Quezon City, Philippines (November 9, 2016) – Noemi Ocio, a 19-year-old student, takes home the grand prize of Php 500,000 for winning the “Song of the Year” for “Kumapit Ka Lang,” her original composition in A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival Year 5 grand finals held November 7 at the Big Dome. Noemi’s winning piece was performed on stage by Carmela “Mela” Ravanilla.

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Rising diva Mela Ravanilla singing Noemi Ocio’s original composition “Kumapit Ka Lang.” Photo courtesy of Noemi Ocio.
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“Kumapit Ka Lang” wins ASOP Year 5 “Song of the Year.” Composed by Noemi Ocio (left) and interpreted by Mela Ravanilla (right).

Winning first runner up was Glenn Bawa and Ronald Calpis’ entry “God Will Always Make a Way,” interpreted by Bugoy Drilon; second runner up was Joselito Caleon’s entry “Araw at Ulan,” interpreted by Sitti Navarro. Third runners up were “Mula Sa Aking Puso” composed by Joseph Ponce, performed by Carlo David and “You Stood by Me” composed by Vincent Labanting, performed by Jason Fernandez. Their cash prizes are worth Php 250,000, Php 150,000 and Php 100,000 respectively. Non-winners will receive Php 20,000 as consolation prize.

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ASOP Year 5 winners. Photo courtesy of ASOP TV and Photoville International.

“Ikaw Lamang” composed by Jonathan Sta. Rita, performed by Tim Pavino won the “People’s Choice Award,” garnering the most number of combined online votes and YouTube views. Meanwhile, “Best Song Interpreters” were Jason Fernandez for “You Stood by Me” and Bugoy Drilon for “God Will Always Make a Way.” Winners of the special awards will receive Php 50,000 each.

The winners of ASOP Year 5, the first and only praise songwriting competition on Philippine television, were announced at the jam-packed Smart Araneta Coliseum. The event was hosted by Richard Reynoso and Toni Rose Gayda.

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The audience filled the Big Dome for the season finale of ASOP Year 5.

Special performances

X-Factor UK finalist and all-female group 4th Impact rendered a powerful medley of previous ASOP winning entries like “Purihin Mo Ang Dios Oh Pilipinas” (2012), “Ikaw” (2013), “May Awa ang Dios” (2014) and “Kung Pag-ibig Mo’y Ulan” (2015).

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X-Factor UK finalist 4th Impact singing ASOP winning songs for the past four years. Photo courtesy of ASOP TV and Photoville International.

Jason Dy, Michael Pangilinan, Liezel Garcia and Leah Patricio teamed up for a number featuring a medley of 12 song entries from ASOP Year 4.

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A medley of 12 song entries from ASOP Year 4 performed by powerhouse artists. From left to right: Liezel Garcia, Leah Patricio, Michael Pangilinan and Jason Dy. Photo courtesy of @daniellaracuya (Twitter).

Judges Admire Unique Concept

ASOP aims to inspire everyone to give praise and glory to God. It also supports the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) industry, particularly the gospel and praise music genre. This season also produced a wide variety of praise and gospel songs with messages of thanksgiving, asking forgiveness and trusting God in the midst of trials and challenges in life.

These moved ASOP judges to express appreciation over the tilt’s unique concept.

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The ASOP panel of judges with ASOP hosts and Kuya Daniel Razon. From left to right: Richard Reynoso, Toni Rose Gayda, Kuya Daniel Razon, Isah Red, Trina Belamide, Jonathan Manalo, Mon Del Rosario, Superstar Nora Aunor and Jed Madela.

Manila Standard entertainment editor Isah Red shared “Busog na busog ang tenga ko sa songs of praise tonight, I have never heard so many songs of praise sa isang gathering kundi dito lang sa Araneta Coliseum.”

Multi-platinum record producer and ABS-CBN’s Star Music record label executive Jonathan Manalo said “Magaganda talaga iba-iba yung estilo, genre, musically although yung lyrics naman ay all praises to the Lord.”

According to premiere singer and composer Trina Belamide, “ASOP is the only song writing contest that allows for critiques from the judges, so nag-iimprove ang kanta ng mga contestants.”

Hitmaker and ASOP’s resident judge Mon Del Rosario meanwhile gave an advice, “Sa mga composer, huwag kayong matakot na matalo, ang dapat katakutan ay manalo sa mga bagay na walang kabuluhan, pero ang ASOP ay isang bagay at isang event na maraming kabuluhan.”

Pop balladeer and 2005 World Championship of the Performing Arts (WCOPA) grand champion Jed Madela commented, “Ito po ay isang daan para marinig ang kagalingan ng Pinoy.”

Award-winning actress and the country’s one and only Superstar Ms. Nora Aunor revealed her feelings, “Ako po ay kinikilabutan sa kasalukuyan, sapagka’t ang nararamdaman ko po rito ay pagmamahalan sa isa’t-isa, na ngayon ko lamang po naramdaman, sa totoo lamang po.”

The Men Behind ASOP

Throwing their full support behind this annual praise music competition are Bro. Eli Soriano, Overall Servant (Presiding Minister) to Members Church of God International (MCGI) and Kuya Daniel Razon, UNTV-Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) Chairman and CEO.

It was in 2004 when Bro. Eli started ASOP as internal songwriting contest inside the MCGI. Bro. Eli is the main host of “Ang Dating Daan,” the longest-running religious program in the Philippines. Kuya Daniel brought the concept on television and launched ASOP TV on UNTV News and Rescue in 2011.

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MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano, the brainchild behind ASOP, sharing a trivia about praise music based on the Bible. Photo courtesy of joshlorico (Instagram).

Bro. Eli Soriano explained the importance of gospel and praise music. “As an art, music is older than the earth itself, let us compose songs that is worth saying that it is an immortal song, immortal in the sense that it will supersede the existence of our heaven now and our earth, a song that will be sang in the new heavens and in the new earth, kaya ganon na lang ang pagpapahalaga namin dito sa ASOP,” said Bro. Eli.

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UNTV-BMPI Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon. He conceptualized ASOP on TV in 2011.

On plans for ASOP’s Year 6, Kuya Daniel said “Ang ASOP po will be going on its 6th year and we will be taking up ASOP on its next level, ibig sabihin po aangat tayo ng kaunting level and we will be going international.” [techthetruth]


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