Ryan Cayabyab, Jim Paredes, Noel Cabangon, Trina Belamide, Gary Granada and Jungee Marcelo were recently in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Philippines. The iconic Filipino songwriters, along with Marlon Barnuevo, Davey Langit, Thyro Alfaro, Miguel Guico and Paolo Guico, mentored 26 promising singer-songwriters at the latest staging of the PhilPop Bootcamp 2019 at Purok Marcela and Oldwood beach resorts in Lingayen from September 24-27, 2019.
Cabangon and Cayabyab served as the bootcamp masters. The latter, who is a National Artist and a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, helped pioneer PhilPop and remains one of its staunchest champions.
“On the first day alone, we were already impressed with some of our fellows,” Cayabyab stated. “I can imagine we will discover more of these promising talented songwriters that we’re looking for. We will train them, share with them everything we know and provide them with the tools they need so that hopefully they leave the workshop with renewed and inspired lives to create new songs for the country.”
As a bootcamp master, Cayabyab led a dream team of coaches. He kicked off the bootcamp with an enlightening talk on Why Do We Write Songs.
Paredes gave an inspiring talk on Enhancing Your Creativity: Inspiring your Music Journey while Cabangon gave songwriting exercises and talked about Lyric Writing for Advocacies. Belamide helped the fellows on starting a song and explained copyright and basic music publishing, Granada discussed lyric writing and Marcelo shared pointers on writing melody and lyrics.
According to PhilPop executive director Dinah Remolacio, the songwriting bootcamp was borne out of the need to give more regional songwriters an opportunity to be part of the premier songwriting competition in the Philippines. Given the opportunity and much to the delight of the Bootcamp’s coaches, most of these up-and-coming regional songwriters have responded favorably to PhilPop’s call as many of the 26 Fellows in the Pangasinan Bootcamp came from Northern and Southern Luzon.
“We noticed that most of the PhilPop winners from 2012 to 2016 were from Metro Manila,” Remolacio stated. “There’s nothing wrong with that but we also wanted to diversify PhilPop as music from the country’s provincial regions have their own distinct flavor and characteristics. We felt compelled to strengthen and empower these regional songwriters by giving them a platform for their music and to use education as an instrument to create more songs that can add to the treasure trove of Original Pilipino Music.”
Cabangon sees a lot of potential in the PhilPop Bootcamp 2019 fellows. He said, “They just need a little more push but this is why we have these workshops to make them realize that songwriting is not something they can do out of sheer impulse.”
“There are also certain considerations as they also need to be conscious of the lyrics, the melody and the rhythm,” Cabangon continued. “But many of them were able to present well during the exercises and I personally thought that collaborating with their group mates will go a long way in enhancing their skills.”
Each of the 26 fellows is now assured of a slot in the Top 300 submissions in the PhilPop 2020 festival. All of them are thrilled to learn from the masters and take their craft to the next level.
PhilPop Bootcamp 2019 is an initiative of the PhilPop Music Foundation chaired by Mr. Manny V. Pangilinan. It is co-presented by SMART, MERALCO, and MAYNILAD and is supported by the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC), the local government unit of Lingayen, Pangasinan and venue partners Oldwood Resort and Purok Marcela.
Here is an interview with Cayabyab: