Quezon City, Philippines (November 13, 2016) – “Kumapit Ka Lang” composed by Noemi Ocio, bags the “Song of the Year” title in the season finale of A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival Year 5. Her original composition was interpreted by Carmela “Mela” Ravanilla during ASOP’s finals night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on November 7.

Noemi is the youngest composer among the finalists. The 19-year-old teenager brings home the Php 500,000 cash prize.

In GIF: Mela singing Noemi Ocio's 'Kumapit Ka Lang.' Photo courtesy of ASOP TV and Photoville International.
In GIF: Mela singing Noemi Ocio’s ‘Kumapit Ka Lang.’ Photo courtesy of ASOP TV and Photoville International.

Distinguished personalities from the local music and entertainment industry were invited to select this year’s grand champion from the twelve new original song compositions.

The panel of judges is composed by pop balladeer Jed Madela, premiere singer and composer Trina Belamide, ABS-CBN’s Star Music record label executive and multi-platinum producer Jonathan Manalo, Manila Standard’s entertainment editor Isah Red, hitmaker and ASOP’s resident judge Mon Del Rosario and multi-awarded actress and the country’s one and only Superstar, Ms. Nora Aunor.

Now on its 5th season, ASOP is the first and only praise songwriting competition on Philippine television. ASOP has been rekindling the love for homegrown music for more than five years and encouraging amateur and professional songwriters to create new praise and gospel music compositions, all for the glory of God.

Kumapit Ka Lang

Noemi also believes that her piece will have an impact on music lovers especially to the youth. “Kumapit Ka Lang” encourages others to hold on to God’s promise of loving kindness.

The message of “Kumapit Ka Lang” appeals to those people who are in the midst of trials and challenges. Its lyrics send a comforting message not to lose hope, but instead put their trust and faith to the Lord.

It also has a strong recall among the listeners. Through their social media accounts, some netizens expressed that the song is the subject of their “LSS” or “last song syndrome.”

The Composer and Interpreter

Noemi Ocio is a young student who aspires to become a musician. She wrote the song for a songwriting contest at their school and eventually submitted the piece to ASOP.

Carmela Ravanilla or simply “Mela” was invited to be the interpreter for Noemi’s entry during ASOP’s weekly and monthly finals. Noemi expressed satisfaction over Mela’s performance as she gave justice to the song. She even requested for Mela to be the interpreter when they got an assured slot in the finals.

Mela is a fresh face in the music industry. At a young age, she already won several talent searches including the “PLDT Singing Idol” where she was the grand champion.

During their promotional guesting in UNTV’s Good Morning Kuya (GMK), Mela said she’s inspired by talented artists like KZ Tandingan and Yeng Constantino.

Winning Moment

While on stage, Noemi expressed thanks and gratitude to God and all their supporters. “Salamat po sa Dios sa lahat po ng sumusuporta. Nineteen palang po ako kaya hindi ko akalain po kasi, bata pa, bata pa talaga. Salamat po sa Dios, Bro. Eli at Kuya Daniel. Close po kami ni Ate Mela, close po talaga kami, mas maganda nga lang siya. The whole ASOP productions especially Ate Bangge, Ate DJ, kay Bro. Jayson, yung nag-arrange po ng song.” She also thanked her fellow composers, interpreters, judges and her family. “Sa lahat po ng composers and interpreters, congratulations po, panalo po tayong lahat. “At syempre sa lahat po ng sumusuporta at patuloy na susuporta, loobin sa ASOP at syempre po sa mga judges ngayong gabi. Sa pamilya ko po, Salamat po sa Dios.”

ASOP Year 5 grand winner 'Kumapit Ka Lang' with composer Noemi Ocio (left) and interpreter Mela Ravanilla (right). Photo courtesy of Noemi Ocio.
ASOP Year 5 grand winner ‘Kumapit Ka Lang’ with composer Noemi Ocio (left) and interpreter Mela Ravanilla (right). Photo courtesy of Noemi Ocio.

