Enrich the spirit… inspired by music!
The first and only worship songwriting tilt on Philippine television, A Song of Praise Music Festival (ASOP), capped off its seventh Grand Finals Night at the country’s premier performing arts venue, New Frontier Theater, Araneta Center, Cubao Quezon City on November 11.
Twelve masterpieces written by aspiring songwriters took center stage echoing uplifting heavenly music right into the hearts of the crowd.
OPM trio Bradz as they perform live John Paul Salazar’s “Tugtog” at A Song of Praise Music Festival Year 7 Grand Finals Night
The gospel fest named visually-impaired songwriter John Paul Salazar’s original composition entitled “Tugtog” as the song of the year with P500,000 cash prize tax-free. Upcoming OPM trio Bradz made the audience sway and dance to the upbeat melody of the song.
Salazar penned his original composition despite suffering from blurry vision due to stage 3 glaucoma, he turned to music as it helps him heal in a passionately life-changing way.
Songwriting has become his hobby since his condition compels him to stay at home for most of the time. Though troubled at times by his condition as he has difficulty seeing what he writes down, he still spends time composing songs, memorizing them word for word.
“Tugtog” songwriter John Paul Salazar together with his interpreters, pop trio Bradz
“The song ‘Tugtog’ for me denotes a human heartbeat. One artist I heard said, ‘Music is a part of our lives, and our hearts always plays music.’ I made the song out of that idea and turned it into a song of praise to the Lord. Every time I sing for the Lord, my heart is in sync with the music!” said Salazar.
Twenty-four-year-old songwriter Edward Salde’s “Isang Milyong Pasasalamat” secured the first place.
ASOP Year 4 Best Interpreter awardee Leah Patricio returned to ASOP stage to render a powerful performance of Salde’s composition. Salde received Php 300,000 for his winning entry.
Overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Emmanuel Lipio’s hope-filled, soul-soothing gospel hymn “God Is With Us” took home Php 250,000 for the 2nd runner-up award.
With his 90s-sounding worship hymn “Di Na ‘Ko Aawit, Rommel Gojo bagged the Php 200,000 for winning third runner-up. Non-winning entries each received Php 20,000.
“God Is With Us” interpreter Cello Nuñez has been named as this year’s Best Interpreter. Nuñez was awarded with Php 50,000 cash prize.
“I feel that singing a praise song is more profound because you can relate to it in everyday life. Also, the lyrics are more meaningful. “God is with us” is my favorite line because it is true,” said Nuñez.
People’s Choice Award a was given to LJ Manzano’s original, “Banal Mong Salita”, which was interpreted by R&B Charmer Mark Michael Garcia. Manzano received Php 50,000 prize.
Jeffrey Lim hails as Bro. Eli Soriano’s (BES) Choice at A Song of Praise Music Festival Year 7 Grand Finals Night
Apart from the major awards, the gospel fest launched a new special award with a P200,000 cash, “Bro. Eli Soriano’s Choice” which was given to “Hiling”, a self-penned gospel track by visually-impaired composer Jeffrey Lim. The song was interpreted by OPM rock outfit Plethora.
The celebration’s official hashtag #ASOP7Finals also made noise online making it to the local Twitter trends list, peaking at the 6th spot.
Wish 1075’s Wishfuls performs ASOP medley at A Song of Praise Music Festival Year 7 Grand Finals Night
Wish 1075’s Wishfuls also graced the gospel fest and took the audience down memory lane as they performed a medley of ASOP originals.
This year’s roster of judges includes Doktor Musico Mon Del Rosario, Record producer Pat Castillo, OPM hitmaker Rannie Raymundo, ASOP Year 2 Grand Winner songwriter Boy Christopher Ramos, award-winning director Jose Javier Reyes and Philippine opera diva Fides Cuyugan-Asensio.
BMPI CEO and President Kuya Daniel Razon at A Song of Praise Music Festival Year 7 Grand Finals Night
BMPI CEO and President Kuya Daniel Razon delivered his inspirational remarks for the celebration, thanking the songwriters and interpreters for sharing their talent to glorify the Almighty.
Members Church of God International (MCGI) Bro. Eliseo Soriano as he delivers his inspiring message at A Song of Praise Music Festival Year 7 Grand Finals Night
ASOP TV originator and primary supporter Members Church of God International (MCGI) Bro. Eliseo Soriano read verses from the Scriptures, citing that singing praises to God is a commandment in the New Testament as it is written in James 5:13. He also expressed thanks to the program hosts Mr. Richard Reynoso and Ms. Toni Rose Gayda for the seven years of taking part in the pursuit of inspiring people back to God through gospel music.
Yet again, ASOP expressed gratitude to God for another amazing year and also thanked supporters for the overwhelming support. ASOP vows to continues to inspire talents and celebrate original Filipino praise music to glorify the Maestro of music.