Himig Handog grand prize winner not a quitter
KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2014 - 12:00am

After 31 years of composing music and joining different songwriting competitions, 44-year-old Edwin Marollano finally bagged his first-ever grand prize from ABS-CBN’s Himig Handog Pinoy Pop (P-POP) Love Songs 2014, the country’s biggest multimedia songwriting competition.

Edwin’s romantic ballad titled, Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako sung by X-Factor Philippines champion KZ Tandingan, was crowned the Best P-POP Love Song during the finals night last Sept. 28 at the Araneta Coliseum.

It bested more than 6,000 song entries that came from songwriters not only in the Philippines but from eight other countries including Australia, USA, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

“The song was inspired by a true story of a friend. She was torn between two men who came into her life at the same time,” said Edwin. “I was there when my friend was so confused as to who should she choose — the one she loves or the one who loves her. But I believe that in choosing the right person, we have to pray for it.”

Prior his Himig Handog triumph, Edwin, like any other composers, tried his luck at every songwriting tilt that came his way.

He started writing songs in 1983 and joined his first contest in 1985. From then on, he entered several songwriting tilts — big or small. His entries would make it as finalists, but he has never won a major prize.

“I’m not a quitter. I went on, kept writing and shared my music. And the ‘musical ride’ towards my first win is worth it,” said Edwin, who made it to the shortlist of Himig Handog twice.

Knowing that there are other strong and more popular contenders in the competition, Edwin said he was not expecting to win after the fifth to the second Best Songs were declared.

“There were a lot of great songs this year. I was already telling myself that if I didn’t make it, I’d just join again next year. That’s why the feeling was indescribable when Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako was called by Ms. Charo Santos-Concio as the grand prize winner. I was not able to react until KZ started shouting,” he said.

Edwin has written hit songs like Kyla’s I Feel For You, Tuesday Vargas’ Babae Po Ako and Vhong Navarro’s Ayos Na Ang Buto Buto. He has arranged music for films like Praybeyt Benjamin, Petrang Kabayo, Wedding Tayo, Wedding Hindi and 9 Mornings.

Edwin won P1M and a trophy designed by renowned brass sculptor Michael Cacnio. KZ, meanwhile, was honored the ABS-CBN.com Favorite Interpreter Award.

Following Edwin in the list of winners are Halik Sa Hangin (Second Best Song, composed by David Dimaguila and interpreted by Ebe Dancel with Abra); Mahal Kita Pero (Third Best Song, composed by Melchora “Bobbie” Mabilog and interpreted by Janella Salvador); Walang Basagan ng Trip (Fourth Best Song, composed by Eric de Leon and interpreted by Jugs Jugueta and Teddy Corpuz); and Hindi Wala (Fifth Best Song, composed by Nica del Rosario and interpreted by Juris).

Special awards were also given to Halik sa Hangin as Star Cinema’s Choice Award; Mahal Kita Pero’s music video directed by the students from San Beda College Alabang as MYX’s Choice For Best Music Video Award; and Bumabalik Ang Nagdaan (composed by Sarah Jane Gandia and interpreted by Jessa Zaragoza) as Star Music Listeners’ Choice Award.

Simpleng Tulad Mo, written by Meljohn Magno and sung by Daniel Padilla, clinched the MOR 101.9 Listeners’ Choice Award and ABS-CBNmobile Fan Favorite Award. If You Don’t Want to Fall (composed by Jude Gitamondoc and interpreted by Jed Madela) won TFC’S Choice Award and StarStudio Readers’ Choice Award.

This year’s panel of judges is composed of network executives and big names in the industry — head of ABS-CBN Creative Communications Management Robert Labayen, head of ABS-CBN Access Carlo Katigbak, Charice, Kuh Ledesma, head of ABS-CBN TV Production Laurenti Dyogi, Rey Valera, Boy Abunda, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) president and chairman of the board of judges, Noel Cabangon.

The other finalists of the sixth edition of Himig Handog are Akin Ka Na Lang (composed by Francis Louis Salazar and interpreted by Morissette Amon), Dito (composed by Raizo Brent Chabeldin and Biv De Vera and interpreted by Jovit Baldivino), Hanggang Kailan (composed by Jose Joel Mendoza and interpreted by Angeline Quinto), Pare Mahal Mo Raw Ako (composed by Jovinor Tan and interpreted by Michael Pangilinan), Pumapag-ibig (composed by Jungee Marcelo and interpreted by Marion Aunor featuring Rizza and Seed), Umiiyak ang Puso (composed by Rolando Azor and interpreted by Bugoy Drilon) and Everything Takes Time (composed and interpreted by Hazel Faith dela Cruz).

All performances of the interpreters were accompanied by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gerard Salonga.

The Himig Handog Pinoy Pop P-POP Love Songs 2014 finals night also featured production numbers from OPM stars Erik Santos, Yeng Constantino, Karylle and Sam Concepcion.

(The Himig Handog 2014 album is now available at all record bars nationwide for P299. Digital tracks can now be downloaded at P25 each via Starmusic.ph, Amazon.com, Mymusicstore.com.ph and iTunes.)

AWARD CHOICE AWARD COMPOSED EDWIN HIMIG HANDOG INTERPRETED LOVE SONGS MAHAL AKO MAHAL KITA PERO
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