Now on its second run, the BPOP Acapella Challenge (Bisaya Pop) has once again elevated Bisaya music and culture to a higher scale, as hundreds flocked to support not just Bisaya music but also the scholars, who will benefit from the contest.
Presented by the Primary Group of Builders, the BPOP Acapella Challenge raised around P600,000 for the benefit of young scholars to study at Primary Structures Educational Foundation, Inc. (PSEFI) SKILLS for free, allowing them to become construction professionals in the future.
“We have a lot of talented men and women here in Cebu who are able to create big names in Cebu, in the Philippines, and other parts of the world,” said Jessie Cubijano, PSEFI SKILLS executive director. “There has to be a way for us to localize the music and it challenges mainly people to be a part of BPOP.”
Proceeds of the event will go to the training of young scholars from the Primary Structures Foundation, which is a corporate foundation that deals with construction, hotel and restaurants, and more.
“Our purpose is to provide education to men and women to get employment, so that they’re able to have a Plan B,” Cubijano added. “They will be able to help their community, to help their children, and they’re able to have a sustainable way of stopping poverty. So that’s what we do, we provide training, education, and lead them to employment.”
The finalists of the challenge were given record deals for a Christmas album that was released to the public last November 9, 2019.
The finalists were The Arkapella, The Basics, and Primiero.
Primiero, the acapella group that emerged as the champions of the challenge, performed “Kasadya,” a popular Bisaya Christmas song and mixed it up with “Liber Tango.”
Aside from the P50,000 cash prize, Primiero also received a recording contract worth P50,000.
The group revealed that they came up with their group name Primiero while they were looking for a place to practice, and when a member looked down on his shifting gear, it was on primera (first gear). It was also timely because that was their first meeting as a group for their first contest.
It was a winning comeback for Primiero, as they failed to clinch a spot during last year’s BPOP Acapella challenge.
The group hopes to make it to the international scene in the future.
“[Next year]’s gonna be a bigger event, we would like to have as many performers as possible, we would like to be able to provide to more scholars next year,” said Cubijano. “We would be able to also popularize Bisaya music because this time around, we have Spotify, we will be able to reach many parts of the Philippines, of the world, and prove to them that this is the Bisaya culture and heritage, is something we can truly be proud of.”
Other notable Cebuano artists performed during the event, such as Melody Hodgson, the Wonggoys, Jerika Teodorico, Jehramae Trangia, and Johnel Bucog./dbs