MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine Commission on Women recognized the winners of the MusikJuana Songwriting Contest 2021 during the virtual awarding ceremony held via live streaming on September 10, 2021. The competition aims to promote women’s rights, as enshrined in the Beijing Platform for Action, a global roadmap for advancing gender equality worldwide agreed during the fourth World Conference on women in 1995.
In her opening remarks, PCW Executive Director Atty. Kristine Rosary E. Yuzon-Chaves lauded all the participants of the competition.
“With the MusikJuana Songwriting Contest 2021, we had hoped to add more songs that echo our messages on women’s rights. And we were not disappointed. We have received almost 200 entries and we were impressed by their quality and musicality… To our 28 semi-finalists and 8 finalists, saludo po kami sa inyo! Your songs are true testaments not only to the immeasurable talents of Filipinos in music but also to their aptitude to use this powerful tool for meaningful advocacies,” said Chaves.
PCW Chairperson Sandra Sanchez-Montano handed the first honor at the ceremony – the People’s Choice Award. All the lyric videos of the finalists’ entries were uploaded on the PCW’s YouTube channel and the voting was conducted from September 1 to September 5 based on the unique views, subscribers gained because of the entry, and the watch time, as shown by the analytics of the video-streaming platform. With 2,753 points for unique views, 3,354 points for the subscriber gains, and 8,803.4 points for watch time, garnering a total of 24,910 points, “Kayang-Kaya ni Juana” by the Tatay F Creative Team took home the People’s Choice Award.
“”Higit dito sa award, ang pinanggagalingan ng katuwaan, ay iyong marami ang nakarinig, marami ang nakapanood. Ibig sabihin, iyong advocacy, marami ang narating,” said Ferdinand De Leon, the head of the Tatay F Creative Team in his acceptance speech.
Deputy Executive Director for Operations Ms. Kristine Balmes presented the Third Prize award, to husband and wife tandem, Rafael Del Rosario and Regine Imperial-Del Rosario who garnered an average score of 93.502 for their song, “Nasa Atin (Kababaihan)”.
“Hinihikayat tayo ng awitin na ito na ‘tumayo, sumigaw, at ikalat ang balita na tayo ay pantay-pantay at walang pinagkaiba’,” Balmes noted.
“We really thought of the lyrics for this one because this is not the usual lyrics for songs about women empowerment. There were 12 areas of concern that were really difficult to squeeze in. We are glad that a lot of people appreciated it and it won the Top 3,” Regine shared. “Our hard work, as instructed by PCW, will be used for good, and it will help and empower a lot of people and women,” Rafael added.
Gaining a total score of 93.759 from the judges, “Ikaw ay Ginto” by another power couple, LJ Manzano and Joan Abigael Te, won the second highest distinction in the contest.
In bestowing the second prize, Deputy Executive Director for Management Services Ms. Cecile Gutierrez enthused on the impact of the winning entry, “Tiyak na tatatak sa sino mang makikinig ang awiting ito na may bagong tunog at nakaka-LSS. Sa awiting ito, maniniwala ka talaga na ang bawat Juana ay kamangha-mangha kaya naman ang karapatan ay hindi dapat bitiwan.”
In his acceptance speech, Manzano shared, “We didn’t expect that we will win. We always believe that songwriting – it depends sa mga nakikinig. I am really glad that you gave us this blessing… Sa lahat ng contestants, congratulations din po.”
Before the highlight of the event, PCW Chairperson Montano took the opportunity to thank all the participants, “Nais pong pasalamatan ng PCW ang lahat ng lumahok sa ating patimpalak. We truly appreciate the passion and hard work that you have put into the masterpieces that you have shared with us. Patuloy po sana kayong lumikha ng musika na nagsusulong sa mga makabuluhang adbokasiya hindi lamang para sa mga kababaihan, kundi sa lahat ng kasarian, tungo sa gender equality.” Garnering the outstanding score of 94.561%, “Si Juana Ako” by Neil Salarda, John Tubalde, at Lorymae Baring who call themselves Team Titans, emerged as the MusikJuana 2021 champion.
