Competition buoys tradition

Published October 25, 2017, 4:10 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Himig Ng Panahon guitar competition aims to underscore the Pinoy tradition of playing the musical instrument.

Some of the judges and guest artists at the recent press launch (
Some of the judges and guest artists at the recent press launch

Erwin M. Doña, Director of Brand Marketing of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, said the guitar is most Pinoy than many other instruments, to the point that it’s become “isa sa mga importanteng haligi ng OPM.”

Jerry Acuzar, the man behind the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, which is a collection of heritage houses, resort and art destination in Bataan, said that for Filipinos, playing guitar is a “cultural expression” that must be preserved.

“The sound emanating from the guitar gives one a feel of the bygone days of our younger years,” he said. “But it is now becoming unpopular due to the advent of digitally produced music.”

In explaining the title of the contest, Doña noted “time may change but music will remain.”

“Kahit anong okasyon, palaging nandyan ang musika. May musika na pang-summer, may musika na pang-pasko that’s why we came up with ‘Himig Ng Panahon.’”

The contest is open to all guitar players aged 13 to 35 and who are neither under professional management contract nor signed to a music label.

At the media presentation last Oct. 18, Filipino artists Jason Fernandez, Lou Bonnevie and Robin Nievera, among others, showed their support for the competition.

“Mahalin nila ’yung talento nila sa pag-gigitara. Seryosohin nila ’yung competition but at the same time, mag-enjoy sila kasi at the end of the day, ang gusto naman nating lahat is makapag-unite through music,” Fernandez said when asked for advice to aspirants.

Applicant may submit their videos at [email protected] Videos taken from a concert or prior posted videos will not be allowed. Edited videos will be disqualified. The length should not exceed five minutes but should not be less than three minutes.

Himig Ng Panahon winners will be chosen by a panel of judges that includes composer Ric Mercado, six-string master Noel Manalo Mendez and classical guitar professor Lester Demetillo.

Mercado is a musical director and arranger who has performed and recorded albums with OPM icons Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Sarah Geronimo and Lani Misalucha. Mendez, on the other hand, is a seasoned guitarist who has collaborated with Ogie Alcasid, Lea Salonga, Jaya, and Kuh Ledesma, just to name a few. He has also performed alongside foreign acts like Fra Lippo Lippi, Michel LeGrand, David Pomeranz and Patti Austin.

Meanwhile, Demetillo is the founder of the multi-awarded University of the Philippines Guitar Orchestra.

Erwin M. Doña, Director of Brand Marketing of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (Facebook) /
Erwin M. Doña, Director of Brand Marketing of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (Facebook)

According to Doña, the winners will be chosen based on the dynamics and style (30 %), clarity and intonation (25 %), timing and tone quality (25 %) and stage presence (20 %).

Come finals night on Nov. 18, the winners will get R100,000 while the second and third winners shall receive P50,000 and P35,000, respectively.

P5,000 will also be given to 12 contestants as consolation prize.

Doña added the winners will be part of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar’s roster of talents.

“Ever since naman ang advocacy ng Las Casas is to be able to discover young talents. Actually may mga in house artists kami from dancers to singers,” he said. “So whoever wins in this competition, definitely magiging part na siya ng Las Casas and we will stage a show for them in the future.”

More, Doña hopes the guitar competition will become an annual event.

Deadline of submission is on Nov. 4. For further details, applicants may contact Live Artists Production, Inc at 920-2643 or 926-0556 or visit Las Casas De Acuzar’s Facebook page.