Bilingual pop anthem “Suyo” wins PhilPop 2020 Songwriting Festival

The week-long celebration culminated with podcast documentaries, a series of radio guesting, music video premieres, and the annual finals night.

Noah Alejandre and Reanna Borela’s “Suyo” bagged the top prize of the PhilPop 2020 Songwriting Festival.

Conveying the intricacies of romantic relationships amidst language and cultural differences, “Suyo” bested 14 entries from Metro Manila, North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao clusters on the PhilPop Finals Night held online last Sunday, December 20, 2020. The winning song also walked away with the grand prize of P1 million, tax free.

Alejandre and Borela, the composer behind “Suyo,” served as interpreters for their own track under the moniker, reon.

Aikee’s “Bestiny” and Sherwin Fugoso’s “Pahuway” emerged as first and second place, winning P500,000 and P250,000, respectively.

The former entry was interpreted by Kevin Yadao and Jr. Crown, while the latter was sung by Ferdinand Aragon, who composed the PhilPop 2018 runner-up song, “Di Ko Man.”

Breaking Borders

With #MusicBreakingBorders as its newest tagline, PhilPop 2020 is committed to championing the diversity and global appeal of Filipino music across the country. All entries were chosen for their outstanding contribution to the contemporary Pinoy pop canon and its potential in bringing the unique value of Filipino culture and experience to the international music arena. 

Despite the challenges of the new normal, the country’s premier songwriting competition managed to step up its game by mounting a virtual Finals Night that honors the finest in homegrown pop songwriting this year. 

Smart People’s Choice

A special award called Smart People’s Choice, which was determined based on the cumulative number of streams and views via Spotify and YouTube, was also handed out to the standouts in every cluster: “Kasadya,” composed and interpreted by XT on Sax with Jay-ar Vaño for Mindanao; “Suyo,” composed and interpreted by reon for Visayas; “Para Kay Catriona,” composed by Kulas Basilonia and interpreted by I Belong to the Zoo for South Luzon; “Balikan,” composed by Lolito Go and interpreted by Benj Manalo for North Luzon; and “Huling Sayaw,” composed by Kian Dionisio and interpreted by Nyoy Volante for Metro Manila.

Week-long celebration

PhilPop Songwriting Festival 2020 kicked off its celebration with a week-long series of online events featuring the 15 finalists. 

Connect, a digital media agency based in the Philippines, produced a 5-part series called “PhilPop 2020 Podcast.” The digital documentary put a spotlight on the finalists per cluster and the stories behind every song. 

The episodes run for 5 days, from December 12 – 18:

  • Episode 1 for Mindanao: New Voices, New Stories
  • Episode 2 for Visayas: Feelings and Songwriting
  • Episode 3 for North Luzon: Songs for the Voiceless
  • Episode 4 for South Luzon: Bitter and Sweet Music
  • Episode 5 for Metro Manila: Breaking Our Borders

During the week-long promo spot, the finalists also guested at Wish 107.5’s Connect to talk about their respective entries in the competition.

A day before the Finals Night, PhilPop 2020 also debuted the music videos of the PhilPop finalists. The visuals for each song are now available on Warner Music Philippines’ official YouTube account.

PhilPop 2020 Songwriting Festival is an initiative of the PhilPop Music Foundation, chaired by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan. This year's PhilPop is co-presented by SMART, MERALCO, MAYNILAD, WARNER MUSIC PHILIPPINES, MULTISYS, and CONNECT PRODUCTIONS.

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