In his short but sweet acceptance speech, Salarda thanked the Team Titans, his family, friends, relatives, and all who supported them. “To PCW, marami pong maraming salamat for giving us the platform to share our talent and to offer our skills sa mga kababaihan po,” Salarda said in rejoice.
MusikJuana Songwriting Contest: New anthems for women’s empowerment
The MusikJuana Songwriting Contest was launched on March 8, 2021, in time for the celebration of the International Women’s Day, with a goal to search for songs that can popularize the contents of the global roadmap on achieving gender equality, the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).
The BPfA was adopted during the 4th World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China on September 4-15, 1995. While significant progress has been made in the Philippines over the last two and a half decades, the PCW saw the need to reintroduce its 12 areas of concern among Filipinos through songs that are written in our local language.
The requirements for all entries included the following: that each song must be an original work, in Filipino, upbeat and appropriate for jingle, using any musical instrument, within 3-5 minutes, and must integrate BPfA’s areas of concern: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms, human rights, media, environment, and the girl child.
The PCW received almost 200 entries for the contest and these were assessed by a pre-screening committee which ensured that only those that are qualified under the mechanics and will resonate the advocacy of PCW will move to the semi-finals. After sessions of listening to the entries and considering their musicality, lyrics, and originality, 28 semi-finalists were selected.
The PCW then invited five respected judges to further screen the entries and identify the 8 finalists, as well as the Top 3 winners of the competition: Multi-awarded singer-songwriter, Bayang Barrios; National Commission for Culture and the Arts Committee on Music Member, vocal coach and theater performer, Ms. Nenen Espina, Gender and Social Development Expert, Dr. Amaryllis Tiglao-Torres, Singer-songwriter, Princess Lenneth Lansang, and musician Santy Leonardo who is the founder and head of the Songwriters’ Society of the Philippines. They were given the scoresheet that only included the entry number with corresponding mp3 file and lyrics, with no name of the semi-finalist mentioned anywhere, to ensure the participants of the judges’ independence and fairness. They assessed the entries according to the lyrics (35%), melody (30%), song structure and composition (15%), and originality (20%).
Eight songs Harmonizing Music with Advocacy
“Sa Labas Ng Kahon”
By: Ian Levi Mora (Singer, Rapper, Instrumentalist, Arranger) Hemmady S. Mora (Lyricist)
Labas ng Kahon is a hip new vibe and a welcome addition to modern Filipino rap. This collaboration of M&M (Mora & Mora or Mom & Me) proved helpful to the relationship of mother and son, Dr. Hemmady Mora, Dean of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ College of Communication, and Ian Mora, a 3rd year violin major student at the UST Conservatory of Music. A product of their endeavor to become productive during the pandemic and to stay mentally fit and healthy, Labas ng Kahon is a call to put women out of the box and throw out old stereotypes that keep women from achieving their full potential.
By: Jessan Mirador-Ngaosi
Arranged by Dem Mokammad
This masterpiece will surely make you clap your hands to the beat as it talks of every Juana’s capability to lead, achieve goals, and be a role model to everyone, especially the girl child. This is the focus Jessan Mirador-Ngaosi had in mind while writing the song. Jessan works as a nurse at the Department of Education, a mother of a 2-year old girl, and a breastfeeding advocate. She started writing songs when she was 15 years old. Her passion for music and high hopes for a better future for girls reverberate in this track that will surely leave a mark on every listener.
