Almira Cercado of the Cercado Sisters, one of the popular talents featured on Talentadong Pinoy, interpreted the winning piece in the A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival last June 27 and bagged the Best Interpreter Award.
The ASOP Music Festival is a biannual event of the Members Church of God International where professional and amateur composers and songwriters Church-wide showcase their song-making talents. The event boasted 11 finalists coming from all over the Philippines to as far as Hongkong, Australia, and London with six entries in English, four in Tagalog, and one in Cebuano, a Visayas Island dialect.
Cercado sang “With You,” composed and written by Bro. Lester Abeleda from the National Capital Region who took home PHP 100,000 in cash. The song’s high notes allowed Cercado’s belting prowess to reverberate across the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga. In the end, she won the Best Interpreter laurel tying with Sis. Dalyn Concepcion from Pampanga and beating Bro. Roderick Payabyab who won first-runner up.
It was also a tie for the first runner-up position between “Mithing Kaligtasan” (Desired Salvation) by the Bicol ASOP Organizers and “I Believe” by Bro. Edwin Friend from Hongkong. “Salamat sa Awa Mo” (Thanks for Your Mercy) by Bro. Erjay Ocampo won second place, while “Magpakailanman” (Forevermore) by Bro. Genio Dy from Cavite and “Ipasigarbo Ko” (I Will Boast Of) by Bro. Tiburcio Barong Jr. from the Central Visayas region both claimed third place.
“Brethren, work together to come up with the best melody, the best lyrics that can be created by the minds of man to praise our God,” stressed Bro. Eli Soriano via live video streaming.
Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, Presiding and Vice Presiding Ministers to MCGI respectively, were the leading proponent and primary judges of the songwriting event. Throughout the years, they have given out millions of pesos worth of prizes to individuals in their search for the best song of praise for God Almighty.
This year, ASOP extends its arms to the public, regardless of race or religion with its brand new show on UNTV of the same title. The entries will be judged by a panel of judges including veteran Filipino composers, Vehnee Saturno and Noel Cabangon.
Hosted by Richard Reynoso and Tony Rose Gayda, the show will be airing on September, but is currently accepting entries and auditioning for interpreters. Sources confirmed that Cercado fans will be seeing again one of their beloved divas on TV, singing a song of praise.
(Written by: Jay Arellano)