July 14, 2012 was Finals Night for the first PhilPop. It was also the birthday of the PhilPop Music Foundation's Chairman, no less than Manny V. Pangilinan. How often does one get "invited" to his birthday party?
Well, I suppose this wasn't exactly his birthday party - he must have celebrated with people close to him over dinner before the show started. Still, those of us who stayed for the event's after-party were thrilled to see he was there, too. We thought he might have left already. And it was still his birthday. I think you can see in all our smiles how happy we were to have this instant photo op with him (pati si Direk Rowell Santiago nakisali na rin). So thanks, PhilPop, for making this day memorable from start to finish.
TO BE CONTINUED...
My friend and fellow finalist Mike Villegas hit the nail right on the head when he said "I didn't place but boy, did I win!" I feel exactly the same way about PhilPop. So many good things have come out of it despite not coming home with that beautiful Orlina trophy.
I've already named two of them the past couple of days: making new friends and the honor of having a song of mine become part of a great collection of new songs.
Reconnecting with some of my peers has also been one of my many PhilPop blessings. Lord knows there are many of these guys I hardly get to see (except on Facebook!) so it's always great spending time with them when I get the chance.
On the day of the Press Conference, I walked into that resto at Resorts World not knowing who else I would see there. I wondered who else made it to the Top 14. I was engaged in conversation with Karl (if I remember correctly) when I heard a loud voice behind me go "TRINA BELAMIDE!!!" I turned and saw it was my dear friend Mike Villegas. I jumped up from my seat and he and I screamed at each other and hugged and jumped for joy. Boy, this was bigger than our individual reactions finding out we had made it to the Top 14! Mike was with twin brother Angelo, also a great songwriter. So happy to see my favorite twins!
Mike and I first met when we both made it into the Top 12 of Metropop 1996. My song was "Shine" (it won 2nd Prize that year) and his was "Bagong Umaga," which coincidentally was the very first song performed and opened that whole Metropop season, just as his "Negastar" was also the very first song performed for PhilPop. We've been good friends since, and that's what we've been telling the newbies in this contest, that the friends you make at contests like these become not just your business contacts but sometimes, too, your friends for life. We were together again in Metropop 2003. This time Mike's song "Pretend That I Don't Love You" won 2nd Prize and his wife Bayang won the Grand Prize with "Malayo Man, Malapit Din" (what a night for that couple!).
Soc is one such friend, too. We were fellow finalists in Metropop 1997 where he won 3rd Prize with "Delicado, Delicadeza." He's become sort of a family friend because we ended up buying his Starex when he moved to Perth, Australia, which is now where my brother also lives and where I was able to spend a day with Soc and his wife Arleen the first time I went to visit my brother.
Gary Granada was my fellow finalist in Metropop 1998 (wait a minute... sunod-sunod ko palang naging kalaban at kaibigan ang mga ito! Realized it just now!) and he won the Grand Prize with "Mabuti Pa Sila" - a song that was technically overtime, so the organizers actually consulted with all of us finalists one meeting to ask if we would require Gary to shorten his song to fit the time limit, to be fair to everyone. All of us felt his song was too beautiful to touch so we opted for him to leave it the way it was. Ayun, nanalo tuloy. But that gives you an idea of how supportive songwriters can be towards competitors. We have so much respect and empathy for one another, so the friendships formed are at some other level that we don't necessarily have with other people.
People ask us what keeps us contest "veterans" coming back when we've already had our share of the limelight. Well, a P1M prize is certainly attractive, but it's also all the camaraderie and the opportunity for us to connect and reconnect with kindred spirits. PhilPop has given me the opportunity to make new friends and hang out with colleagues with whom I have a shared history.
More on my PhilPop blessings in blog entries to come.
TO BE CONTINUED...
I don't know how long Jungee Marcelo has been my friend. Definitely more than a decade. We've competed against each other in songwriting contests and helped each other through them; we've played the role of judges in singing and songwriting contests, too; I sought his advice when it was my turn to represent the country in the Asia Song Festival a year after he did; I've seen him dance and he's seen me try (LOL!)...and I've told him - as I'm sure many others have - that someone like him who's made my belly ache from laughter countless times could be a great TV show host.
I'm so happy to see his dream has come true. This Is My Story, This Is My Song is a 30 minute show that airs on Light TV 33 every Wednesday evening at 8pm. It's a show about songwriters, hosted by a songwriter. What a wonderful concept! Needless to say, it's something all of us songwriters are excited about. When he told me about plans for the show and for me to appear, of course I said yes!
I hope a lot of people get to watch this show week after week. I think even for non-songwriters, it provides an interesting look into what goes into songwriting and stories behind songs we already know. Do watch whenever you can. (This Is My Story, This Is My Song has its own Facebook page, search for it and clilck on 'like'.)
Jungee, my friend, I wish you all the best for the show. Sana tumuloy-tuloy. Alam mong andito lang ako sa tabi-tabi (literally) for you. Congratulations!
Today I was at LaSalle Greenhills to sing with Mass Appeal for Bro. Rolly Dizon and at the simple reception outside the LSGH Chapel, I was delighted to see Randy Santiago again. I've only "worked" with him once - on a song I wrote for his brother Raymart who had then asked me to write a song for Claudine as a gift to his bride-to-be. And so I took a trip down memory lane today as a result running into Randy...
I spoke to Raymart before writing this song, interviewed him about his relationship, how they met and so on and what message he had for her. It was difficult to draw anything out of him. He was more of the silent type, but I could definitely feel the love he had for his fiancee. He spoke clearly about the day he first saw Claudine and the things he loved about her. But what message did he have for her? That part was left to me.
And so this is the song I came up with. I think it's a song that expresses how a lot of men feel, and I bet this is something they all wish their girlfriends and wives would understand. Well, if you're one of those silent guys challenged in the love expression department, go ahead and play this for your loved one.
Click here to listen to "No Words". Enjoy!
My name is Trina Belamide and I'm a songwriter and record producer.
GreatSongsToSing is my online store and I thank you for dropping by! Do comment on my blog posts. I'd love to hear from you!
Learn more about me on www.trinabelamide.com.