Cruising bored along the congested EDSA “low” way or some other major and likewise choked thoroughfares, you might catch a glimpse of this tangerine bus with equalizer bar design that doesn’t seem to mind the almost walking pace of vehicular traffic. It may also be seen parked somewhere where there’s available parking space amidst the chaotic backdrop of hurrying pedestrians and honking vehicles (sometimes the other way around, haha) unperturbed by the everyday nuisance of catching time. That is because happening inside this colossal vehicle is a moving recording, jamming, entertainment and even interview undertaking of the most talented OPM artists in the country and some foreign guest artists while navigating the gridlocked highways of the metro.
Wish 107.5 blazes the way in terms of innovation by bringing our very own Filipino talents closer and readily available to more listeners and viewers. Yes, you read it right – viewers too. So how in the world, you might ask, a radio station having viewership? YouTube, duh?!! Hahaha….While singers like Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez, current sensation Morissette, up-and-coming KZ Tandingan, promising bands like IV of Spades, talented groups like Ben&Ben perform their own songs or rendition of popular songs inside the state of the art bus, their performances are being video covered and uploaded to the widely-followed Wish 107.3 You Tube channel where most of the millennials like me are lurking. Charaught!
However, this blog post is not about the Wish 107.5 Bus but of my experience covering the backstage media room of the recently concluded Wish Music Awards 2018 featuring various awardees chosen from among the Wishclusive performers including bus performances.
Let me let you in a pathetic secret – this is my first time to enter Smart Araneta Coliseum ever! Well technically that is as the backstage is as much a part of the coliseum as the main audience / stage area. Anyways, to make the story short, I managed to find the backstage door somewhere inside the parking area. With lots of pleading with the front (or back?) desk (I did not bring my ID!) and help from Miss Vimz of FUZE, the promotional partner of the event, I was let in using my Facebook account as identification proof! This day and age of social media, Facebook is king!
Another secret – I am not an audiophile so please forgive my seeming ignorance of the current music scene. I am very sorry for this sad fact. I really hope my Gen X self can catch up with the young and restless. Proof of this is how I regretfully misspelled Morissette Amon’s name in my Twitter posts! Kakalowkaaah!
Here is the system of the media coverage of winners of Wish Music Awards 2018 – after the artists were awarded onstage, they will proceed directly after the sequence backstage to be interviewed by the media. That simple! Since I arrived the very moment the show started which is already late as media persons were expected an hour earlier (this Monday evening rush hour is just, well, as expected, so mea culpa!), I proceeded directly to the dining area to fill up my already emptied tummy after several hours of travel. The TV monitor there kept me updated of the goings-on in the stage. I saw that several winners were already awarded.
The complete list of Wishclusive winners can be found at the Wish 107.5 webpage
Fortunately, my timing leaving the dining room and entering the media room is just right as Moira Dela Torre is already on the hot seat being interviewed after winning the first award of the night – the Wishclusive Contemporary Folk Song of the Year “Malaya”. There I witness how both the media conducting on-the-spot interview and the artists’ reacting to such probing and, subjectively, their personalities shining through with the manner they speak and entertain the media.
Wishclusive Contemporary Folk Performance of the Year
- Ben&Ben – “Ride Home”
- Dane Hipolito – “Krayola”
- Daniel Ombao – “Paper Plane”
- Keiko Necesario – “Away From The Current”
- WINNER: Moira Dela Torre – “Malaya” (Beneficiary: Save The Children)
- Reese Lansangan – “Exploration No. 5”
- Zsaris – “Alangan”
Moira Dela Torre answers the questions in a very bubbly and cheerful manner resonating both a charming and a warm character. This girl is in for a bright career in singing and entertaining business with that winning personality.
Wishclusive Urban Performance of the Year
- Apartel – “That’s What She Said”
- Extrapolation – “Feeling Better”
- WINNER: IV of Spades – “Ilaw Sa Daan” (Beneficiary: Cancervants PH)
- Kjwan – “One Look”
- Leanne and Naara – “Run Run”
The IV of Spades is obviously a young and hip group just looking at them. Their styling is a toned down version of Steven Tyler’s rocker chic fashion. They are very articulate and charming in their own self-conscious way. Very talented and promising indeed! And did I mention very young?
