After a successful first year in 2016, the ToFarm Film Festival (TFF) returns with its latest set of finalists as well as those for the ToFarm Songwriting Competition (TSC).
The top six TFF 2017 entries are: Topel Lee’s “Baklad,” about a fishpen boy’s big dreams; Victor Acedillo Jr.’s “Kamunggay” (“Malungay”), about Lolo Peping and his garden; Tara Illenberger’s “High Tide,” about a young man coping with the disaster wrought by super-typhoon Ising; Byron Bryant’s “Sinandomeng,” about a widow taking over the family farm; Jason Paul Laxamana’s “Instalado,” about the future of farming; and Joseph Abello’s “What Home Feels Like,” about a seaman who lost his job.
The selection committee was composed of film writer-actress Raquel Villavicencio, writer Michiko Yamamoto, and film director Jun Robles Lana.
The 10 finalists of this year’s TSC, considered to have perfectly encapsulated the festival’s theme “Planting The Seed Of Change,” are: “Langit Ng Tagumpay” by Elmar Jan Bolaño from Iloilo City; “Magtanim Ng Bago” by LJ Manzano, Davao City; “Magtatanim Ako” by Edwin Marollano, Muntinlupa City; “Tayo” by Daryl Cielo, Muntinlupa City; “Ika’y Mahalaga” by Henry Alburo, Marikina City; “Balik Na Salinlahi” by Enrique Gallardo, Quezon City; “T’yaga Lang At Sipag” by Robert David, Bulacan; and “Bayani Ng Lupa” by Agila Malaya, Novaliches City.
Two other finalists, Gino Torres and John Christian Jose both from Quezon City, have the same song title, “Binhi Ng Pagbabago.”
Elmar revealed TSC is the second songwriting tilt he joined where he ended up as finalist. Prior, he placed second runner-up at the Ilonggo Music Festival with his “May Paskwa Man Sa Gihapon,” which was about losing a father.
LJ is a songwriting veteran who penned “Duterte Ang Simula” with Joan Da, which was released under Viva Records. LJ was also a grand finalist at A Song Of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival last year with his composition “Pag-ibig Ka, Oh Dios” interpreted by boy band JBK.
Edwin made waves before at the 2014 Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs with “Mahal Ko O Mahal Ako” interpreted by KZ Tandingan.
Daryl is guitarist of the band Sileph, declared grand champion at the recent Alab: The Independent Musician Rising Awards competition.
Henry was a finalist of “Eat Bulaga!’s” AlDub songwriting competition with his song “Sa Tamang Panahon.”
Gino wrote “Go With My Heart” performed by Italian-singer Joan Jane Ilagan who was a contestant of “Pinoy Dream Academy” season one.
Robert was twice finalist at the Himig Dangal: Anti-Corruption Songwriting Competition. He interpreted his own entry “Kahit Na,” while his other song, “Tayo Nang Maglingkod Sa Bayan,” was sung by Kyla.
John Christian also composed the 2016 Philpop finalist “Stars Are Aligned,” which was interpreted by Acapellago and Jimmy Marquez.
This is the second time Agila is joining a competition while its the first time for Enrique.
The song selection jury are composer-conductor Josefino Chino Toledo, musical director Luchie Roque, orchestra conductor Olivier Ochanine, and professor-composer-arranger Jed Balsamo.
Josefino based his selection on relatability.
“Dapat meron siyang representasyon ng iba’t-ibang klase ng Pilipino,” he explained. “Dapat maipapakita nito kung gaano kalawak ’yung pwede nating masabi, tungkol sa atin bilang nasyon, sa isang awitin.”
Dr. Milagros O. How, the brains behind the competition. is happy with the selections, sharing, “They’re not the usual songs you hear everyday but they could still be appreciated by everyone.”
Milagros promised to help further the career of the songwriters who joined the tilt.
“Pero hindi namin ipipilit sa ngayon, maybe later,” she said.
The TSC grand winner, 1st runner-up, and 2nd runner-up will receive P300,000, P200,000, and P100,000, respectively, along with a trophy and a plaque.
There’s also a People’s Choice award with cash prize of P75,000.
The rest will receive P40,000 each along with a plaque.
Winners of the TSC will be named on April 9 at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura Premier.
Tags: Bumper crop, Dr. Milagros O. How, Jun Robles Lana, Magtanim Ng Bago”, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Michiko Yamamoto, Raquel Villavicencio, ToFarm Film Festival (TFF, ToFarm Songwriting Competition (TSC), “Balik Na Salinlahi”, “Bayani Ng Lupa”, “Binhi Ng Pagbabago”, “Ika’y Mahalaga”, “Langit Ng Tagumpay”, “Magtatanim Ako”, “Planting The Seed Of Change”, “Tayo”, “T’yaga Lang At Sipag”