Music Veterans All Praises to UNTV’s A Song Of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival

Quezon City, Philippines – Music veterans praised UNTV and the men behind A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival for pioneering a song-writing competition themed on praising God. Six great personalities and music advocates graced the Grand finals night of ASOP Music Festival Year 3 as judges in the competition. It was held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum on the night of September 23, 2014.

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ASOP Year 3 Judges. (Left-Right) OPM Hitmaker / Composer Dr. Mon Del Rosario; Singer, Wency Cornejo; Danny Javier (Chairman of the Board of Judges); the man with many faces, Willie Nepomuceno; Composer/Songwriter/Musical director/Arranger Danny Tan; Executive Vice President of Alpha Music Corporation, Alvin De Vera. (Photo by MARJHON OBSIOMA)

ASOP Judge Danny Javier (Chairman of the Board of Judges)

“Alam ninyo, maligayang-maligaya ang aking pakiramdam ngayong gabing ito dahil sa mayroon palang palatuntunan na ganito na nagbibigay daan sa likas na kakayahan ng Pilipino na makalikha ng awitin. Heto nga, tapos ang tema pa, papuri sa Panginoon. I would like to congratulate UNTV!” Danny Javier felt blessed for being part of this one of a kind event. “Panalo itong gabing ito. Ang masasabi ko lang, sa lahat ng mga nasa tahanan kung nanood kayo, anong panama ng mga teleserye? Mahirap man ang magiging trabaho namin ngayong gabi, pinagpala pa rin kami…kasi, anong pag-ibig pa nga ba ang hihigit pa sa pag- ibig ng Panginoon sa atin? Hindi nga nila mailagay sa teleserye, di ba? Nagpapasalamat po ako sa lahat ng nandito. ”

Aside from being a member of the popular singing group APO Hiking Society, he is also a well-renowned composer and singer. Among his well-known compositions are Pumapatak ang Ulan (1978), Kaibigan (1978), Di Na Natuto (1988), and Paano (1991), to name a few.

ASOP Judge Danny Tan

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Composer/Songwriter/Musical director/Arranger Danny Tan expressed his feeling as  one of the judges of ASOP Music Festival Year 3 Grand Finals Night. (Photo by MARJHON OBSIOMA)

Danny Tan, an international well-awarded person in line with music, had personally admitted that he find it very difficult to judge all of the ASOP music compositions. He thanked the ASOP organizers for the beautiful music and enhancement that they bestowed in every song.

“Unang una ako bilang isang musiko, I am very impressed na talagang ginastusan ng orchestra natin; talagang binigyan niyo ng halaga ang music kasi we all know naman na ang music is very critical part of worship, without music hindi maganda ang ating worship. So personally, I thank the organizers.” He thanked the organizers, as he gave the verdicts. “Nahihirapan kami. Hirap na hirap akong mag-judge ngayong gabi pero bago yun.. gusto kong i-acknowledge natin ang band, ang orchestra, back-up singers natin, ang production natin, sa pagbigay nila ng magandang music at pag-enhance sa mga praise songs natin. Dahil kung wala sila, wala tayong maririnig na makakaantig ng ating mga puso at damdamin.”

“It’s really an honor and a blessing to me,” he added.

One of his famous compositions is “Iisa Pa Lamang” (originally sung by Joey Albert), which has been covered by many well-known singers and artists like Pilita Corrales, Marco Sison, Gabby Concepcion, and Lani Misalucha. It even became one of Regal Films’ movie title and theme song that starred Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta.

ASOP Judge Alvin De Vera

The Executive Vice President of Alpha Music Corporation, Alvin De Vera had expressed his gratitude to UNTV for having him as one of the judges in ASOP Year 3 Grand Finals night. Just like Tan, he also admitted that it was an arduous task judging the songs.

“Well, I (sic) like to take this opportunity to thank also the organizers, UNTV and everybody including the production,” he expressed.

“…Bagaman aircon dito sa Araneta, parang mainit, mainit, mainit yung ano (competition) because it’s very hard. Actually pantay-pantay yung score eh. Again, thank you for having me as judge. This is the (sic) very memorable day for me. It’s not my first time to judge but I will not forget this day,” he added.

