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Friday, February 14, 2014

WITH the aim to vindicate the Visayan language in the music scene, a Cebu-based songwriting campaign is once again being staged as a professional and competitive approach in introducing original Cebuano compositions in the airwaves.

The Visayan Pop Music Festival (VisPop) is now on its second year. It is run by music production and event planning outfit, ArtistKO. Out of the 120 entries from across the Visayan-speaking regions nationwide, six surfaced as potential candidates to hit the core advocacy of the competition.

Of the 60 entries last year, Duyog by Jewel and Joe Villaflores of Hilongos Leyte championed the maiden VisPop.


The 2014 finalists were presented during a press conference on Tuesday at Handuraw Pizza in Lahug, Cebu City.

Vying for the title are Kasikas by online illustrator Johnever Canlom of Toledo City, Dili Pa Panahon by Kenneth Corvera from Agusan del Norte, Intergalactic Gugma by siblings Keith Jonas and Kaye Dinauto of Cebu City, Habak by overseas Filipino worker Gasser Perez of Zamboanga del Sur, Labyu Langga by 17-year old Jerika Salve Teodorico of Cebu Normal University and Imong Bayani by Michael Vincent Tuico from Daanbantayan Cebu.

The songs were judged by VisPop musical director and producer Jude Gitamondoc, Missing Filemon frontman Insoy Niñal, songwriter and composer Rommel Tuico and Jad Bantug of 1032 Recording Studio.

The criteria revolve around the melody, lyrics and arrangement. According to the panel, songs which incorporated a few English words were not rejected as long as they were justified by the whole storytelling.

Vispop is viewed as a statement; a medium to preserve if not revive the Bisrock movement, a musical culture lost to the misconception of past generations. If Filipinos (Cebuanos) won’t alter their somehow poisoned mindsets then the local offering will always be inferior to imported sounds.

Song finalists will be released online by mid April. Finals night is set this June 26 at SM Cinema 1, in time with Cebu Business Month.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2014.


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