A song about selfless love won the first prize in the 29th Cebu Pop Music Festival held Friday night at the New Cebu Coliseum.
?Tim-os Kong Gugma? impressed the panel of judges headed by Presidential Management Staff Secretary Cerge Remonde.
Composer Jun Aliño Cabillar, who wins P150,000 cash and a trophy, was teary-eyed when he accepted the award with song performer Girlie Lapinid-Laspiñas, who wins P10,000 as best interpreter.
?All the songs have very good messages even the novelty songs so I was not expecting this. Gikulbaan ko pagmaayo (I'm very nervous),? he told Cebu Daily News.
The song was arranged by Nendel Endrina and Josey Cabusas.
It was Cabillar's fifth time to join the contest.
He participated in 2004, 2007, 2007 and 2008 before winning the 2009 top prize. He won second and third prize in 2006 and 2008 respectively for songs ?Bitoon Mo? and ?Karon.?
The theme of true and selfless love is a ?very Cebuano attitude? of a woman in love, said Cabillar.
?It was drawn from personal experience and the experience of other people I know. It is a song of pure love, about a girl who is ready to sacrifice so that the relationship with the man she loves will last. Despite all this, he leaves her.?
Cabillar said he first asked a man to sing his contest entry then realized a woman would better deliver the song's message.
?Cebuano songs are not just songs (per se). They also touch on culture. As Cebuanos, it is our nature to be emotional. At the end of the day, we look for songs which we can still sing after many years, a classic in the future and not just a fad.?
Cabillar said he will share the prize money with the interpreter and the arranger, and use a portion to record another song.
?The prize money may give you value but the most important thing is really being there,? he said.
This year's music festival also featured 12 finalists composed of six ballads and six novelty songs.
Novelty song ?Pungko-Pungko? won P100,000 as second placer.
Pungko-pungko narrates the Cebuano's penchant for eating affordable yet delicious street food such as puso, lumpia, meatballs and ngohiong. This is usually eaten sitting down by the roadside, hence the Cebuano term ?pungko pungko?. It was composed and arranged by Roy Tabasa and Russel Alegado.
Third prize of P50,000 went to Dennis Martin and Ralph Cabusas for the patriotic song, ?Sa Ngalan sa Nasud.?
The 12-person panel had Cebuano composers, musicians, singers and personalities, including singer Rochelle ?Raki? Vega.
?The songs are very Cebuano and speaks about us as a people,? said Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu's 1st district, who is founding chairman of the Cebu Arts Foundation Inc. (CAFI) and the veritable father of the Pop Music Festival, which is marking its 30th year next year.
For the pearl anniversary in 2010, Gullas said they plan to gather Cebuano divas such as Pilita Corales, Dulce and Vina Morales.