Aside from being the Executive Vice President of Alpha Music, he is also one of the Publisher Trustees and Committee Heads of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) and the Chairman of Music Copyright Administrators of the Philippines (MCAP).

ASOP Judge Willie Nepomuceno

“It’s more fun in ASOP,” said the man with many faces, Willie Nepomuceno. He congratulated UNTV for having a song-writing competition, the ASOP Music Festival.

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ASOP fans filled the Big Dome during Year 3 Grand Finals Night.

“Kailangan ma-i-congratulate ko ang UNTV. Ito ang kailangan natin hindi yung mga kung anong nakikita natin sa ibang television kasi maganda eh. Ang masasabi ko overall, I enjoy (sic), na tama yung desisyon na ginawa ko para pumunta ako dito. Kasi para ma-experience mo ito may Razon. Di ba may Razon? (talking to the audiences) Kaya ako naririto, may Razon. I enjoy (sic) so much. Paminsan-minsan napapanood ko yung tandem niyo (referring to the ASOP hosts Richard Reynoso and Toni Rose Gayda), enjoy naman talaga kayo eh…the fun. Sabi ko nga, it’s more fun in ASOP!”

He is known as the Philippine’s master impersonator. Among the famous Filipino personalities he impersonates include the late comedy king Dolphy, the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada (a veteran action star), and senators like Gringo Honasan, Ping Lacson, and the late Philippine Action King Fernando Poe Jr. Also, he usually copies famous international personalities like Stevie Wonder, ‘Nat ‘King’ Cole’, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Bruce Lee, among others.

ASOP Judge Wency Cornejo

The Next in Line singer Wency Cornejo (the lead vocalist of the band After Image in mid-nineties) is also grateful to be a part of such event and was impressed by the family-like ambiance of the event because of how the crowd participated.

“Maraming salamat inimbita ninyo ako sumali dito bilang judge,” he said. “Actually, I (sic) been a judge to a lot of contest…pero iba ‘yung pakiramdam, pagka parang pamilya yung ambiance,” he added.

Cornejo is the son of a veteran female news broadcaster Mel Tiangco.

The ASOP in-house Judge Dr. Mon Del Rosario

Doctor Musiko Mon Del Rosario is a doctor of medicine by profession and one of the most outstanding personality in entertainment and music industry, a recording artist, record producer, musical arranger and film Composer, and a resident judge of ASOP Music Festival song-writing competition. His presence in ASOP has undoubtedly added more color to the show. However, he admitted that he had many first-time experiences in ASOP UNTV.

“I have joined so many competitions eh…iba ito eh (the ASOP). Kaiba siya talaga, may mentoring eh…

At ako naman as judge, ngayon ko lang na-experience ito (na) yung judge nagiging mentor din. Yun (ay) very fulfilling sa akin, ‘yung ganun (na) hindi lang, ‘yung baril ka nang baril tapos, tapos na. Dito hindi eh. Nakaka-build din ako ng kaibigan at nagkakaroon din ako ng chance na ma-encourage din sila,” he reiterated during the interview at the ASOP PressCon on September 22 held at Sumo Sam Japanese Restaurant Gateway.

“Sa buhay ko, more on the opportunity to be part ng mga buhay ng mga bagong composer, ‘yun fulfilling sa akin ‘yun. In fact, ‘yun ;yung ano eh, the single most important reason why I really enjoy being part of judges panel eh, opportunity ‘yun eh.

At saka isa pa na naitulong sa akin (of ASOP), before every episode nag-aaral ako. Binabalikan ko ‘yung mga theory para naman kapag nagsalita ako doon, mayroon sense. So para sa akin, lalo akong nahahasa kasi binabalikan ko ‘yung mga song writing lessons ko.

Okay ako. I look forward doing ASOP for the next 20 years, hanggang tumanda ako,” shared by Dr. Musiko.

