As a Filipino, OPM (Original Pinoy Music) must have been introduced to me since I was born. I am not sure which song was it but I know, this genre has always been with me. And if you are going to ask me which icons that I idolize when it comes to OPM, well, to name just few, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Sarah Geronimo, Juris, and Erik Santos. They are what OPM is all about and will always be. Their songs that have lived within me are Sana Maulit Muli, You Are My Song, I Still Believe In Loving You, Hanggang Wakas and Pagbigyan Muli, respectively. But there are also other Filipino artists that have marked their names in the OPM industry namely Ogie Alcasid, Rigene Velasquez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Julie Anne San Jose, Kyla, JayR, Angeline Quinto, Christian Bautista, Rachel Ann Go and many others. And I am so proud of the rich music industry in the Philippines.
Speaking of OPM, there are already song writing competitions in the Philippines that showcases how Filipinos are good in writing songs. But just recently, a popular televised song writing competition has just released its official entries as submitted by hopeful Filipino songwriters. Such competition was called Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs which started last 2013, then in 2014, and currently this year 2016.
Since its first airing in 2013, I became an instant fan. The official songs were impressive and very catchy, and that they really provide what OPM is. Juris’ Hanggang Wakas was my top favorite, then This Song’s For You by Erik Santos, followed by Toni Gonzaga’s Kahit Na. Actually all of the songs were great and I even got familiarized with all of them. But the only one which stood out from the other entries was Ano’ng Nangyari Sa Ating Dalawa interpreted composed by Jovinor Tan and interpreted by Aiza Seguerra.
Then in 2014, the competition consistently brought interesting songs. Some of the songs that caught my attention were Mahal Kita Pero interpreted by by Janella Salvador, Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako by KZ Tandingan, Pare, Mahal Mo Raw Ako by Michael Pangilinan, Akin Ka Na Lang by Morisette, Bumabalik Ang Nagdaan by Jessa Zaragosa, and Hazel Faith Dela Cruz’ Everything Takes Time. The winning piece was Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako composed by Edwin Marollano and interpreted by KZ Tandingan.
And this year 2016, another set of great songs were picked as official entries. Just recently, I was able to listen to the songs via Spotify. Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs 2026 on Spotify. Most of the songs captured my heart while some did surprise me.
Below is my own ranking of the songs based on my liking.
1. Laban Pa – KZ Tandingan, JayR
KZ kept her competitiveness at high. Her voice was appropriate for the song. She sounded like a fighter. And that’s what making the song cool. Plus, JayR’s unique voice that blends well with any other types of voices such as KZ’s. Laban Pa sure will make it to the top 5.
2. Maghihintay Ako – Jona
Formerly a Kapuso artist, Jonalyn Viray now as Jona is competing for this year’s P-Pop Love Song contest. Her first time for the said contest with her Maghihintay Ako. The first time I listened to it, it becam my instant favorite. I admired her voice since before, with her impressive vocal range, and she just did great interpreting the song. I just missed her voice, graceful and powerful at the same time.
3. Ambon – Barbie Almalbis
This entry really surprised me. Catchy and calm. Barbie Almalbis is really an OPM sweetheart. Her calm, cute and sweet voice made the song special. Betting that it will end up in the top 5.
4. Monumento – Kyla, Kris Lawrence
I was expecting for an RNB entry from Kyla and Kris Lawrence but ended up with a somewhat pop and lively, but I wasn’t disappointed. Their tandem is just awesome! They have been my favorite singers and I’m just glad they were able to work together.
5. Mananatili – Janella Salvador, Marlo Mortel
Janella Salvador doesn’t disappoint. Her voice is really great. After making it to the top 5 last year, maybe she’ll be bringing home another spot from the top 5 this year. Plus, Marlo Mortel’s voice partnered well with Janella’s making the song a great song for duets.
6. Sana’y Tumibok Muli – Klarisse de Guzman
There’s that Klarisse’ soothing voice. Emotional. She always put her heart in her songs. Just like she did in this “Sana’y Tumibok Muli”.
7. Diamante – Morisette
When it comes to high ranged songs, always be Morisette’s. Just like her last year’s “Akin Ka Na Lang”. The difference this year is that there’s no more whistle. But still, an impressive song.
8. Minamahal Pa Rin Ako – Daryl Ong
As a fresh competitor for this year, Daryl Ong delivered well. His song is like anthem for those who are being referred in the song. Since he was a strong contender in the recent The Voice regular edition, he has the chance to pull it to the top 5.
9. Bibitawan Ka – Juris
Juris has been my favorite contender during the last 2 years. And among her past songs, Hanggang Wakas was my favorite. Such a heartfelt song. But I was kinda disappointed about her entry this year, Bibitawan ka. I don’t know why but maybe I expected too much from her. But still, her voice is my big winner, but she might not be able to make it to the top 5.
10. Tama Lang – Jolina Magdangal
When she released her new album songs on Spotify, I excitedly listened to them. Jolina Magdangal still has that warm voice. Like she is tucking me to bed. And with this Tama Lang, she did it.
11. Nyebe – Kaye Cal
This was an interesting entry. Her sound is unique but the song seemed to be common. I can compare it to Jireh’s. But maybe I am the only one thinking that it’s like it.
12. Dalawang Letra – Itchyworms
A cheesy song which is a trademark of the Itchyworms band. It was catchy and the lyrics were great too. But I’m just into such kind of music.
13. O Pag-Ibig – Ylona Garcia, Bailey May
Another cheesy song sung by love team Baylona. I find it too simple so I’m definitely not voting for it.
14. Parang Tayo Pero Hindi – Angeline Quinto, Michael Pangilinan
I expected too much from this tandem but I think the song was the one that’s lacking. Michael and Angeline did great with their interpretation but the song just didn’t make an impact to me.
15. Patay Na Si Uto – Nyoy Volante
This happened to be my least favorite entry for this year’s contest. I just don’t find the song suitable for Nyoy.
Phew! I might sounded bias with my views for each of this year’s Himig handog P-Pop Love Song 2016 songs so please bear with me. If you do not agree with my rankings, you can express your violent reactions below. And by the way, who’s going to be this year’s winner? Looking forward for the finals night!