Ryan Cayabyab Clears Air On Philpop Controversies

MANILA, Philippines - Master musician Ryan Cayabyab, one of the key persons behind the first Philippine Popular Music Festival (Philpop), has opened up on the issues surrounding the competition, maintaining that it was conducted "in the most professional manner."

His may well be the voice that netizens have been waiting to hear, what with the influx of negative reactions online since the release of the Top 14 finalists last May 28. These ranged from the qualification of songs published on YouTube prior to the competition (notably, the songs "3:00" by Keiko Necesario and "Slowdancing" by John Kennard Faraon), to the inclusion of a number of established composers among the finalists, and even the process through which the nearly 3,000 entries were screened.

The Process

Adjudicators "with diverse backgrounds from various sectors of the music industry," such as "composers, arrangers, performing artists, publishers, media, recording artists, executives, A&R (artists and repertoire) managers, producers and engineers" took part in the screening process, as Mr. C related in his exclusive email interview with Bulletin Entertainment. These adjudicators were classified in five categories: composers, performers, executives, professionals, and media.

"They are then assigned to different teams with each team comprising adjudicators representative of the five categories, and assigned a batch of songs. Each song was only identifiable through its title and a system-generated tag number; rating sheets, tally sheets, audio files and lyrics sheets were devoid of the names of the songwriters," the Maestro detailed, also noting that prior to the actual screening, these teams were briefed.

There were four stages in the process overall, according to Cayabyab. Numerical grading systems were also assigned to each of these stages, with the respective median scores as the determinant for which entries would proceed to the next stage.

Cayabyab said that for stage one, adjudicators were tasked to listen to each entry "at least until the chorus part or at least one minute into the song." They were also free to listen to the full song or even repeat it. A 1 to 5 grading system was employed here, the highest being 5.

"The median score of 3 was assigned to an entry if it passed the minimum standards of an adjudicator for him/her to consider it a 'good song.' Less than 10% made it to the median score. To ensure that more songs are given a chance in the next stage, the bar was lowered to 2.50 and this yielded a little over 30% entries," Cayabyab added.

Come stage two, which determined the Top 100, the grading system 1 to 8 was used (8 being the highest). Here, the teams were instructed "to listen completely to all songs."

"The teams also swapped batches to give each entry more 'ear-time.' The median yielded 109 entries and all these moved to the third level," said Cayabyab.

For selecting the Top 30 songs (third stage), the adjudicators-still grouped in teams-listened completely to the 109 entries, and rated them "from 1 to 6 with 6 being the highest." At that point, 27 entries got through, Cayabyab pointed out, so "the bar was again brought down to accommodate additional entries and the average score below the median was a 5-way tie."

The result: 32 entries made it to the fourth and final stage, from which the screening committee determined the 14 finalists. They used a 1 to 4 scoring system, with 4 being the highest.

Cayabyab likewise noted that, "In each stage, a portion of the adjudicators are retained from the immediate previous session. This ranged from 15-44% only; there are more new adjudicators than those who were present in a preceding session."

As for requests that the Top 100 entries be revealed, Cayabyab maintained that, "It is not in Philpop's policy to divulge results other than the top 14."

Setting Standards

In response to objections on the qualification of "3:00 A.M." and "Slowdancing," Cayabyab referred to the statement which Philpop issued last June 1 via its official Facebook page. The organizers maintained that these two entries did not violate the grounds for disqualification, as "Nowhere is it indicated in the rules that the entry should not have been published."

Philpop has likewise apologized over its "mistake" of "including 'publication' as among the grounds for disqualification" in response to earlier queries.

Cayabyab's vision for Philpop was that of a "free competition," for it to serve as "a showcase of premium Filipino songwriting"-whether done by a promising amateur or a respected professional.

"For the industry to level up, standards should be set... We wanted the Filipino songwriters to give it their best shot regardless of their standing while engaging in friendly competition. Contrary to what some netizens may believe, the competition was never anticipated to become a platform for a professional songwriter to prove himself or herself. Music history has proven that songwriting competitions are not the exclusive domain of professionals," said he.

While he understands the disappointment of those who didn't make it to the Top 14, Cayabyab urged hopefuls to continue striving to do their best in their music.

"PhilPop is a challenge for both the amateur and the professional. Knowing that your work will be measured up with those of industry veterans is one of the most effective motivations in turning in exceptional work. Competing with the best is the ultimate challenge.

"From among the thousands who submitted their entries, it is interesting to note that young songwriters stood up very well to the competition's challenge: only four of the 14 finalists are established songwriters. We are very happy, therefore, that the works of emerging and unknown songsmiths have come to the fore in this competition. We are infusing new blood to the Philippine music industry," he said at length.

In parting, Cayabyab imparted this wish: "...for all Filipino songwriters to achieve our collective dream of making Filipino music known worldwide commercially; for the Filipino listeners to embrace totally our own music, and for Philpop to be a catalyst in pushing Filipino songwriting to unparalleled heights!"

The other Top 14 Philpop finalist songs are: "Bigtime" (Trina Belamide), "Minsa'y Isang Bansa (Gary Granada), "Negastar" (Michael Joseph Villegas ), "Takusa" (Byron Ricamara), "Tayo Tayo Lang" (Ronald Sorioso), "Piso" (Kristofferson Melecio), "Kontrabida" (Soc Villanueva), "Brown" (James Leyte/Jezreel De Oca), "Dulo Ng Dila" (Noel Zuniga Cabalquinto), "Bawat Hakbang" (Karl Vincent Villuga), "Himig Ng Panahon" (Timothy Alfaro), and "Kesa" (Edwin Marollano).

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

  • Metro sizzles at 35º Celsius
    Metro sizzles at 35º Celsius

    While the start of the summer season has yet to be declared by the state weather bureau, Metro Manila experienced its hottest temperature so far this year at 35.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), yesterday said the highest temperature was recorded around 3 p.m. at the Science Garden in Quezon City. Meanwhile, PAGASA recorded yesterday the hottest temperature in …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options