Manitoba teen wins songwriting prize

Updated:December 6, 2021, 7:10 P.M.

Markham, Ontario

$3,000 cash prize goes to Isaac Yehoshua Estioco

Competing against the best Filipino- Canadian songwriters and singers across Canada, Isaac Yehoshua Estioco of Winnipeg, Manitoba was adjudged the Grand Finals
 winner of the “First Annual Songwriting Competition” organized and presented by the Philippines Independence Day Council in celebration of the ” 2021 Mabuhay Philippines Festival” on November 28, 2021, at the Xinlix Auditorium, Markham, Ontario, Canada. The nationwide competition, a part of the 2-day MPF events,  was conducted to meet  PIDC’s artistic development program by encouraging Canadian residents to showcase their songwriting skills and singing talents.
First runner-up Madette Mendoza, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Estioco from the City of Winnipeg, garnered the prestigious title for having composed and interpreted his own song titled ” Would You Listen?”. He received a C$3000 cash prize, trophy & certificate donated by Ms. Agnes P. Miranda, WFG -World Financial Group Senior Executive Vice Chairman. The other 2 grand finalists are Madette Mendoza of Niagara Falls, Ontario who was declared the First Runner-up, while Whitby’s own Kayleigh Angela Cerezo won the Second Runner-up title. K. Cerezo was awarded also the “Best Song Interpreter”. Madette and Kayleigh received C$1000 and C$500 cash and plaques awards, respectively.
Second runner-up Kayleigh Angelo Cerezo, Whitby, Ontario.
The 7 other grand finalists of the contests, who were awarded medallions and plaques of appreciation, were Conrad Belisario & Marisa Gozun of Toronto, Ontario, Ryan-Jay Castillo of British Columbia, Danilo Estioco of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Matthew Fasullo of Toronto, Ontario, John Eidref Gabriel of Brampton, Ontario, Jose Rodolfo Lopez of Edmonton, Alberta, and Norman Taniegra of Toronto, Ontario. Grammy and Tony awardee Jhett Tolentino proposed for PIDC to “come out with an album incorporating the music of the 10 Grand Finalists” and offered Madette Mendoza a special part in his upcoming special film production. Interesting to note was the “father-and-son showdown” of “tatay”, Danilo Estioco, and “anak”, Isaac Estioco in the competition. Four musical artists, Emil Zarris, Bayani Yagas, April Joyce Bulangcao, and JR Teodoro, likewise, participated by interpreting the song compositions of other contestants. Popular Fil-Can singer Josie De Leon performed the opening act and Masbate native Danny Orbillo rendered the finale song “This is the Moment”.
Beautifully hosted by Bea Rose Santiago, Miss Philippines International 2013, and Danny Orbillo, WFG Senior Manager, the 2- hour part virtual, part in-person concert was memorable indeed. The Celebrity Judges, icons in the world of music, theatre, and fashion, were Lani Misalucha, Albert Malignat, Gino Padilla, JayR, Renee Salud, Vehnee Saturno, and Jhett Tolentino. The Preliminary Judges included Jai Sabas Aracama, Madonna Decena, Nhick Ramiro Pacis, and JP Sunga. The contestants were evaluated and selected based on 3 main criteria: Lyrics-40%, Musical Content-20%, and Overall Impact-40%. Scoresheets were tabulated by AFCA members Eva Bolivar, Lalaine Legazpi, Estee Ortiz, and Emma Villanueva.
Grand Finalists
“Mabuhay Philippines Festival-MPF”, a popular yearly event held in the Greater Toronto Area( GTA), Ontario, is the flagship project of the 32-year old Philippine Independence Day Council( PIDC). MPF was founded and chaired by Ms. Norma Carpio with Ms. Agnes P. Miranda as vice-chairman and   President Ramon Estaris.
(In grateful acknowledgment, Ms. Norma Carpio and Ms. Agnes Miranda jointly thanked all the event partners & sponsors, such as TD Canada, WFG, Imperial World, Canadian Heritage, The Filipino Channel-TFC, and the Universal Peace Federation-Canada as well as the players and participants like the members of the organizing & production teams, the officers of the “PIDC Family”, the WFG staff, the Xinlix studio personnel and the enthusiastic attendees who made the event a remarkable success)

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