ASOP Music Festival Through the Years

For more than three years since ASOP have started, UNTV have garnered many praises from many different music veterans and well-known advocates and personalities in music and entertainment industry for spearheading such glorious program that touched many lives. Here are to name a few:

Mr. Raul Sunico, the President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines; Anabelle Regalado-Borja, the CEO and Talent Manager of E-Talent Productions; Vice president for external affairs of Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM) Mr. Noel Cabangon; Kathleen Dy-Go, the General Manager of the Universal Records; Snaffu Rigor, a multi awarded composer and singer. Artists like Joey De Leon and Sen. Tito Sotto; actress Jackie Lou Blanco; Mr. Audie Gemora, a world-renowned musical actor and director.

The ASOP Music Festival and the People Behind it

ASOP has indeed passed through another milestone in Philippine music and entertainment industry – marking a history for being the only song-writing competition in the Philippine television intended to praise God. The program is purely OPM (Original Pilipino Music), which its main objective is to produce more Songs of Praises in different genres and styles. And the management is planning to make it an international competition.

Bro. Eli Soriano, the Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI) and a philanthropist, and Dr. Daniel Razon, an advocate and pioneering different public service programs, are the men behind ASOP.

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Dr. Daniel Razon (on stage) sharing his thought on how significant a song of praise is. (Photo by MARJHON OBSIOMA)

“Ang awitin po kasi ay expression ng bawat damdamin. So hindi lamang expression ng hinanakit. Hindi lamang expression ng mga pagmamahal. Hindi lang expression ng pagpoprotesta kundi higit sa lahat, kung nadinig natin ang marami pong paraan kung paaano ginagamit ang lyrics, ang music, ang nota, napakahalaga na mas magamit natin ito sa pinakamahalagang bagay, at ito ay ang pagpuri sa Panginoon.

And I am very confident that this is the very first song-writing contest on TV that gives glory and thanks to GOD,” proudly uttered by Dr. Razon.

“Naisip ko po sa pasimula, kasi gusto ko na makagawa ng song-writing competition to produce more songs of praises. Kasi po ang maraming kanta na kinakanta ng mga successful interpreters (ay) para sa iba’t ibang bagay… eh malaki po kasi ang impluwensya ng kanta, kaya po kung ang kanta ay para sa Panginoon baka sakali ito ay maka-impluwensya… Eh baka mamaya, may taong nag-iisip gumawa ng masama o magpakamatay na, dahil marami nang hirap na nararanasan sa buhay, narinig ngayon yung kantang ♫♪May Awa ang Dios♫♪, eh nabuhayan siya ng loob… hindi na siya magpapakamatay,” Soriano said as he reiterated the importance of songs, especially the song of praises.

“Napakaligaya ng magulang sa isang anak na natutong bumalik para siya ay pasalamatan, lalo po siguro ang Dios na pinagkakautangan natin.. Natuto tayong umawit para pasalamatan Siya, natutuwa po ang Dios. Walang katumbas na halaga ang song of praise!” he added.

ASOP Year 3 Winners

Twelve glorious songs had competed in ASOP Year 3 Grand Finals night. The song May Awa ang Dios sang by Berverly Caimen and composed by Ms. Lyle Louise Robles was awarded as the “Song of the year,” received P500,000. And Beverly Caimen, the WCOPA 2013 Sr. Grand Champion Vocalist of the World, won as the “Best Interpreter” and received P50, 000.

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Composer Ms. Louise Ryle Robles of song May Awa ang Dios with the composers, interpreters. judges and Dr. Daniel Razon of UNTV during the awarding. (Photo by MARJHON OBSIOMA)

Here is the list of the runners-up:

First place: “Sa Bawat Araw” composed by Marlon Nabia, which received P250, 000.
Second place: “Tanging Gabay” composed by Arniel Villagonza, which received P150, 000.
Third place: “Biyaya” composed by Meldin Nabia, which received P100, 000.

ASOP is open to all amateur and professional songwriters. The show is hosted by Ms. Toni Rose Gayda and Mr. Richard Reynoso. It airs on Sundays, 7 p.m. on UNTV. For more information on how to join ASOP, click here. .

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