Today, I’ve decided to listen to all the finalists of this year’s Himig Handog. To my pleasant surprise, most of them are remarkably outstanding. Here in this list, I’ve carefully ranked each of the finalists based on the song that I love listening to the most.

“EXTENSYON” by Inigo Pascual feat. Aikee (Rank #1)

My Favorite Line: “Ako’y nangamba ha ha ha / Na biglang gusto mo pa / Tanggap ko na na na na na / Na tayo ay wala na”

What Makes This Song Special: Although the song talks about the harrowing pain in breaking up with a former romantic partner, Extensyon never showed sorrow in its melody at all. Instead, it was upbeat, hopeful, and optimistic. It’s a jam I can easily listen to any time of the day. After the success of “Dahil Sa’yo,” Inigo slowly builds his solid place in the music industry with these types of songs in this particular upbeat pop genre.

“TITIBO-TIBO” by Moira Dela Torre (Rank #2)

My Favorite Line: “Nung ako’y mag-high school ay napabarkada sa mga bi / Curious na babae na ang hanap din ay babae.”

What Makes This Song Special: Playful and truthful, I don’t think there has been any song in the past that has ever tackled this theme. It’s so catchy and refreshing. I can imagine this to be the national song of all our boyish girl-friends.

“TAYO NA LANG KASI” by Jason Dy and Kyla (Rank #3)

My Favorite Line: “Kabisado ko ang topak mo / Sanay na rin ako sa mood swings mo.”

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What Makes This Song Special: The beat is so futuristic-ally good, this can potentially shape our new version of the “Manila sound.” Plus, they have the best music video produced this year — so millennial!

“THE LABO SONG” by Kaye Cal (Rank #4)

My Favorite Line: “Di ako bitter, masaya lang talaga ako / Dahil sa wakas, iniwan mo na rin ako.”

What Makes This Song Special: Although I can’t generalize, there’s always something fun and quirky about Taglish songs. In a world full of songs that tackle the overused themes of pain, hatred, and sorrow over break-ups, it’s always nice to hear the other side of the story too.

“WOW NA FEELINGS” by Janella Salvador (Rank #5)

My Favorite Line: “Bakit muli, Bakit muling / ‘di na ma-‘di na ma-‘di na mapakali / Katabi kita’t, lalo ka pang lumalapit / Tensyon ay tumitindi at nangyari”

What Makes This Song Special: In a song that totally captures what real infatuation is, it makes you feel giddy like a teenager once more listening to such tunes. Aahhh — the promise of young love!

“TANGHALING TAPAT” by Unit 406 (Rank #6)

My Favorite Line: “Tanggap ko nang / Sa panahon ngayon / Tanghali na lang tapat”

What Makes This Song Special: Do you still remember Magic 89.9’s “Sunday Slowdown” segment back in the early 2000s (I’m just not sure if it’s still playing these days)? This acoustic song deserves a regular spot on the regular Sunday Slowdown playlist. It’s so relaxing, I can listen to this while I’m on the road or while I’m chilling with my friends with a jug of beer.

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“NARIRINIG MO BA” by Morissette Amon (Rank #7)

My Favorite Line: “Minuminutong nangungulila sa’yo / Alaala mo sa akin ay ginto”

What Makes This Song Special: Listening to this song reminds me of the Pinoy jukebox era with Claire de la Fuente, Imelda Papin and the rest of the Pinoy ballad queens. “Narinig Mo Ba” can potentially crown Morissette as the modern-day Jukebox Queen.

“SAMPU” by Jona Viray (Rank #8)

My Favorite Line: “Sa sampung sinabi mo / Isa lang ang totoo”

What Makes This Song Special: Aside from the simple lyrics that are easy to remember, the melody is easy to sing along to too. New song for your next Karaoke session!

“BES” by Migs Haleco (Rank #9)

My Favorite Line: “Pag hindi na kayo / Pwede na ba tayo?”

What Makes This Song Special: I can still hear a bit of Eraserheads, Parokya ni Edgar, and Rivermaya here and there in this song. Migs fills the gap in the market for those who are looking for a chill, acoustic band sound.

“BAGYO” by Jake Zyrus (Rank #10)

My Favorite Line: “Unti-unting ika’y naglalaho / Upang bigyang daan, bagong araw / Natatanaw, o bagyo”

What Makes This Song Special: Although the song contains an impressive use of poetry, the melody lost its overall commercial appeal as it was too “deep” and heavy.


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About Author Paolo Avis

Living abroad for more than half a decade now, Paolo works in Singapore as a sales and marketing manager for a luxury travel publication. His creative urges can’t always be contained, hence photography, video documentaries, and blogging are his go-to forms of artistic release. Since he didn’t get to pursue TV production after getting a degree in Communication, Paolo now turns to Random Republika as an outlet to keep himself updated and to share his thoughts on what’s happening in showbiz and beyond. Follow his other stories via Instagram (@bigbluefish).

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