I know, I know. It has been more than a week (a week and a day, to be exact) since the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2014 Finals Night.
This year’s lineup is comprised of 15 entries and 19 interpreters. It was a healthy mix of amateur and professional songwriters. The Js from last year’s competition have made it as finalists—2013 Grand Prize winner Joven Tan, Jungee Marcelo of the “Nasa’yo Na Ang Lahat” fame, and Jude Gitamondoc. Some songwriters are no strangers to the industry. The tandem of Raizo Chabeldin and Biv de Vera created “Gisingin Ang Puso” by Liezel Garcia (my LSS for the most part of 2013, haha!) and some other songs. The composer of “Simpleng Tulad Mo,” MJ Magno, used to be part of the P-Pop group XLR8. I heard MJ’s version of the song—it’s mellower compared to Daniel Padilla‘s which has a pop-rock feel to it. Hazel Faith Dela Cruz (“Everything Takes Time”) appears in the noontime series Be Careful with My Heart and has done a couple of 2NE1 Tagalog covers online. She is the lone entrant who performed her own composition.
I obviously have a thing for detail, so excuse the pop trivia overload.
The intrepreters are an interesting mix of up and coming singers (Michael Pangilinan, Morissette Amon), singing competition veterans (Jed Madela, Angeline Quinto) and those who have been Himig Handog intrepreters in previous editions (Marion Aunor, Jovit Baldivino, and the Phenomenal Diva, Jessa Zaragoza1). Here are some snaps from the finals’ night (I just realized that I wasn’t able to take photos of all the participants #OCproblems):
My bet from #TeamSarah in The Voice of the Philippines season 1. She showed off her vocal chops with her range runs and whistle in this track.
It’s Michael Pangilinan’s time to shine with one of the more experimental entries this year.
They included Miggy Campbell, the “pare” in the “Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako” music video, in Michael Pangilinan’s performance. No wonder the audience were squealing in delight. Too bad he got #PareZoned (in the video, that is).
Janella Salvador was a living Barbie doll that night. A singing Barbie doll. This girl can sing, and not surprisingly so, with parents as legit singers.
Ebe Dancel‘s clear voice and Abra‘s rapping made for an interesting combination in this song.
Jovit Baldivino’s set reminds me of the “Sana’y Magbalik” segment last year.
You can tell that Bugoy Drilon put a lot of emotions in this song.
It’s refreshing to hear Jed Madela sans the out of this world birits that he is known for.
What do you know, the Phenomenal Diva is back! The crowd cheered for her after she sang the first line. I swear I heard someone near me yell, “She’s back! Jessa is back!” The song couldn’t be more fitting that way.
Well, what do you know. The production peeps thoughtfully included the fans of the Teen King in Daniel’s set. It’s nice to think of the fans once in a while, but the random hugging was very distracting.
And a wider shot from where I stood at that point. Folks, this is the DJP effect.
A teary-eyed KZ Tandingan sings this year’s winning song, “Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako.” She also placed in last year’s Himig Handog with “Scared to Death.”
Two out of my three picks made it to the roster of winners. Here’s the clip of my personal pick that didn’t make the top 5.
If it’s any consolation, I am not the only one disappointed, especially when you check the Facebook and YouTube comments about the finals night. Interestingly, #PareMahalMoRawAko trended for a couple of days. It trended last Sunday night alongside the winning piece “Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako” by Edwin Marollano and of course, what’s Twitter without making the Teen King Daniel Padilla trend countless times?
I had the chance to hang out during the rehearsals. To be in the same room as the talented composers and interpreters left me in awe. Truth be told, I was quite embarrassed that I don’t have an ounce of musicality in me. Haha! I told “Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako” composer Joven Tan that I would be the first to get kicked out of the room for the lack of talent in the music department. I’d like to think that what I lack in ability, I make up for in appreciation. It’s amazing to watch the composers jam to the Himig Handog entries. Where can you witness interpreters (who happen to have distinct voices) let loose and join other musicians in singing random songs? It was a real ear candy, from Bugoy Drilon’s rendition of “All of Me” by John Legend with all the RnB “kulots” (and I could hear Michael Pangilinan singing along to my right), the entry mash-ups with Eric de Leon and Hazel Faith dela Cruz, down to Kiko Salazar and Jovit Baldivino who each took a turn in singing their own versions of the Angeline Quinto entry, “Hanggang Kailan.” I think the lack of singing prowess overtook my biggest frustration of all time (it’s drawing, by the way) because of this experience.
- She participated in Himig Handog some years back with “Hindi Na Bale” [↩]