In a country known for its love for endearing music and karaoke classics, songwriting competition Himig Handog found a home when it was established 16 years ago. ABS-CBN launched the Himig Handog sa Bayaning Pilipino just in time for the Bayaning Pilipino Awards in 2000.
Originally, according to Star Music’s Audio and Content manager Jonathan Manalo and Star Music head Roxy Liquigan, Himig Handog was supposed to only come up with thematic songs that are in tune with the times. In 2001, which was marked as the year when the historical EDSA Dos happened that led to former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s stepping down. Seeing that the youth played a huge role in the iconic event, Himig Handog sought to empower them further through the help of songs with JAM: Himig Handog sa Makabagong Kabatan.
But in 2002 and 2003, Himig Handog shifted gears as it catered to the hopeless romantic side or what is now known as “hugot” among Filipinos by focusing on love songs. Hence yet another change in contest title Himig Handog Love Songs and Himig Handog Love Songs 2.
Since the beginning, Star Magic interpreters have taken active part in the competition even before it has fully taken off to become what it was today.
Among the singers who have lent their voices for the early composers who joined the contest was Jolina Magdangal for Jungee Marcelo’s Super Pinoy together with Quarter to Five in 2000.
Then there was Ultimate Heartthrob and crooner Piolo Pascual for Arnold Reyes’ Kung Ako Ba Siya in 2001, which even bagged the Buyer’s Choice Award that year. After which Vina Morales interpreted Chona Borromeo’s Narito Lang Ako in 2003. #TatakStarMagic
After their shift of focus into love songs in 2003, Himig Handog took a hiatus for almost 9 years and only returned into discovering new composers and supporting newly created songs in 2013.
That same year brought in several changes for the competition among them a new title of P-Pop Love Songs: Mga Awit at Kwento ng Pusong Pilipino, the increase of incentives for the Top Five and the partnership with several institutions for the creation of the song’s music videos. But the most notable change that year was the establishment of new award categories where Star Magic interpreters shone the brightest.
Marion Aunor’s self-composed If You Ever Change Your Mind ended up as the third place. While the fourth place was bagged by KZ Tandingan’s interpretation of Domingo Rosco Jr.’s Scared to Death. Meanwhile, Teen King Daniel Padilla’s Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat bagged several special awards like Star Record’s Buyer Choice, Tambayan 101.9 Listener’s Choice, MOR Listener’s Choice and MYX Best Music Video. #TatakStarMagic
The year 2014 has also been a good year for Star Magic interpreters. Daniel returned as an interpreter for Meljohn Magno’s Simpleng Tulad Mo. It even won the MOR Listener’s Choice award.
Janella Salvador’s first ever participation on Himig Handog through Melchora Mabilog’s Mahal Kita Pero had a good finish as the 3rd Best Song.
The biggest winner during that year was KZ through Edwin Marollano’s Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako as she bagged the grand prize and took away the P1 million. KZ even won the Favorite Interpreter award.
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