Mela’s take on ASOP, Kuya Daniel

Mela also shared her thoughts about ASOP. “Ang ASOP po sobrang laking blessing po nito sa lahat ng mga singers, mga marurunong kumanta, at siyempre po mga composers, yun po ang no. 1 na malaking opportunity po ito, para maipahayag po nila ang mga kanta po nilang kino-compose, especially po mga praise songs po.”

When asked about the competition’s impact to her as an artist, she said “Ito po talaga, sobrang dumami po, nakakatuwa po ng puso, kahit saan ako, kahit saan ako mapunta rito, kilala ang kanta ko, Yung Kumapit Ka Lang, kaya sobrang laking impact po nito.”

Mela also speaks about her experience in ASOP. “Syempre po alam natin sila Sir Bugoy, sila Ma’am Sitti, yung iba pa po na may names na, isang magandang experience po ito sa akin na nakasama ako sa kanila na ako po na baguhan pa lang. Kaya ite-treasure ko po ito.”

She also expressed her thanks to Kuya Daniel. “Unang-una po, salamat sa kanya dahil naisip niya ang konseptong it, na paggawa ng mga praise songs, at mapakanta sa mga singers na katulad ko, so ayun po, sobrang thank you po, dahil tumutulong po kayo sa lahat ng mga nangangarap po na mapasikat yung kanta nila at maipahayag yung mensahe ng kanta nila.

Complete List of Winners

Song of the Year and Champion: “Kumapit Ka Lang” composed by Noemi Ocio, performed by Mela Ravanilla

1st runner up: “God Will Always Make a Way” composed by Glenn Bawa and Ronald Calpis, performed by Bugoy Drilon

2nd runner up: “Araw at Ulan” composed by Joselito Caleon, performed by Bossa Nova Queen Sitti

3rd runners up: “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

People’s Choice Award: “Ikaw Lamang” composed by Jonathan Sta. Rita, performed by Tim Pavino

Best Interpreters: Jason Fernandez for “You Stood by Me” and Bugoy Drilon for “God Will Always Make a Way”

The composers who won 1st runner up, 2nd runner up and 3rd runner-up take home Php 250,000, Php 150,000 and Php 100,000 respectively. Winners of special awards will get Php 50,000 each. Non-winners will receive Php 20,000 as consolation prize.
The spectacular event was hosted by Richard Reynoso and Toni Rose Gayda. The finals night also featured the medley of 12 song finalists from ASOP Year 4, performed by Jason Dy, Michael Pangilinan, Liezel Garcia and Leah Patricio, who interpreted the 2015 “Song of the Year,” Christian Malinias’ “Kung Pag-ibig Mo’y Ulan.” Leah won the “Best Song Interpreter” award last year.
Meanwhile, all-female group and The X-Factor UK finalist 4th Impact renders a medley of ASOP’s “Songs of the Year.”

ASOP TV

Produced by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), ASOP Music Festival was launched on UNTV News and Rescue in 2011.

ASOP Music Festival is conceptualized for television by Kuya Daniel Razon, in line with his advocacy to inspire everyone to give praise and glory to God. ASOP also supports the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) industry, particularly the gospel and praise music genre. Razon is CEO and Chairman of BMPI, which is the content provider for UNTV News and Rescue.

In GIF: The men behind ASOP. Kuya Daniel Razon and Bro. Eli Soriano deliver an inspiring message and thanked everyone for the overwhelming support to ASOP through the years. Photo courtesy of ASOP TV and Photoville International.
In GIF: The men behind ASOP. Kuya Daniel Razon and Bro. Eli Soriano deliver an inspiring message and thanked everyone for the overwhelming support to ASOP through the years. Photo courtesy of ASOP TV and Photoville International.

Meanwhile, ASOP is a brainchild of Bro. Eli Soriano, who is also known as “Bro Eli”. He started it as a songwriting competition inside the Members Church of God International since 2004. Bro. Eli is the main host of the program Ang Dating Daan, the longest-running religious program in the Philippines. [techthetruth]


Watch the official YouTube video of “Kumapit Ka Lang” studio version

Watch all the official music videos of 12 ASOP Year 5 finalists here


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