OPM scene adapts to new normal with 1st virtual music festival

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
OPM scene adapts to new normal with 1st virtual music festival
Linggo Ng Musikang Pilipino (LMP) goes online for the first time this year, making sure OPM fans can still watch gigs and their favorite artists while staying at home. The ongoing music fest runs until Friday, Aug. 28, showcasing performances, busking sessions, single and album launches, workshops, creative webinars, talks and more.

MANILA, Philippines — Now in its sixth year, the Linggo Ng Musikang Pilipino (LMP) is adapting to the “new normal” of the OPM scene with its maiden online edition for 2020.

Happening until Aug. 28, the ongoing LMP is considered as the country’s first-ever digital music festival. It forms part of the government’s pledge to promote and popularize the local music industry since the annual celebration was created through the Presidential Proclamation 933 in 2014. This year, the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), PhilPop Music Foundation and Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) came together to make it happen despite the limitations and challenges posed by the pandemic.

The music and entertainment industry is one of the, if not the worst-hit among business sectors. But music never stops. In fact, many have turned to music during the COVID-19 crisis.

The CompanY with National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab (seated)

LMP festival director and OPM board member Noel Cabangon said that he sees the importance of Filipino music in uplifting lives despite COVID-19. “Mahalaga ang musika kasi ito ay nakakapagbigay buhay sa mga nalulumbay nating mga kaluluwa na dulot nitong pandemya. So, instead, of wallowing in our loneliness and our frustrations, ginagabayan at sinasabayan tayo ng musikang Pilipino para malayo ang ating isipan sa mga nangyayari. But it doesn’t mean that we have to escape. This is just one way to feel inspired and to think of positive things so that we can surpass this situation.”

He particularly noted how during the first few months of the lockdown, music became a companion and partner of successful fundraising efforts to help frontliners and the severely affected with such events as his organization’s OPM Lockdown Sessions and the Bayanihan Musikahan, the brainchild of National Artist for Music Maestro Ryan “Mr. C” Cayabyab.

The Itchyworms

While the health crisis has forced the cancellation of live performances and events, organizers still decided to push through with the LMP. “Unfortunately, this year, the pandemic happened, we had to postpone the (original) July celebrations. Together with the NCCA, we decided to recalibrate — from a traditional to a digital celebration. We have to find ways to make this work,” said Dinah Remolacio, Philpop executive director.

Christian Bautista, also an OPM board member, said there are many things he’s excited about the 2020 LMP. “We are excited for this specific festival because it’s online. What are the advantages that it’s online? More people actually joined and wanted to join this time. We are not bound now by schedules like before or traffic and other factors. A lot of artists are also looking for work, there’s a bit of honorarium for some, and there’s also opportunities to learn, opportunities to discover new talent and opportunities to rediscover the great works of all the other artists. So many things to be excited about.”

It’s presented as a multi-format showcase of music performances, busking sessions, single and album launches, concerts, workshops, creative webinars, talks and more.

#LMP2020Sessions, a special initiative of LMP, puts a spotlight on regional music acts from North and South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. LMP is also conducting music workshops and webinars for aspiring music industry professionals, amateur musicians and music fans from the likes of Ebe Dancel and Jazz Nicolas for Songwriting Workshop, Marlon Barnuevo for Home Recording Workshop, Tina Dumlao and Ryan “Mr. C” Cayabyab for History of Pop OPM, Bian Orenciana of Believe Digital and Ian Monson of Warner Music Philippines for Digital Marketing for Music Artists, and PETA for Let’s Get Creative Webinar.

This Band

“I’m excited because on Aug. 26 (5 p.m.), I’m with Tina Dumlao, we will explore the beginnings of OPM. We will start with the ‘70s, we will explore that, and then hopefully matawid namin papuntang kasalukuyan,” Mr. C said.

Meanwhile, the launch of OPM Archive will also take place on Aug. 26, as well as an open mic competition where anyone can submit OPM covers.

This year’s LMP will wrap up with the #LMP2020GrandFinaleConcert. The online event will be headlined by some of your favorite Filipino music acts: Christian Bautista, Noel Cabangon, The Itchyworms, This Band, Bayang Barrios at Ang Nilayagan, Clara Benin, Lara Maigue and Aikee. For more details about the LMP’s digital music festival, visit its official website at https://www.lmp.com.ph/.


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