A heavenly blessing or sheer love of nature paved the way for a preacher-turned composer to bag the grand prize in the 33rd Cebu Popular Music Festival held on January 18, 2013 at the New Cebu Coliseum.
Fr. Charles Louis Jayme outscored the other contestants of the annual Cebuano songs competition with his entry, Magkuyog Ta Panalipdan Ta, interpreted by parish choir members Medi Baculpo and Rene Campomanes. Jade Castro’s Balik Na Pinangga Ko, rendered by Analyn Manlisa, came second while Niño James’ Amomahon Ta, vocalized by Jan Michael Banaynal, hit third. The three of them pocketed P150 thousand, P100 thousand and P50 thousand, respectively.
To recall, during the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod, the Cebu Archdiocese tasked Father Jayme to be the official custodian of the icon. When he was in Rome for the saint’s canonization, he had yet to finish the song that would become his first composition as well as his official entry in the contest. His work of art was inspired by typhoon Sendong which struck the country last year and wrought havoc to lives and properties. His holy-duty-first-before-other-priorities principle, coupled with his love of nature and faith in God, helped him in reaching the most coveted prize participants in the song-making tilt were aspiring for.
During the competition, an 11-year-old girl, Knch Lhnn Cabillo secured the Best Interpreter award with the entry Salamat by Erwin Larazan. Her powerful and emotion-laden rendition of the song was inspired by her mother’s tender loving care, the petite crooner confided. She received P10 thousand for the exemplary performance that evening.
Former 1997 Cebu Pop Music Best Interpreter, Anna Fegi serenaded the audience with an old bisaya favorite, Usahay, as well as two English songs, one of which was her own composition. Multi-awardee group, the University of the Visayas Choir capped the momentous night with refreshing takes of familiar ditties.(Ramon Gallardo)