Wishclusive R&B Performance of the Year
- Billy Crawford – “Future”
- Jay R – “Kabilang Dako”
- Kris Lawrence – “Versace On The Floor”
- WINNER: Michael Pangilinan – “Tayo Na Lang” (Beneficiary: Save The Children)
- Quest – “Walang Hanggan”
- Radha – “If I Ain’t Got You”
Another young and definitely good-looking OPM artist sure to conquer the local music scene in years to come! Michael Pangilinan indeed is oozing with manly appeal looking shy yet lethal. Am I drooling already? But this young crooner is not wanting in hard work giving credit to all his sacrifices as one of the factors for bringing him this award. Keep it up Michael baby!
Wishclusive Rock/Alternative Performance of the Year
- Barbie Almalbis – “Tabing Ilog”
- Mayonnaise – “Jopay”
- Pedicab – “Soul Riot”
- Sponge Cola – “Gemini”
- WINNER: Tom’s Story – “Anchors” (Beneficiary: Teach For The Philippines)
Another young and definitely promising rock group is composed of shy and unassuming but very talented members. These guys let their music do all the talking. And mind you it does speaks a mouthful! One great thing is that they value working as a team more than earning individual accolade. Such is the proper attitude guys so keep it up!
Wishclusive Ballad Performance of the Year
- WINNER: 5thGen – “Panahon” (Beneficiary: Cribs Foundation Inc.)
- Angeline Quinto – “At Ang Hirap”
- Glaiza De Castro – “Bato Sa Buhangin”
- Juris – “Forevermore”
- Kaye Cal – “Why Can’t It Be”
- Marcelito Pomoy – “The Prayer”
- Sue Ramirez – “Your Love”
Such is a big NO-NO! Don’t post a wrongly-oriented video on social media! The Gen-Xer in me says, “let and let play”. I cannot be bothered to tinker for hours without a clue on how to remedy this gargantuan dilemma! Anyways, I think this group is a powerhouse vocal group that will definitely see numerous gigs and successes in the future. Even the video agrees with its vertical orientation.
Wishclusive Pop Performance of the Year
- December Avenue – “Dahan”
- Inigo Pascual – “Dahil Sa’yo”
- Kiana Valenciano – “Circles”
- KZ Tandingan – “Two Less Lonely People In The World”
- WINNER: Morissette – “Rise Up” (Beneficiaries: Sto. Niño Home For The Aged Inc. and Meritxell Children’s World Foundation Inc.)
- Nina – “Jealous”
Why this girl reminds me of Sarah Geronimo? The charm, the modesty, the warmth, the sincerity, the vocal prowess – the STAR POWER! The heir apparent? Well, not that this young diva is riding in Sarah’s popularity, no not a specter of that mah dear, but the comparison is very apparent, well at least for me. Nevertheless, she is stellar all her own given her winning attitude and loads and loads of talent. Go guuuurl!!!
Wishclusive Collaboration of the Year
- Bituin Escalante/Frenchie Dy/Radha – “Saving All My Love For You”
- Clara Benin/Dane Hipolito – “Your Universe”
- WINNERS: Curse One/Dello/Flict-G/Smugglaz – “Nakakamiss” (Beneficiary: Bukas Palad Foundation)
- Keiko Necesario/Quest – “While We Are Young”
- KZ Tandingan/TJ Monterde – “Ikaw At Ako Pa Rin”
- Yeng Constantino/Erik Santos – “Paano Ba Ang Magmahal”
Given the competition, yes, but you are one heck of a rap / hiphop artist yourself Flict-G! With your You Tube rap videos earning some million hits, that’s quite extraordinary. Then put in equally talented artists like Curse One, Dello and Smugglaz into the equation then that becomes something beyond extraordinary! Extra extraordinary?
