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Entertainment

The story behind Star Music’s first OPM Fresh Songwriters Series

KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa - The Philippine Star
The story behind Star Musicâs first OPM Fresh Songwriters Series
Jane (fourth from left) with ABS-CBN’s Cet Lorenzo, ABS-CBN Music creative director Jonathan Manalo, singer Gigi De Lana, and songwriter-producer Trina Belamide.
STAR / File

Jane Abaday didn’t expect that her most laidback songwriting session with a friend that produced the playful pop tune with a boys’ love twist, Kaya Pala, would be a turning point for a promising Bisaya singer-songwriter like her.

“The year 2019 was for us the blossoming year for Boys Love. We wanted our song to have that kind of story. That it would focus more on the girl’s perspective,” shared Jane, who represented the ABS-CBN Regional in ABS-CBN’s employee songwriting competition, Kapamilya Himig Handog.

She co-wrote her first-ever Tagalog composition with good friend Winset Jacot, whom she had previously collaborated with for the VisPop 5.0 songwriting competition in 2017.

“It was the most laidback songwriting sessions we’ve had,” she said as they roughly finished the song and melody in one day at Winset’s house.

Jane Abaday a.k.a. MJ, host of MOR Entertainment’s Good Time ‘To and songwriter of Kapamilya Himig Handog Best Song Kaya Pala

“We married both of our ideas and ended up with a story of a girl, whose crush is a discrete gay. We intended to make it light, and we really planned to put the twist towards the end para may ‘itsssaprank’ feels pala,” she disclosed.

Jane, now a host of MOR Entertainment’s Good Time ‘To morning show, was one of the employees who were inspired to submit an entry in the company-wide internal contest. One of her dreams was for her work to be sung by one of the country’s brilliant singers.

Mahiwaga composer Michelle Saubon (fourth from left) with Angeline Cheng, Davey Langit, and song interpreters Leizel Garcia and Bugoy Drilon.

“We really wanted to step up our Bisaya Songwriters gaming — that we are versatile and can represent the local music scene here in Mindanao,” said Jane, whose entry Kaya Pala was interpreted by Jona.

Launched as an internal version of the country’s biggest songwriting competition Himig Handog, the company staged the Kapamilya Himig Handog to discover budding songwriters among ABS-CBN employees and enable them to experience the Himig Handog journey.

The winning compositions of the Top 5 entries are now launched as an extended play record, OPM Fresh Songwriters Series Vol. 1.

Aside from Kaya Pala, the mini-album consists of Trisha Denise’s Sleep Tonight; Bugoy Drilon and Liezel Garcia’s Mahiwaga; Kyla’s Ikaw Na Lang Ang Kulang; and Maris Racal’s Stop Missing You.

The hopeful lullaby Sleep Tonight, written by Mark Marcos, a song he dedicates to his wife, was named Kapamilya Himig Handog’s Second Best Song. At the same time, Michelle Saubon’s dance-pop entry Mahiwaga, co-written by Michael Orbegoso and about the magic of falling in love, was hailed as Third Best Song.

Ikaw Na Lang Ang Kulang is a poignant ballad written by Christine Estabillo and Paul Armesin, while Stop Missing You, a love song about moving on, was an acoustic pop composition of Mycah Borja.

The Kapamilya Himig Handog grand finals was held at the ABS-CBN Dolphy Theater in early 2020 before the pandemic happened. Finally, the Top 5 songs are now accessible on music streaming platforms.

Jane gushed, “I was surprised! I thought na hindi na siya ma-re-release because of everything that happened in the company. But I was really, really happy about it! I stayed up all night to wait for the 12 midnight premiere on YouTube.”

Mark Marcos (rightmost), composer of Sleep Tonight together with Dan Apolonia, Calde Calderon, and Trisha Denise. Jane Abaday didn’t expect that her most laidback songwriting session with a friend that produced the playful pop tune with a boys’ love twist, Kaya Pala, would be a turning point for a promising Bisaya singersongwriter like her. “The year 2019 was for us the blossoming year for Boys Love. We wanted our song to have that kind of story. That it would focus more on the girl’s perspective,” shared Jane, who represented the ABS-CBN Regional in ABS-CBN’s employee songwriting competition, Kapamilya Himig Handog. She co-wrote her first-ever Tagalog composition with good friend Winset Jacot, whom she had previously collaborated with for the VisPop 5.0 songwriting competition in 2017. “It was the most laidback songwriting sessions we’ve had,” she said as they roughly finished the song and melody in one day at Winset’s house. “We married both of our ideas and ended up with a story of a girl, whose crush is a discrete gay. We intended to make it light, and we really planned to put the twist towards the end para may ‘itsssaprank’ feels pala,” she disclosed. Jane, now a host of MOR Entertainment’s Good Time ‘To morning show, was one of the employees who were inspired to submit an entry in the company-wide internal contest. One of her dreams was for her work to be sung by one of the country’s brilliant singers. “We really wanted to step up our Bisaya Songwriters gaming — that we are versatile and can represent the local music scene here in Mindanao,” said Jane, whose entry Kaya Pala was interpreted by Jona. Launched as an internal version of the country’s biggest songwriting competition Himig Handog, the company staged the Kapamilya Himig Handog to discover budding songwriters among ABS-CBN employees and enable them to experience the Himig Handog journey. The winning compositions of the Top 5 entries are now launched as an extended play record, OPM Fresh Songwriters Series Vol. 1. Aside from Kaya Pala, the minialbum consists of Trisha Denise’s Sleep Tonight; Bugoy Drilon and Liezel Garcia’s Mahiwaga; Kyla’s Ikaw Na Lang Ang Kulang; and Maris Racal’s Stop Missing You. The hopeful lullaby Sleep Tonight, written by Mark Marcos, a song he dedicates to his wife, was named Kapamilya Himig Handog’s Second Best Song. At the same time, Michelle Saubon’s dancepop entry Mahiwaga, co-written by Michael Orbegoso and about the magic of falling in love, was hailed as Third Best Song. Ikaw Na Lang Ang Kulang is a poignant ballad written by Christine Estabillo and Paul Armesin, while Stop Missing You, a love song about moving on, was an acoustic pop composition of Mycah Borja. The Kapamilya Himig Handog grand finals was held at the ABSCBN Dolphy Theater in early 2020 before the pandemic happened. Finally, the Top 5 songs are now accessible on music streaming platforms. Jane gushed, “I was surprised! I thought na hindi na siya ma-rerelease because of everything that happened in the company. But I was really, really happy about it! I stayed

The OPM Fresh Songwriters Series Vol. 1 EP, produced by ABS-CBN Music creative director and award-winning composer Jonathan Manalo, is available for streaming on several platforms, including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, and Spotify, while the playlist’s lyric videos are up on Star Music’s YouTube channel.

“The fact that it is under Star Music is such a fulfillment bilang isang local and Bisaya na singer-songwriter,” Jane added.

The Kapamilya Himig Handog was a project of ABS-CBN’s Integrated Corporate Communications division in partnership with premier record label Star Music.

JANE
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