Manila, Philippines -- Karl Villuga, a member of the vocal group Akafellas, beat out more established composers Gary Granada and Trina Belamide to win in the first Philippine Popular Music Festival or PhilPop at the PICC Plenary Hall last Saturday.
Villuga, who also works as a financial adviser, was named the grand winner for his song "Bawat Hakbang," taking home a P1-million prize.
The first runner-up trophy went to composer Toto Sorioso for his song "Tayo-Tayo Lang," which was interpreted by former Sugarfree vocalist Ebe Dancel. Sorioso also won P500,000.
Second runner-up went to the song "Kontrabida," which was composed by Soc Villanueva and interpreted by Sam Concepcion.
The People's Choice Award was given to "Brown," composed by James Leyte and interpreted by the group Brown Man Revival.
The other finalists received a P50,000 consolation prize: "Bigtime" by Trina Belamide; "Negastar" by Michael Joseph Villegas; "Takusa" by Byron Ricamara; "Piso" by Kristofferson Melecio; "3 AM" by Keiko Necesario; "Slowdancing" John Kennard Eleazar Faraon; "Dulo ng Dila" by Noah Zuniga Cabalquinto; "Minsan'y Isang Bansa" by Gary Granada; "Himig ng Panahon" by Timothy Anjello Alfaro; and "Kesa" by Edwin Marollano.
The Philippine Popular Music Festival aims "not only to celebrate the talent of Filipino songwriting, but to glorify the contributions of songwriters and composers to the Filipino music industry and helps revive public interest and support for original Filipino music."