Another year, another set of ‘Himig’ songs to love and be proud of as the 11th edition of the country’s biggest songwriting competition presents a diverse roster of OPM tracks that break the bounds of genre.
From first-time interpreters, returning composers, to songs featuring local dialects, get to know more about the 12 finalists of Himig 11th Edition:
Composer: SJ Gandia
“Idol Philippines” grand winner and ‘Himig’ rookie Zephanie has joined the competition via SJ Gandia’s haunting ballad “Tinadhana Sa’yo.” ABS-CBN Music creative director Jonathan Manalo revealed that it’s a “dream come true” for the young artist to be an interpreter as she grew up watching the previous iterations of ‘Himig.’ Meanwhile the song’s composer, SJ, previously earned 5th Best Song for “Tinatapos Ko Na” in 2018.
“Tabi Tabi Po”
Composer: Mariah Moriones
Rise music artist JMKO is another newcomer to ‘Himig’ as the interpreter of Mariah Moriones’ “Tabi Tabi Po,” which expresses caution on asking someone out respectfully. Jonathan said that JMKO was especially ecstatic to perform the song upon learning that he was Mariah’s choice for her composition.
Interpreter: Kiss ‘N Tell
Composers: Joshua Ortiz & Aniceto Cabahug III
Local band Kiss ‘N Tell’s entry “Pahina” talks about the story of an unconditional love taken for granted and was composed by its band members Joshua Ortiz & Aniceto Cabahug III. The band asked to be the interpreters of their song, and since the demo was already “perfect” according to Jonathan, the ‘Himig’ committee decided to grant their request.
Composer: Erica Sabalboro
Previously known as fierce performer Fatima Louise of “Idol Philippines,” FANA reinvents herself and offers her take on Erica Sabalboro’s “Out.” The track, which talks about mental health, is an exciting addition to the diverse roster of ‘Himig’ as its lyrics contain English, Tagalog, and Bicolano words. FANA is indeed poised to reintroduce herself through the song as she herself is a Bicolana.
Interpreter: KZ Tandingan
Composer: Danielle Balagtas
“Asia’s Soul Supreme” KZ Tandingan makes a comeback as an interpreter, having brought to life one of the most iconic ‘Himig’ songs to date, “Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako” in 2014. This time, KZ adds her unique flavor to Danielle Balagtas’ intriguing entry “Marupok.” The universal dance-pop track remarkably features a distinct Filipino sound.
“Kulang Ang Mundo”
Interpreter: Sam Mangubat
Composer: Daryl Cielo
“Kulang Ang Mundo,” a power ballad from composer Daryl Cielo, is interpreted by Sam Mangubat who was one of the most requested artists for Himig 11th edition. Jonathan revealed that Sam immediately said yes to interpreting the song as he resonated with it and believed it to be a match to his style.
“Kahit Na Masungit”
Interpreters: Jeremy G and Kyle Echarri
Composers: John Francis and Jayson Franz Pasicolan
‘Himig’ first-timers and Star pop cuties Jeremy G and Kyle Echarri surely make hearts swoon with their interpretation of “Kahit Na Masungit” about courting a grouchy girl. Its composers, John Francis and Jayson Franz Pasicolan are brothers who have also teamed up to write the chill track.
“Kahit Kunwari Man Lang”
Interpreters: Moira Dela Torre and Agsunta
Composer: David Mercado
One of the most successful ‘Himig’ interpreters Moira Dela Torre—who sang 2017’s Best Song “Titibo-Tibo” and 2019’s Best Song “Mabagal” with Daniel Padilla—is now collaborating with pop rock band Agsunta for “Kahit Kunwari Man Lang,” which delves into a relatable “walang label” relationship. Before being tapped to interpret the song, Jonathan said that Moira and Agsunta have been wanting to collaborate for a while and David Mercado’s composition was deemed fit by the artists to finally do so.
“Ika’y Babalik Pa Ba”
Composer: Jabez Orara
Juris is showcasing another ‘hugot’ OPM song for Himig 11th edition through Jabez Orara’s “Ika’y Babalik Pa Ba.” As an interpreter, the country’s “Queen of Acoustic Pop” took home the 5th Best Song for Nica del Rosario’s “Hindi Wala” in 2014 and the 2nd Best Song for Soc Villanueva’s “Hanggang Wakas” in 2013.
“Ang Hirap Maging Mahirap”
Interpreters: Davey Langit ft. Kritiko
Composer: Kenneth Reodica
This song, which took inspiration from people’s daily fight to survive, was brought to life by the tandem of ‘Himig’ veteran Davey Langit and fellow previous finalist-composer Kritiko. Davey previously won the competition as the composer of 2016’s Best Song “Dalawang Letra” and also won 2nd Best Song for 2019’s “Simula Ng Dulo” which he interpreted with his wife. Kritiko meanwhile bagged 3rd Best Song for “Kababata” in 2018.
Interpreters: Janine Berdin ft. Joanna Ang
Composer: Joanna Ang
The first Visayan song finalist for ‘Himig’ evokes healing and hope and is interpreted by “Tawag ng Tanghalan” season 2 champion Janine Berdin, who is a Bisaya herself. Its composer, Joanna Ang, is also featured in the track, since according to Jonathan, her demo of the song is already impressive and would further complement the final recording.
Composer: Dan Tañedo
The man behind 2019’s Best Song “Mabagal” Dan Tañedo also returns as a finalist this year to take us back in time again with his entry, this time to the colorful sound of the ‘80s with “Ibang Planeta.” Its interpreter, Zild—another ‘Himig’ newbie—was endorsed by Dan himself.
Himig 11th Edition continues the legacy of ABS-CBN’s Himig Handog, the longest running song festival in the Philippines that began 20 years ago and the biggest multimedia songwriting festival in the region.
Watch out for the performance videos of the top 12 tracks on Saturday (November 28)! Check out the #Himig11thEdition songs, now available on Spotify and all digital streaming platforms worldwide. Watch its lyric videos on Star Music’s YouTube channel. For more details, like @HimigHandog on Facebook.