Visayan Music Awards Reveals Top 10 Finalists

The Visayan Music Awards (VizMA) has released its Top Ten (10) Finalists for its songwriting competition during their Listening Party at Asmara Urban Resort and Lifestyle on July 18, 2019.

VizMa is organized by the Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985 Foundation Inc., and endorsed by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, with a goal to recognize men and women who have played an important role in the promotion of the Visayan language, culture and music.


The finalists are set to perform a live rendition of their song with the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra at the inaugural Visayan Music Awards Finals Night on July 27, 7PM at the Oakridge Pavilion, Mandaue City. Artists Karencitta and Max Surban are also set to grace the event with host Giselle Sanchez.

The Grand Prize winner will receive Php100,000; Php 75,000 and Php 50,000 for the Second and Third Placers, respectively; and Php 10,000 each for the Fourth to Tenth Placers. The finalists will also receive a scholarship worth Php 150,000 from Thames International’s Innovation and Creative Enterprise Program (ICE).


Over 500 songs were submitted in VizMA’s pioneering year including entries from a Catholic priest, a court stenographer and a practicing lawyer.

“We originally planned to select seven winners but eventually decided to increase the pool to 10 to recognize all the excellent composers who placed so much effort into the competition and best represent Visayan culture and music,” said VizMA Project Chairperson Barney Borja.

Alaia Kirsten, Project Coordinator of the Visayan Music Awards, VizMA Project Chairperson Barney Borja, and Kenneth Cobonpue of the Sacred Heart School for Boys Batch 1985 Foundation Inc.

“We had the best music arrangers and musicians in the country review each of the songs over several weeks. We also flew artists across the country to arrange and produce their songs. This year’s song finalists genuinely show the beauty, breadth and variety of Visayan music. We are all very happy with the outcome,” he added.

? Alu | Lyricist & Composer – Hakeem Duazo | Interpreter – Mackie

“Alu” is Cebuano street lingo for “crazy”. The song is inspired by Hakeem’s experience when he fell in love with a girl who didn’t feel the same way. He continued courting the girl until he knew it was impossible to get her to love him back. The chorus and guitar riff repeat like a nagging infatuation until the song ends with a single realization. 

? Ayaw sa Karon | Lyricist & Composer – Ramon Cristopher Calam | Interpreter – Aaron Domingo

Ayaw sa Karon is a song dedicated to students struggling between studies and peer pressure. It comes from Ramon Calam’s personal experience when he was still in college. His friends would constantly go on drinking sessions even during exams week. In the end, he gave in because he missed their company and needed to let off steam. He and his friends eventually passed their exams, although not at the same time. 

? Balitaw | Lyricist – Adonis Durado | Composer – Yana Durado | Interpreter – Georg Laurente & Dane Smith

Balitaw was originally written by Yana in English and was later translated to Cebuano with lyric revisions by Adonis. The song’s inspiration stemmed when Yana had a crush on someone, and she felt like serenading him. The song’s poetic and metaphorical connection between love and music will make everyone want to fall in love.

? Hit & Run | Lyricist – John Peterson Villarin | Composer – Neil Salarda | Interpreter – Chingkie Maylon, Jake Batiencela, Markee

Hit and Run comes from lyricist John Villarin’s experience. For the longest time, he hid his feelings when he fell in love for fear of rejection. It was when he met a girl who made him feel so special that he decided to try again. But they eventually parted ways without talking about it leaving him broken, wondering what he did wrong. He wrote the song for all who fall in love and assume feelings to be mutual, but are suddenly left hanging. 

? Kalimtan na Ka Karon | Lyricist & Composer – Ruel Cerino | Interpreter – Chingkie Maylon

Kalimtan na Ka Karon talks about waiting for a loved one to come back, even clinging to that last strand of hope. The haunting tune echoes the loneliness felt and the words compare the waiting to the ebbing tide. Will you give up and move on when all hope is lost or will you patiently wait with an open heart?

? Lingi-a | Lyricist & Composer – Melay Libres  | Interpreter – Mix Fenix

Lingi-a talks about the longing for someone’s glance, even for a moment. That one eye contact could change everything, or it could simply be just a passing moment. Are you ready to fall in love when a glance becomes a stare? Or do you close yourself from being caught up in something beyond you?

? Matag Piraso | Lyricist, Composer & Interpreter – Ferdinand Aragon

Matag Piraso is for the brokenhearted wanting to pick up the pieces after the pain in order to love again.

? Natulog Mong Kasing-Kasing | Lyricist – Irving Guazon | Composer – John Stephen Cadeliña | Interpreter – Daryl Leong

Natulog Mong Kasingkasing comes from Irving Guazon’s experience. It talks about seeing, after a very long time, the one who captured your heart. It speaks about wondering whether to rekindle the love between the both of you or to stay silent and keep your feelings to yourself.

? Ngano | Lyricist, Composer & Interpreter – Fritz Baguio

Ngano captures the irony and misery of a person who has been cheated on.

? Sama Lang Kanimo | Lyricist & Composer – Fr. Reymund Quito | Interpreter – Gail Blanco

Sama Lang Kanimo is inspired by the love story of Fr. Quito’s good friend who gave up on love because of her physical disabilities. She later found her one true love and ended up marrying him. She lived a blissful life until she recently succumbed to cancer. The song is a tribute to people who willfully and unconditionally love that one person forever and inspires everyone to be faithful to their loved one.

You may visit the VizMa social media platforms where you can listen to the songs or get updates about the artists and their songs through:







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