Traversing the ‘Poet’s Path’ and Getting There: Peniel Roxas Wins Wishcovery Originals

Nov 7, 2021

The road may have taken a lot of twists and turns. But after the long wait — including a production break prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic — Wishcovery Originals has finally come to an end. 

On November 7, Sunday, Peniel Roxas walked off with the top prize, besting six other contenders in the Wish 107.5-produced contest for Filipino singing-songwriting acts.

“poet’s path,” the Davaoeña songsmith’s winning piece, is a pensive and metaphorical depiction of her strong resolve in pursuing the craft of music-making.

“I have a bit of a complicated relationship with [writing]. As much as it helps me make sense of what I’m feeling, it’s still a bit hard, especially when [I] write something down and realize that there’s kind of a bittersweet feeling or anticlimactic feeling to it — Okay, now what? But at the end of the day, I would still turn to it. I would still turn to the poet’s path,” the 20-year-old artist said about her grand finals song.

Finale round-up

During their final musical showdown, the contenders showcased their brand-new songs before a crowd of around 800 people at the LausGroup Event Centre in Pampanga. 

Strict health and safety protocols were implemented throughout the show. All the finalists, guest performers (which included Oh, Flamingo!, juan karlos, and Mayonnaise), the staff, and audience members also tested negative for Covid-19. 

Their live performances comprised 80% of their final score. The panel of judge-reactors was composed of Mayonnaise’s Monty Macalino, and Jungee Marcelo and Jay R who both connected remotely. 

The remaining 20% came from the views of their songs’ Wishclusive videos. The power-viewing period took place from October 25 to November 5.

As the grand champion, Roxas won Php1 million in cash, a Php1 million-worth of recording contract under KDR Music House, a house and lot from Lumina Homes, and a brand-new car from GAC Motor Philippines. 

“I just want to thank my family, my friends, and everyone who found my music, listened to my music, or found something special in me because most of the time I don’t think I deserve it. Thank you, thank you so much for seeing me and seeing my music,” she remarked in her speech.

Mei Teves, a talented singer-songwriter from San Juan City, was named 1st runner-up and took home Php500,000. Meanwhile, Agusan Del Sur-based acoustic band White Caps emerged as the show’s 2nd runner-up, winning Php300,000.

The other grand finalists included From Outtakes, PIP, JC Sales, and Anthony Meneses.

As in the previous seasons, all the finalists had the opportunity to pay things forward through charity. They donated free meals and grocery packages to 300 residents of Bataan, where they were housed in preparation for the grand finals.

OPM thrives

After lockdown restrictions were imposed in early 2020, the Wishcovery Grand Finals marks the first time in the country that performers and a sizable audience were gathered in one place for an in-person musical event.

The presence of Wishers and music lovers — who were there to witness performances from aspiring artists and established musicians alike — was fitting for an endeavor that aims to continue to enliven the OPM industry. 

“It’s always an enjoyable experience to be able to perform for a live audience… I’m hoping to have more releases and live events so that we can enjoy our performances with our fans very soon,” Macalino, Mayonnaise vocalist and one of the competition’s judge-reactors, said about his band’s performance at the event.

Despite the challenges caused by Covid-19, Wishcovery Originals ended on a hopeful note. And throughout its run, contenders and judge-reactors have all gained something from the experience.

“I have learned that each one has a story to tell and they long to be heard. Listening to them is beneficial not only to them but also on our end. It’s actually interesting to know how they think and how they react to the world’s toughest situation, which is the pandemic — and find that we all have that one common antidote: God’s amazing gift of music,” Marcelo enthused.

Citing how the contenders moved him, Jay R remarked: “Watching these finalists work hard, it reminds me of when I was like that — when I was first starting out; when it was my first time writing songs and singing them in front of people. I thank [them] for that.”

During his speech Wish 107.5 President and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon relayed the very purpose of producing a show like Wishcovery Originals.

“Sa pamamagitan ng Wishcovery Originals, layon namin na magtanim ng mga binhi ng magagaling na singer-songwriters para sa kinabukasan ng OPM. And I believe that in the coming years, the Philippine music industry will reap bountiful musical harvests through your talent and hard work,” he said.

“Dahil sa inyo, naniniwala akong lalong magyayabong at gaganda ang OPM. Thank you all for making the future of OPM shine even brighter,” he further stated.

After capping off the third season of its own musical competition, Wish 107.5 is set to continue celebrating OPM through the 7th Wish Music Awards, which is slated in January next year.

The Wishcovery Orignals Grand Finals is presented by Lumina Homes — Every Juan’s Home, CDO Ulam Burger — So Crispy, Ang Saya!, J&T Express — Express Your Online Business, and GAC Motor — Go and Change; co-presented by Puregold — Always Panalo; together with our major sponsor Pag-IBIG Fund — Umibig nang wagas pero ‘wag kalimutang ibigin ang sarili. You’re worth it! Deserve mo ang Pag-IBIG; and our partners, BES House of Chicken, Morong Star Beach and Resort, EFS Apparel, Marcid Blue, ERC Travel Services, Wisemen Insurance, Smallville Dive Center and Resort, Salut, Daniel’s, KDR Adventure Camp, KDR Studios and Productions Inc., KDR Music House, KDR Distribution and Marketing, and UNTV News and Rescue.

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