Wish Contemporary Folk Song of the Year
- “A Song Inspired By You” – Gabrielle Gross
- “Alangan” – Zsaris
- “Krayola” – Dane Hipolito
- WINNER: “Leaves” – Ben&Ben (Beneficiary: Bukas Palad Foundation)
- “Open Road” – The Ransom Collective
“The leaves will soon grow from the bareness of trees and all will be alright in time.” Such poetic lyrics and hauntingly sad melody from the WMA 2018 Contemporary Folk Song of the Year “Leaves” will leave you sobbing and beaming at the same time. Tears of sadness, tears of joy, tears of victory after having overcome a major hurdle in life. Haaaaay nako. Simply beeeeeautifuuuuuul!!! Below is “Leaves” official music video.
Wish Urban Song of the Year
- WINNER: “Labo” – KZ Tandingan (Beneficiary: Save The Children)
- “Misfits” – Kiana Valenciano ft. Sam Concepcion
- “Run Run” – Leanne and Naara
- “Space Travel” – Moophs ft. Xela
- “Twelve” – Alessandra De Rossi
- “Win The Moment” – Quest ft. KZ Tandingan
This gurl has the edge! Well I mean that both style-wise and music-wise. And why not? This X Factor Philippines 2012 winner has not looked back ever since her standing ovation-worthy performances during the show. Her sultry gritty unique voice has been conquering the airwaves. Add to this is her rapping skills and you’re in for some musical calisthenics that appeal to both young and weathered audience. Proof to that is her Wishclusive video performance of “Two Less Lonely People In The World” hitting more than 40M hits. Four Oh Million, WOW!!!
Wish R&B Song of the Year
- “Future” – Billy Crawford
- “Isang Numero” – Kris Lawrence
- WINNER: “Kabilang Dako” – Jay R (Beneficiary: Child Haus)
- “Palaging Ikaw” – Aicelle Santos
- “Unang Hakbang” – Quest ft. Keiko Necesario
Just when you are about to write off Jay R as having consumed his popularity, he comes back fighting with his upbeat RNB Song of the Year Awardee “Kabilang Dako”. Relishing the hot seat, Jay R made sure he attended to each and every question like a debonair singing sensation that he is. For sure he will be attacking the Year of the Dog with ferocity and lilting OPM songs.
Wish Rock/Alternative Song of the Year
- “Alon” – Hale
- “Balewala” – Brisom
- “Dear Laarni” – BennyBunnyBand
- WINNER: “Hey Barbara” – IV of Spades (Beneficiary: Cancervants PH)
- “Insomnia” – Hilera
- “Kung Pwede Lang” – Soapdish
- “Sinta” – Glaiza De Castro
And they’re back! This rock group will never tire in coming back for more. Watching the music video of their winning song “Hey Barbara” gave me a retro vibe. Well even the music video itself is a retrospective piece. Even their styling is retro chic! However, this young group resonates with those of their generation employing a cool image and with the, aheeemmm, generation past with their music. And the lead singer Unique Salonga is very introspective, not to say as his name suggests – unique, giving the media the connotation behind their winning song. Hey IV of Spades!!!
Wish Pop Song of the Year
- “Cool Down” – James Reid
- “Huling Gabi” – Moira Dela Torre ft. Quest
- WINNER: “Mahika” – TJ Monterde (Beneficiary: Inspire Metro)
- “Nasayang Lang” – The Juans
- “Walk Alone” – Sabu
Listening to this handsome balladeer is such a pleasurable experience given his soothing and endearing pipes. Sometimes all good things come in a single package. That is TJ Monterde for you.
But the most stellar and bombastic awardees for the night I believe are “superstar” in the making Morissette Amon and Ben&Ben. In fact, they both ended with two awards apiece adding Group / Duo Artist of the Year for Ben&Ben and Pop Star of the Year for Morissette. What better way to end this piece on Wish Music Awards 2018 than presenting an impromptu performance from both big winners of the night.