The renaissance of OPM is happening via Wish Music Awards


By Boy Villasanta


The industry might not readily grasp it or might pretend it doesn’t exist but it’s for real in this day and age of business monopoly and competitive consumerism.


There is a renaissance happening in the local music industry, indeed. The Manila Sound is back in spirit and another golden era of OPM has emerged in our midst featuring the young Filipino musicians. 


It might not be originating from a giant music company or a media conglomerate but it is one of the major players just the same in the propagation of Original Pilipino Music or OPM. Or the encouragement of more latent Filipino musical talents from all walks of life.


Wish Music—the current content of a social media platform known to all as YouTube where most local singers jam on air simultaneously on a Frequency Modulated or FM band aboard a bus—called Wish Bus—painted all over with Wish 107.5.


The brains behind Wish Music is Daniel Razon, President and CEO of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International, Inc., a former FM DJ, erstwhile PTV Channel 4 newscaster, ex-ABS-CBN and GMA Network news anchor and one of the honchos of UNTV.


Wish Music’s appearance is somewhat independent or indie but it is still music and business rolled into one despite tough struggle within the dog-eat-dog industry.


One of its brainchildren is the Wish Music Awards (WMA) which honors the best performances of the past year now on its third edition yet.


As singer Moira de la Torre observed in her acceptance speech as winner of the Wishclusive Contemporary Folk Performance of the Year: “I’m a grateful for this award because it means that indie music is alive and acceptable and accessible to the public.” Or something to that effect where she was able to articulate the sentiments of a newbie.


Moira won for her song “Malaya.” It was very consistent of her music that de la Torre was free and independent in her thoughts that her proud boyfriend Jason was in the audience rooting for her. Yes, Jason would want to settle down as quickly with her girlfriend primarily because of shared ideas in music.


The night Wish Music has recognized a lot of musical contributions from Filipino talents of all shapes, sizes and persuasions; was the time many more aspire as well to be part of the local Tin Pan Alley.


The group IV of Spades romped away with the Wishclusive Urban Performance of the Year for “Ilaw sa Daan.”

Pop idol Michael Pangilinan took home the bacon in the Wishclusive Contemporary Folk Performance of the Year award for his ditty “Tayo Na Lang.”


The triumvirate Tom’s Story brought home the trophy for Wishclusive Rock/Alternative Performance of the Year with their signature song “Anchors” while 5thGen won Wishclusive Ballad Performance of the Year with their original composition “Panahon.”


Morisette Amon won the Wishclusive Pop Performance of the Year for her powerful piece “Rise Up” while Keiko Necesario and Quest jointly conquered the Wishclusive Collaboration of the Year Award for their collective singing of “While We Are Young.”


Most of the nominees and winners were around to receive their citations and prizes with corresponding socio-civic organizations as recipients of share to charity to make their wins more meaningful and relevant.


Iñigo Pascual was beaming with pride even if he lost to Morisette. KZ Tandingan was wearing her powerful voice in one of the musical numbers and was extra proud she was nominated in not only one category but lost also to Morisette.


Despite some technical glitches, emcees Christian Bautista and Gretchen Ho were able to stand their grounds to deliver good performances.


Judges included Kuh Ledesma, Gino Padilla, entertainment writer Isah Red, Aiza Seguerra, Noel Cabangon, music writer Francis Reyes, Arnel Pineda and Jett Pangan who were all amazed in admiring the new generation of musicians in the country.


The Wish Bus doesn’t ply in Manila alone because it is transported to the US recently as it takes international singers to jam with global Wish listeners. 


What have you? 


WMA also gave out an award, the Wishclusive Performance of the Year by an International Artist who had performed in the Philippines aboard the Wish Bus in the past year. Dua Lipa clinched the title through her song “Blow Your Mind.” She defeated David Archuleta (“Up All Night”), The Moffats (“Miss You Like Crazy”), Gabe Bondoc (“Gentlemen Don’t”) and Jasmine Thompson (“Old Friends”).



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Friday, 23 February 2018
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