Josefino Cenizal is Filscap awardee
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

There are many unforgettable songs from the early days of local pop music that will surely make the list in the great Filipino songbook. Dahil Sa ‘yo by Mike Velarde is an easy choice. So are Bakya Mo Neneng by Santiago Suarez; Bituing Marikit by Nicanor Abelardo; Dahil Sa Isang Bulaklak by Leopoldo Silos; Saan Ka Man Naroroon by Restie Umali; Sapagka’t Kami Ay Tao Lamang by Tony Maiquez; Maalaala Mo Kaya by Constancio de Guzman; Minamahal, Sinasamba by Tito Arevalo; and so many others.

We will never want for beautiful songs and the fact that these exist is proof of the mastery of the romantic ballad by Filipino composers. That list can go on and on. In fact I invite everybody to come up with their own versions. You may include Jerry Brandy’s Balut in one perhaps or something of a classical bent like Francisco Santiago’s Anak Dalita. I am sure though that no matter how you do it, one song nobody is likely to omit is Hindi Kita Malimot by Josefino Cenizal.

Composed in 1940, Hindi Kita Malimot starts out soft and slow then soars in the chorus before coming to a close with its haunting promise, “At kung ikaw man ay lumimot, iyong alalahanin, mahal pa rin kita.” Like most hits of the time, the song first gained popularity as a movie theme song. Truth to tell, it was used several times in various films over the ensuing years, where it was usually performed by top singing stars. Among them were the screen legends Carmen Rosales and Pancho Magalona, both of whom made recordings of Hindi Kita Malimot.

Cenizal, who comes from Cavite, left law studies at the University of the Philippines to become a musician. He has written other songs. Among them are Masaganang Kabukiran and Ang Pag-ibig Ko’y Ingatan Mo. He plays the piano and the banjo and once worked as a band leader, movie actor and director. He got his first job as conductor of the US Army and Navy Club Orchestra when he was only 17. Now a sprightly 91-year-old, he continues to compose. In fact, his latest a big band ditty titled, Pobre was a semi-finalist at the Filscap Songwriting Competition.

Cenizal is acknowledged as one of the country’s great composers and the last of the special breed of musicians that rose to prominence before World War II. He will be honored as such with the Gawad Dangal ng Filscap Award on Friday, May 21, at the Skydome in SM North EDSA. Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez will perform a tribute medley featuring some of his compositions, led of course by Hindi Kita Malimot. This will coincide with the Finals Night of the Filscap Songwriting Competition. This is most heartening as I do not think we honor the “forefathers” of popular songwriting enough and Cenizal is certainly deserving.

Cenizal was married to the lovely singer and actress Olivia Cenizal. They have one daughter.

Meanwhile, the finalists competing for the P200,000 cash price and the trip to Sydney, Australia to attend the Song Summit 2010 Conference on June 19 to 21, 2010 are the following:

Pop Category: Choices by Felipe Monserrat, Gabriel Sevilla and Lily Alunan; I Won’t Feel Blue by Arcyllin Arcilla; and Love Can Just Save The Day by Antonino Regalado and Adrienne Sarmiento-Buenaventura.

Novelty Category: Bloom by Edwin Marollano; Isaw by Krina Cayabyab; and Walang Kadala-dala by Moy Ortiz.

R&B Category: Ganito Ganyan by Caba; Like I Am With You Today by Louie Canaria; and Luvsong Tambay by Jim Dacanay and Justin Dacanay.

Rock Category: Raven by Tao Aves; Tayo Na Sa Ulan by Ted Reyes; and ‘Wag Mong Isipin by Ronaldo Sorioso.

Take note that all these finalists are already winners. What will be determined by the board of judges during the finals is the Grand Prize winner and their ranking as First Prize with P50,000, in cash; Second Prize with P30,000; and Third Prize with P20,000 for every category.

Who knows one or more of them might just end up Gawad Dangal Ng Filscap awardees in the future.

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