BISAYA music artists and their works have gained respect nationally because of the efforts of movers in the Cebu music scene. In the past, a local musician who does not go to Manila and get a recording contract and fail to appear in national television is not a success. Today, there are Bisaya artists who remain in their roots and get respect and recognition for their works. To mention a few: Missing Filemon, Cattski, Sheila & The Insects and Jude Gitamondoc. But other than making good music, these artists help develop young talents in their craft as well as guide them in this competitive field. In our little way, since 2017, we recognize outstanding Bisaya artists through the Cebu Siloy Music Awards. Because of space limitation, I shall list the nominees for each category and cite the awardee.
Best Vocal Performance Male: Ferdinand Aragon, Matag Piraso; L G Fuentes, Kwarto; Maric Gavino, Kapoy; Philipp Mancol, Kahibaw Kong Kahibaw Ka; T J Monterde, Karera; Brian Pepito, Mapasaya Ka Lang; Barry Villacarillo, Adto Na Ko. Winner: Ferdinand Aragon. Matag Paraiso is a lovely song that took the grand prize in the Visayas Music Awards; but other than its fascinating melody and heartfelt lyrics, Aragon’s vocal interpretation made the song soar to heavenly height.
Best Vocal Performance Female: Gerlyn Abano, Gugmang Gihandum; Mary Anchit, Matilda’s March; Cattski, One; Lourdes, 2 Cents; Melay Libres, Siging-siging; Jerika Teodorico, Ihatod Tika; Diane Tungal, Glitch. Winner: Lourdes. In 2015, she took the grand prize of Vispop 3 with her original song, Buwag Balik. Her soul-funk treatment of the tune caught the fancy of the judges. With more confidence, maturity and boldness, she is uninhibited in her debut album that explodes with the song, 2 Cents.
Best Vocal Performance, Duo or Group: Dungga Mi Dzai, My Selosa Girl; Mandaue Nights, Take Me; Oh! Caraga, Way Sukod; Sepia Times, BreakFast; Route 83/Ferdinand Aragon, Kahangturan; Three Legged Men, Keep; Wonggoys, Ako. Winner: Three-Legged Men. They released their official music video in 2019 for Keep, an infectious tune that demonstrates the quality of music craftsmanship and vocal excellence innate among Bisaya artists. The Philippines and the world should pay attention to Three Legged Men.
Event of the Year: 39th Cebu Popular Music Festival; Abtik Pas Kilat; Monsters: The Musical; Visayan Music Awards. Winner: Abtik Pas Kilat. Re-telling history about Leon Kilat through words, music and acting is not an easy task and the people behind Abtik Pas Kilat more than met the challenge combining traditionally-inspired music and modern tempos, thereby effectively conveying their message to a younger audience.