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Teacher couple wins at 1st Padre Pio songwriting tilt

Januar Junior Aguja - The Freeman
Teacher couple wins at 1st Padre Pio songwriting tilt
L-R: “Oh Francisco, Our Padre Pio” composer Hardie Bigcas, interpreters K-Jay Remoto and Florimae Comahig, with co-composer Ma. Angelica Bigcas were hailed winners at the first edition of “Huni Kang Santo Padre Pio Alang sa Santuario” at the IEC Convention Center on May 25, 2024.
Januar Junior Aguja

CEBU, Philippines — The Saint Padre Pio Home for the Relief of Suffering-Philippines Foundation Inc. held its first songwriting contest, “Huni Kang Santo Padre Pio Alang sa Santuario”, at the IEC Convention Center on May 25, 2024 – the day the Italian saint would have turned 137 years old.

A seven-member jury named husband and wife Hardie and Ma. Angelica Bigcas as winners of the tilt among nine other entries for their song “Oh Francisco, Our Padre Pio”, which was arranged by Neil Salarda.

Hardie, a campus minister from the University of San Carlos, wasn’t familiar with the life of Padre Pio. It was his better half, Ma. Angelica, who researched about the saint as they were writing the lyrics.

“Grabe yung life ni Padre Pio. He is an extraordinary man who embraced whatever struggles were in his way,” Hardie told The FREEMAN. For years now, he has participated in numerous songwriting contests, winning one in 2002 that was dedicated to Our Lady Guadalupe.

Their singers, Florimae Comahig and K-Jay Remoto, were also named Best Interpreter. The duo are students of the Bigcas couple.

“It’s not every day you get to win Best Interpreter and champion at the same time. It’s a blessing above by God and Padre Pio,” said Comahig.

Added Remoto, “I feel very happy that we are given the opportunity to interpret a great song and that we gave it justice. Even if he is not Filipino, Padre Pio is a saint that Filipinos can feel close to because he uplifted the faith of the people.”

In second place was Jerson Evalarosa Buynay for his song  “Oh Padre Pio, I-Ampo Mo”, arranged by Salarda and interpreted by Sinulog Idol 15 top three finalist Veronica Jañola.

“There were so many great songs that I have my own bets who would win,” Buynay said. “I thought it wouldn’t be my song, but I was so happy when we were called as second placer.”

Usually an interpreter in other contests, Buynay joined Huni Kang Santo Padre Pio to give songwriting a shot as he had melodies and rhythms that he wanted to combine.

Finishing third was Jay-arr Librando who composed and interpreted “Wounds of Love” arranged by Charles Laspinas.

“As a composer, you have to pattern a song according to the interpreter. When I was told about the Padre Pio contest, I needed to join because I wanted to make a song for him, so I patterned the song on myself,” said Librando.

Serving as judges were Famela Orais Villaro, Dr. Lucien Letaba, Rev. Msgr. Agustin Velez Ancajas, Elvis Somosot, Rev. Fr. Nenedicto Tao, Pat. Maureen Andre Antoja, and Gilbert Moises.

Performing at the event was “It’s Showtime”  host and Viu Philippines’ “What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim” star Kim Chiu, who sang her hit “Mr. Right.” The Cebuana actress said she is a devotee of Padre Pio, crediting him for her sister Lakam’s quick recovery from an illness last year. — (FREEMAN)

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