Julian Trono and Ataska Mercado consider their stint in this year’s Philpop Music Festival as big achievements for themselves.
The Viva Artists joined the roster of singers and musical groups who will interpret the Top 30 semi-final songs in one of the country’s top songwriting competition.
Julian bets on “Pilipit” written by Sean Gabriel Cedro and John Ray Reodique, while Ataska sings “Kelan Kaya,” penned by Sarah Bulahan.
In a chance encounter recently, Julian admitted he was initially hesitant in accepting the project, knowing that he will be up against contest regulars Thyro Alfaro and Yumi Lacsamana, whom he considers “tough competitors.”
“It’s not like, I’m not ready for a competition. I just feel like, ‘Hey, is this the right time for me?’ But I realize that’s how showbiz is, you should take challenges. That’s why I said, ‘Yes, game!”’ he shared.
Best known for the songs “Isang Tingin” and “Tumalon,” Julian said “Pilipit” sees him down a different musical track.
Ataska is proud to have been picked as interpreter. “I can definitely add this to my resume,” she said.
She thinks the message of “Kelan Kaya” is relatable especially to millennials.
“When I first read the lyrics, I said, ‘Did Sarah read what’s on my mind?,’” said she.
“I think love is about caring and inspiring each other. Love is about helping each other become better people,” she related.
Julian himself is also no stranger to “love,” having been linked to young actress Ella Cruz. He even sang his favorite in line the song which goes: “Pumipilipit dila kakapilit/Ngunit tila ’di ko magawang aminin/Tunay na nadarama.”
Of the 30 songs, only 10 will advance to the final round. The top 10 will be announced on Oct. 22 and these will be determined through judges screening, online streaming, and a sponsored people’s choice vote.
The Top 10 will be showcased during the competition finals at Capitol Commons on Nov. 30.
All of the semi-finalists songs were uploaded on YouTube and Spotify.
‘Slowly but surely’
Talking about other matters, Julian turned a year older last Sept. 21.
How did he celebrate his birthday? “I ate ramen,” he smiled.
At 21, the actor-performer thinks he is now matured and more ready to pursue his showbiz career aggressively.
“Maturity is keeping that child in you but you know when to use it or not,” was how he put it. “At my age, I believe I am more focused with what I want to do. Before kasi, it was like halo-halo, now it’s more precise. I know what passion I wanna chase.”
Does he have regrets in life — professional and personal-wise, we asked.
“My greatest regret is me not making regrets anymore.