By Francis Ryan Pabiania | News Writer
Vol. XCI No. 18
Mar. 6, 2020
Cris Guiller Aguilar, a sophomore Civil Engineering student, declared as champion for Valentine Song-Writing Competition (VSC) besting nine other finalists for his song “Here Without Us.” The competition was held at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium last February 29.
Among of the finalist were, “Hibbard Avenue” composed by Arnold Christopher Muñez, “I Adore” by Shammah Angeli Cardino, “Hiraeth” by Melchizedek Logarita II, “The One” by Zephaniah Aethelbert Buenavista, “One of those Girls” by Chiara Elizaga, “Should I Stay Like This?” by Jansen Walter Gakit and “Liquor Blood” by Enzo Miguel Pastrano and George AJ Siton. Raya Nicole Reyes adjudged as Best Interpreter for her song “Help Me” and Roel Joseph Tabada as Best Arranger for Hannah Gene Dela Cruz’s composition, “Serendipity”.
“Despite the way it seems, I did not win the competition alone, there was a lot of pushing and convincing that had to be done for me to have reached the point of victory,” Aguilar said.
The 21-year-old soul singer wrote his song for his girlfriend, Natasha Borromeo as a reassurance that “there is something worth fighting for on the good days and even more so on the bad,” he said. Aguilar said he had to convince himself to be ready for his own music to be performed in public.
Prior to the competition, he talked and gathered critics from his friends and girlfriend where he had his song’s draft sent. He took a week to finish his composition with 30 minutes every night.
“As a writer I oftentimes feel that there is more work to be done before my work actually feels like it’s in the place I want it to be and for me, it was a matter of getting used to hearing myself sing my own song,” he said.
Previously, Aguilar, was hailed as the fourth runner-up of Silliman Idol way back in 2018 which he considered as his highest musical achievement. Not just to win the competition alone, he said that there was lots of encouragement he took before he reached his Victory for VSC.
“For which, I would like to deeply thank and appreciate my hidden champion who I share this victory with my girlfriend,” he added.
Moreover, a concert of the winning songs was held last March 1 in celebration of the 30th year of VSC. The thirteen years of love songs, “Balik ‘ta sa GUGMA”, Aguilar capped the concert with his repeat performance of his winning song among the previous 17 champions.
The said event featured the performances of singers and stage artists such as Vien King and Jasmine Salvo and some of the best interpreters of Silliman campus. This includes the VSC 1991 piece champion “Two Different Worlds” by Suzanne Antoniette Lu-Bascara and the 2019 winning piece, “Backwards” by Sam Akinbode were among the 16 other songs performed.