Ryan Cayabyab distances self from alleged Philpop scam

"No one knows who the composers of the songs are until they are revealed, blind auditions lahat 'yan," says Philpop executive director Ryan Cayabyab (in photo). Nikki Gil, Tom Rodriguez, and Elmo Magalona are among the interpreters competing in Philpop 2014 that will hold its grand finals on July 26.


"It's time for the world to know that we have great music, not just great singers," says PhilPop Administrations and Communications Director for Patricia Hizon. Each year, PhilPop grows bigger and bigger and hopefully comes one step closer to achieving its goal.

"Ang dream talaga namin since the begining is for K-Pop, J-Pop and PhilPop to be at par with one another," adds Hizon.

The festival aims to provide a channel wherein Filipino songwriters can create new songs, discover new expressions and genres in popular music and spark a renewed awareness, enthusiasm, and pride in Philippine music.

The 3rd PhilPop Grand Finals night will take place this Saturday, July 26, at the Meralco Theater and will be streamed live via spinnr.ph with Jasmine Curtis-Smith as host. This event will also have a delayed telecast on TV5 that same night.

"We don't just want to celebrate the individual voices gusto namin din i-celebrate yung creative minds ng composers, lyricists, arrangers, singers, musicians. Lahat sila nag co-collaborate para maging champions ng Original Pilipino Music," Hizon points out.

PhilPop 2014 boasts a roster of big names slated to perform on the competition's finals night. Taking the stage will be Mr. Pure Energy, Gary Valenciano, Pop Diva, Kuh Ledesma rap icon Gloc 9, Sam Concepcion, Tippy Dos Santos, Abra, Raimund Marasigan and Julie Anne San Jose, among others.

The opening number for the night will celebrate the evolution of OPM (Original Pilipino Music) from tribal tunes to the emergence of Philippine pop music.

The July 26 awards night will be hosted by Christian Bautista, Iya Villania and Tim Yap. Each of the 12 finalists will have a chance to present their songs as performed by their choice of interpreters.


SCANDALS AND CONTROVERSIES

Since its inception in 2012, PhilPop has been racked with its share of controversy as rumors of rigged competitions and pre-selected finalists circulated throughout the internet. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to exposing Philpop’s alleged scam naming Ryan Cayabyab (a.k.a. Mr. C) as the orchestrator.

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"No one knows who the composers of the songs are until they are revealed, blind auditions lahat 'yan." Mr. C clarified. "Walang nakaka-alam kung sino ang composers so ang naglalaban talaga yung mga kanta."

It has been observed that the same names seem to re-appear in the finals of song competitions such as Philpop and Himig Handog, which causes quite the stir among fans and contestants alike. According to the Maestro, some would even suggest creating a separate competition for professionals and amateurs.

To this, Mr. C pointed out: "I would be bold to tell you that that would be one of the reasons kung bakit nawala ang interest sa Metro Pop dahil hiniwalay nila yung amateurs sa professional. E, di parang ang nangyari lang, e, give chance also to the amateurs."

"Ang competition ay competition," Mr. C stressed. "Whether you are a professional or an amateur ang naglalaban dito yung kanta. Yun naman ang point, pagandahan ng kanta, pagandahan ng idea. Kung ikaw amateur at gusto mo pumantay sa kanila [professionals], aba'y mag-aral ka, pag-aralan mo how would you be able to catch the attention of your audience."

THE FINALISTS

Winners and previous finalists are back this year for another shot at winning the grand prize of P1 million. They were chosen from among the 3,000 entries submitted this year.

Soc Villanueva's "Babalikan Mo Rin Ako" interpreted by Nikki Gil

Jungee Marcelo's "Salbabida" interpreted by Kyla

Toto Sorioso has two entries this year:

"Awit Mo'y Nandito Pa" interpreted by Youtube sensations Aldrich Talonding and James Bucong

"Langit Umaawit" interpreted Tom Rodriguez

They will go head to head with other neophyte composers and other first time joiners of the competition.

Knowa Lazarus and Flava Matikz's (collectively known as Q-York) "Qrush On You" interpreted by Jay-R, Elmo Magalona and Q-York

Mike Villegas' "Dear Heart" interpreted by Kiana Valenciano (Gary V's only daughter)

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Allan Feliciano and Isaac Garcia's "Hang Out Lang" interpreted by Duncan Ramos and Young JV

Chi Datu-Bocobo and Isaac Garcia's "Kung Akin Ang Langit" interpreted by Mcoy Fundales (lead singer for Orange and Lemons) and Clara Benin (daughter of Joey Benin from Side A)

Popsie San Pedro's "The Only One" interpreted by Thor Dulay (contestant of The Voice Season 1)

Davey Langit's "No Girl Friend Since Break" interpreted by Luigi D'Avola (MYX Celebrity VJ)

Jude Gitamondoc and Therese Villarante's "Song On a Broken String" interpreted by Nicole Laurel Ascensio (vocalist of all-girl band General Luna)

Daryl Ong’s “Torpe" interpreted by Kris Lawrence






SCREENING PROCESS

Judges had to listen to over 3,000 songs before coming up with these 12 finalists. Mr. C., the executive director of Philpop, explained the screening process:

"Forty people listen to the songs, malalayo sila sa isa't isa, they're not allowed to talk, they're not allowed to react they're not even allowed to have eye contact with each other because the idea is to maintain the integrity of each individual. The only criterion is how the songs connect, ano yung kanta na nag connect sa inyo."

Judges then score the songs 1 - 5 and to prevent the judges from diving (term used for giving the highest score of 5 to the favored song and lowest score of 1 to all others) "No more than two points sa highest and sa lowest. So kung mayroong five and one [sa score] dapat mayroon ding three."


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