
For a copy of the CD album of ASOP Music Festival Songwriting Competition, you can check out the different shows of UNTV for promos and process on how to claim a free CD copy. You could also check out my website for updates. The ASOP CD Album is distributed by Universal Records.
About “A Song of Praise Music Festival”
The A Song of Praise Music Festival or ASOP is the only Gospel songwriting festival on Philippine television of its kind.
Open to all amateur and professional songwriters, ASOP searches for the best songs of praise for a whole year, amounting to 12 song entries for the Grand Finals.
Entries are performed on stage and are judged by a panel of acclaimed singers and songwriters like Noel Cabangon, Mon Del Rosario, and Vehnee Saturno.
Weekly winners go on to the monthly eliminations where those chosen proceed to the Grand Finals for a chance to win PHP 500,000 for the Grand Prize. Runners-up receive prizes exceeding PHP 100,000 each and non-winners are given plaques and consolation prizes.
A brainchild of Kuya Daniel Razon, ASOP aims to bring back songs of praises in the daily lives of people. In the hope that with the help of their beautiful melodies and sincere lyrics, the songs will help remind all of God’s love for His creatures, and the great amount of trust that they can put in Him.
Hosted by Richard Reynoso and Tony Rose Gayda, ASOP airs on Sundays, 7 p.m. on UNTV. For more information about ASOP and how you can join, please click here.
Special Thanks to Photoville International, the official photographers of the event, for the photos on my post. You can check out there website at Iphotoville.com