Bisaya songs, songwriters win big at Philpop 2020

Luis A. Quibranza III
·2 min read

POP song “Suyo” by songwriters/artists Noah Alejandre and Reanne Borela of Ormoc City won first place during the Philpop 2020 songwriting competition. The Grand Finals night was streamed on Dec. 20 through the PhilPop Facebook page.

The winners also walked away with the grand prize of P1 million.

Alejandre and Borela make up indie pop duo Reon. Their bilingual entry “Suyo” is one of three songs submitted from the Visayas cluster. This year’s iteration of PhilPop introduced a new format wherein the songwriting competition now accepted song entries nationwide via clusters namely, North Luzon, South Luzon, Metro Manila, the Visayas and Mindanao.

The Philippine Popular Music Festival, more popularly known as PhilPop, has been around since 2012. This year was the first time a Bisaya song won the grand prize in the competition.

“(Suyo) breaks the norms of OPM (original Pinoy music) songs having only one language and giving emphasis on couples who are from different parts of the country,” said Alejandre, explaining that the song features the story of lovers bantering in Tagalog and Bisaya.

“The thought that we’d be winning our very first songwriting competition considering that we’re also the youngest among the competitors is a dream that we’d never thought would come true,” shared Borela.

Taking second runner-up was “Pahuway” by Sherwin Fugoso. Fugoso’s track was one of three from the Mindanao cluster.

“After the contest, I realized how many people were willing to support one artist with their whole hearts even if you hadn’t asked them to,” shared Fugoso. “It amazes me that to them, my victory is also their victory and happiness.”

“I feel lucky that my song was selected as second runner-up but I feel more blessed that through this platform, a lot of people chose to support my journey here at PhilPop that focuses on #MusicBreakingBorders,” shared Fugoso.

“‘Pahuway’ has given meaning to emotions words could not express. In turn, so many people have shared their own interpretation of the song, all true and valid,” shared interpreter Ferdinand Aragon. ‘Pahuway’ has touched so many hearts, even of those who could not understand Bisaya. It is proof that language transcends music.”

Completing the Top 3 was “Bestiny” by Aikee, an entry from the Metro Manila cluster.

All PhilPop tracks are now available on streaming and digital platforms worldwide via PhilPop and Warner Music Philippines.