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Story behind Philpop 2014 top song ‘Salbabida’

Jungee Marcelo with his wife Anna Marie (Screengrab from YouTube)

Jungee Marcelo with his wife Anna Marie (Screengrab from YouTube)

Jungee Marcelo has been producing hits for decades now, most recently “Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat” sung by Daniel Padilla. But, his latest offering “Salbabida,” which copped grand prize at the recently held Philippine Popular Music Festival (Philpop), not only comes with unforgettable hooks and recalls but a story worth telling, too.

In an interview right after clinching victory at Meralco Theater where the finals transpired over the weekend, Marcelo shared that the inspirational song is dedicated to his wife, Anna Marie, whom he considers his personal lifeline.

“There’s a line in the song ‘Kumakampay pabalik sa may pampang subalit ’di na matakasan ang bagyo.’ It’s about me being a fool who was so relying on myself. I needed someone who can save me from that,” he said. “Then God gave me my wife – someone na kinakatigan ko ’pag naa-out of bounds ako.”

Many of the gospel songwriter’s works, including “Sa Yahweh” for Gary Valenciano, is his way of giving back to God. He said, “My next breath is to the Lord. I live a lifestyle that is totally dependent on God.”

“Salbabida” was two years in the making. The melody and the verses were created first, but because he can’t think of a good chorus, he opted to keep his creation unfinished for awhile.

Jungee Marcelo and Kyla (Photo by Enie Reyes)

Jungee Marcelo and Kyla (Photo by Enie Reyes)

“I wrote the song by chance. Ang nakakatawa, the melody (of my songs) comes every time I’m not with my instrument,” he related “The chorus came nu’ng in-announce na (iyong call for entry), bigla akong na-recharge.”

Marcelo has a lot of feathers in his cap. His “Para Sa Inyo, ‘Tong Kanta Kong Ito” won the 1997 Metro Manila Popular Music Festival (Metropop). He also placed 2nd in Philpop last year via “Pansamantagal.”

“I love competition. Kahit champoy lang ang premyo, sasali ako kasi I just love when my spine tingles and just the thought of coming up with a good song, sobra!” he said.

Marcelo plans to use his million peso cash prize from Philpop to go on a “salbabida journey” with his wife meaning anything goes.

As advice to songwriters, Marcelo said, “First, please don’t ever, ever quit. The second is rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite. Be very thorough with your works; imagine yourself listening to the song. Dapat ’yung kanta maramdaman mo na agad.”

Meanwhile, “Salbabida” interpreter, Kyla, expressed her gratitude for being picked for the job.

“As a singer, ang pinaka-goal ko talaga is to inspire people, especially ’yung mga nakababata. With this song, I was able to do that. I’m really happy that he (Marcelo) won (because) there’s bigger chance for more people to hear it (now),” she said.

Other Philpop 2014 winners are Ronaldo “Toto” Sorioso’s “Awit Mo’y Nandito Pa” (1st runner-up), Daryl Ong’s “Torpe” (2nd runner-up) and Cecilia “Chi” Bocobo and Isaac Joseph Garcia’s “Kung Akin Ang Langit” (Spnnr People’s Choice Award).