Huge Performances Seen at ASOP TV’s Finals Night
Judges and spectators in last night’s A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival Songwriting Competition have seen huge performances of the 12 original praise songs interpreted by acclaimed Philippine singers. Here’s a look of the many best moments of the country’s first praise song writing contest on television.
The Philippines’ first praise song competition on television grand finals night drew tens of thousands audiences Monday night, filling the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Twelve original praise song compositions vied for 2012 A Song of Praise (ASOP) Song of the Year title.
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.
Philippines’ R&B Princess Kyla and 2006 Philippine Idol finalist Gail Blanco showed Kahit Isang Araw Lang hand signal after two separate interviews at the VIP room of Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Kyla interpreted Be My Everything of Jessa Mae Gabon while Blanco sang Purihin Mo ang Dios Oh Pilipinas of Antonio Estrella, Jr.
Jayson Fernandez, former vocalist of Rivermaya and current frontman of Sta. Maria band, performed Gerwin Villa’s Purihin Ka ng aking Luha. The song’s youth-subdued melodic contour, as judge Mon del Rosario described it, made it the favorite of the young audience.
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.
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.
Kyla showed how best she can interpret Be My Everything, the song entry of Jessa Mae Gabon.
ASOP TV hosts Richard Reynoso and Toni Rose Gayda interviewed finalist Jessa Mae Gabon after Kyla’s interpretation of her song Be My Everything. Gabon is a college student pursuing a course in the Conservatory of Music at the University of Sto. Tomas.
Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto gave his insights about one of the song finalists. When asked if he had difficult time judging, he said, “Hindi mahirap kungdi masarap ang makinig ng mga praise songs (It’s not difficult but pleasing to listen to praise songs).” Senator Sotto was a member of the former VST and Company, a Filipino disco group popular in 1970s.
The panel of judges also included “The Hit Maker” Vehnee Saturno, Mon del Rosario (President of Talent Asia Entertainment Studio), Jamie Rivera, Noel Cabangon, and former Apo Hiking Society member Jim Paredes.
Balladeer Renz Verano interpreted Jaime Enriquez’s Pag-ibig ay Dios. The song won the People’s Choice award.
Gail Blanco performed 2012 ASOP TV Song of the Year Purihin mo ang Dios Oh Pilipinas.
Composer of the winning entry Purihin mo ang Dios Oh Pilipinas, Antonio Estrella, Jr. received 500,000 pesos. Judges were remembered to have called his song the “Pinoy praise song” during one of the weekly finals of the contest.
Judges came up on stage to receive their plaques of appreciation and to award the winners of the ASOP TV Year 1.
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 complete roster of finalists, interpreters and winners included:
ASOP TV Song of the Year 2012 – Antonio Estrella, Jr. “Purihin Mo ang Dios, O Pilipinas” / Interpreted by Gail Blanco
1st runner- up – Analyn Altejos “Purihin Ka Hanggang sa Kailanman” / Best Interpreter: Nikki Valdez
2nd runner-up – Domingo Rosco Jr. “Puso kong Nabuksan” / Interpreted by Catherine Loria
3rd runner- up- Rommel Arguelles. “Reasons to Believe” / Interpreted by Gian Magdangal
People’s Choice – Jaime Enriquez “Pagibig ay Dios” / Interpreted by Renz Verano
Rigor Jay Arellano “I Will Still Praise You” / Interpreted by Gretchen Espina
Christian Obar “Ikaw ang Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman” / Interpreted by Aia de Leon
Jessa Mae Gabon “Be My Everything” / Interpreted by Kyla
Marlon Nabia “Sa’Yo” / Interpreted by Marielle Corpuz
Gerwin Villa “Purihin Ka ng Aking Luha” / Interpreted by Jayson Fernandez
Alex De Guzman “Sa Iyo Aking Ama” / Interpreted by Faith Cuneta
Edwin Marollano “The Sweetest Moment” / Interpreted by Jeffrey Hidalgo
(Photos Courtesy of Avon Merick Yang, Neil Kristofer Dizon, Stacey Tee II)