Billboard Philippines is here to change the game and to globally amplify the Philippine music scene.
In Filipino households, families and loved ones bond with one another through the power of music. From an early age, Filipinos witness their relatives belting it out to classic OPM artists like Regine Velasquez and Rey Valera during family gatherings. With friends, songs by Zack Tabudlo, Zild, Lola Amour, and Dilaw are on full blast when spending the night out. In Filipino courtship, harana (serenade) is a form of expressing their love. Music is deeply rooted in our culture; and now, Filipino music finds a new platform to share its sound with the launch of Billboard Philippines under AGC Power Holdings Corporation’s Modern Media Group Inc.
Returning to the country after five years, Billboard Philippines is spearheaded by editor-in-chief Bret Jackson, editor-at-large Reyes, and its powerhouse team of producers led by Paolo Valenciano and Anton Molina. The launch was celebrated with an event held at Whitespace Makati on October 15, 2023, attended by celebrities and OPM artists such as KZ Tandingan, Nadine Lustre, Kean Cipriano, Juan Karlos, Unique Salonga, and Ena Mori. Billboard president Mike Van, Penske Media Corporation associate vice president for international markets Gurjeet Chima, Modern Media Group Inc. chief operating officer Anne Bernisca, and AGC Power Holdings Corp chief executive officer Archie Carrasco were some of the distinguished executives in attendance.
The event wasn’t just for the launch of their maiden issue. Beyond using the written word, Billboard Philippines unveiled its plans to explore other digital mediums as a tool to amplify Filipino artists’ music. “Billboard is the world’s most influential music media brand with an unmatched authority among artists, fans, and the industry,” says Bernisca. “Billboard Philippines will create innovative multimedia content that transcends media value and uphold media excellence.”
With his experience as a creative director and live event producer, Valenciano leads the way for the title’s digital expansion as its executive producer and head of media channels. Transcending the form of written print and digital media, Billboard also launched their digital expansions Billboard Soundwaves, Billboard Volume, and Billboard Studio.
Billboard Soundwaves is a TikTok-exclusive offering that gives the audience a peek into both the artist’s music and personality through performances set on a cyclorama stage. As associate producer Matthew Ong explained, “Soundwave puts the spotlight on carefully selected artists and songs chosen by the Billboard Philippines team. This platform serves as a prime stage for up-and-coming artists, potential chart-toppers, and new hits to be heard.”
Meanwhile, Billboard Volume is a weekly podcast that the team’s podcast producer Anton Molina described as, “a new podcast that aims to create a great listening experience for music lovers.” It is set to feature interviews and topic discussions with some of the most notable names in the Philippine music scene as well as up and coming artists to amplify their stories.
Lastly, Billboard Studio features live performances of three songs—either an original or a cover—that would be uploaded exclusively on YouTube. Ong detailed this as a “contemporary approach to the look [performances], thoughtfully curated with the integration of recording studios’ sound diffusers, immerses the audience to an atmosphere home to recording artists.”
Billboard Philippines’ official website, billboardphilippines.com, also went live as it aimed to give a more global platform space for local acts. The website gives OPM (Original Pilipino Music) fans worldwide access to updates on their favorite artists along with the discovery of new artists and music content.
Capping off the launch, Billboard Philippines introduced its inaugural print issue titled “Pop,” which featured both Alcasid—a transcendent figure in OPM, whose influence goes beyond generations—and P-Pop group SB19—whose song “Gento” has recently been approved for a Grammy nomination. These pop artists have each made history through their artistry and represent the ever-evolving look of Philippine music.
Bringing together a blend of the Filipino music industry’s OPM household names, rising artists, celebrities, and creatives, Billboard Philippines made its vision clear: “to become the foremost media authority that connects Filipino music and the world.”