“Ikaw ay Ginto”
LJ Manzano (Songwriter & Lyricist)
Joan Abigael Te (co- lyricist)
Singer on Recording: Eds Tecson
Second placer “Ikaw ay Ginto” is guaranteed to give you the Last Song Syndrome with its catchy melody and lyrics, both poetic and powerful. It is the fruit of the chemistry of LJ Manzano and Joan Abigael Te who wrote songs for Morissette Amon’s “Naririnig Mo Ba” which won the “Best Ballad Recording of the Year (2018)”, and whipped other pieces for Ben&Ben, Mark Garcia, and for themselves. Manzano has over 50 Million video views accumulated all over social media including his song “Hay Nako” with Jamich and “Huling El Bimbo” played in 5 guitars and more. To add, LJ is a Grand Champion of Star FM’s Bombo Music Festival and Joan is an interpreter for Himig Handog, a co-songwriter for Morissette and an X-Factor Philippines Finalist. Truly, this power couple uses their talents for advocacies that are noble.
Nasa Atin (Kababaihan)
By: Regine Anne Imperial-Del Rosario, Rafael Brian Del Rosario, [Vocalist: Maria Khristina Lim]
A pleasure to the ears and to the heart, Nasa Atin (Kababaihan) gives you women empowerment feels right away. With this song, Rafael and Regine, who are classically-trained, professional musicians active in the Philippine music scene, were able to reiterate that the key to real and inclusive progress is empowering the women of the nation. Rafael, a pianist, and Regine, a violinist, represented the Philippines internationally in various kinds of concerts, concert tours, and master classes. They are also members of an orchestra, together with Teena, the vocalist and interpreter of their song, “Nasa Atin (Kababaihan)”.
Kayang-Kaya ni Juana
Aivahn C. Alic, Nasstasia Cristine L. Bago, Patrick Anthony V. Baldago, Joellete Xyra Nicolle P. Broqueza, Ferdinand A. De Leon, Kier Michael N. Mosquito, Chris Allen L. Penetrante
Kayang-kaya ni Juana can easily be an anthem in every gathering of and for women, rightfully the recipient of the People’s Choice Award. With a great appeal and recall, it succeeds in discussing key points in creative ways. All thanks to Tatay F Creative Team of the Camarin High School in Caloocan who worked together on this song, building on their strength in communication as they are tasked to promote the school’s programs and advocacies to its internal and external stakeholders and the public.
Landas Para Kay Juana
By: Myrla L. Fernandez, Felomino Vicente T. Fernandez, Rochel R. Hufancia
Another fruit of love for music and advocacy, Landas Para Kay Juana is a call to action. It calls for inclusion towards the path of full protection of women’s rights and their progress. Its composers, Felomino and Myrla Fernandez, are a couple who started their love story in a band. Felomino is a teacher at the Camarines Norte State College, a director of the Cultural Performing Arts Center, and of the choral group of CNSC. Myrla is the director and trainer of their home music studio, Fernandez Music Studio. The song’s interpreter was one of Mr. Fernandez’s choir members and one of his best singers.
“Juana, Ikaw Ang Bida”
By: Richard D. Samulde
“Juana, Ikaw ang Bida” mixes pop and rap with strong and direct statements on women’s empowerment. It calls on everyone to allow women to rise so they can contribute to nation-building and be a “bida” in their own ways, in their communities. It is a product of the creativity of Richard Samulde, a math teacher by day and musician by night from South Cotabato. A consistent participant in different songwriting contests, Samulde says that his music is inspired by his wife and his family.
Si Juana Ako
By: Neil T. Salarda- Composer, John Willace Tubalde- Lyricist, Lorymae Baring – Interpreter
This song is both a declaration and an encouragement. With every beat, the MusikJuana 2021 Grand Winner can make every woman believe in herself, as it echoes the strength, voice, and competence of women across different fields and aspects. It’s a testament that Juanas are the subject of, in as much as the movers in addressing the 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action. The song is a collaborative masterpiece by the Team Titans from Cebu – Neil Salarda (Composer), John Willace Tubalde (Lyricist), and Lorymae Baring (Interpreter) – long-time friends who are bound by their love for music.