By Nickie Wang
Veteran artists who have been attending different music awards every year and music awards red carpet virgins alike would agree that the 1st PMPC Star Awards for Music offered nothing special.
The awards night that took place at SkyDome in SM North Edsa on Oct. 29 handed out awards like Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year (Male and Female), to name a few, and all of these awards can be described in three simple words— same old usual.
One of the objectives of the Philippine Movie Press Club in staging the first-ever Star Awards for Music is to encourage people to patronize and prioritize Filipino original music. That objective alone is in contradiction with the winners of the award called Best Revival Album. The trophy for that category went to Regine Velasquez’s Low Key and to Rachelle Ann Go’s Falling In Love. Most, if not all, of the cover songs included in both albums are originally done by foreign musicians. Regine also won Female Recording Artist of the Year for the same revival album.
Nobody could blame Regine if in her acceptance speech she encouraged people to patronize OPM (Original Pinoy Music) and a minute later, while accepting the Revival Album of the Year trophy, she explained the contradiction between the award and her statement, “Thank you PMPC for this award. I do revival of foreign songs but it doesn’t mean I don’t support our original music.”
Just like the Revival Album of the Year, awards like Acoustic Artist and New Male Recording Artist were shared by two winners. The latter was won by Pinoy Dream Academy alumnus Bugoy Drilon for the album Paano Na Kaya and by an unfamiliar artist called Jmore for the equally-unknown self-titled album.
Meanwhile, the Acoustic Artist recognition went to Aiza Seguerra (Open Arms) and to a neophyte acoustic singer Sabrina (I Love Acoustic).
With this kind of tie or deadlock, it goes to show the people behind the selection of winners were undecided whether Star Awards for Music is about popularity of the artist or the artistry of the musical work. The maiden attempt of the PMPC to honor the best in music was already tarnished right there, worse than that, the institution that also honors the best people and works in television and in the movies was slapped by its own indecisiveness.
Apart from Regine Velasquez, who is already a big name on the local music scene, other big names were announced as winners like Sarah Geronimo, Martin Nievera, and Ogie Alcasid.
The awards night’s heavy favorite Sarah was nominated in five categories but was only able to snatch the Female Pop Artist plum.
Ogie, who is currently out of the country doing some series of shows, won the Male Recording Artist of the Year. The singer-songwriter was also recognized for composing the Song of the Year “Ikaw Ang Aking Pangarap,” the original theme song of Piolo Pascual and Angel Locsin starrer Lobo. But the credit for the award actually went to Martin Nievera who sang the song.
Former Rivermaya frontman Rico Blanco won Album of the Year award for Your Universe. Blanco’s debut album already produced smash hits like “Yugto,” “Antukin,” and “Your Universe.”
Balladeer Jed Madela won Male Pop Artist and Willie Revillame’s “Ikaw Na Nga” was awarded with Best Pop Album trophy.
The late show
The invitation sent by the PMPC said that the program would start at 6 p.m. but it started two hours after the indicated time. The show was hosted by Billy Crawford, who was also a big winner that night (Best RnB Album and RnB Artist), and Toni Gonzaga who won an award given out by one of the sponsors. It was called Beautiful Inside and Out award. This was not the signature Star of the Night award known to PMPC because the award went to rising RnB singer Myrus and Rachelle Ann Go.
One of the best performances the audience saw during the musical event was the medley dedicated to Apo Hiking Society, who was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Jazz singer Richard Poon, RnB singer JayR, and Jed Madela performed some of the hits popularized by the legendary vocal group.
Other singers who entertained the crowd were nominee Jolina Magdangal, Best Alternative Album winner Bayang Barrios, and Dingdong Avanzado (who performed his composition dedicated to the victims of storms Pepeng and Ondoy) with Chriz Cayzer, Eva Castillo, Faith Cuneta, Laarni Lozada, and Geoff Taylor.
Other winners were: MYMP, New (Duo/Group Artist); “Pambansang Kamao,” directed by Ace Villena and performed by D’Coy (Music Video); Mocha Girls for “Delisciosa” (Dance Album): Maricris Garcia (New Female Recording Artist); Boy Abunda for the album Lovelife (Compilation Album); Paolo Santos with Back to Basic album (Acoustic Album); Kamikazee (Rock Album and Rock Artist); and Andrew Castillo for Gretchen Barreto’s “Complicated” Cover Concept (Album Cover Design).