VerJube Photographics Covers Akapela Open


a cappella workshop

It all started from free a cappella workshops given to limited participants which happened last 06 July 2013 at The Music School of Ryan Cayabyab in Robinsons Galleria conducted by The Maestro himself, Mr. Ryan Cayabyab. The series of a cappella workshops gathered great interests to many vocal groups nationswide as they are encouraged not only to join the competition but also to build themselves a community of contemporary a cappella singers. LINK orig article HERE.

Akapela Open

Akapela Open is a competition for contemporary a cappella ensemble singing. It is a project spearheaded by The Music School of Ryan Cayabyab in cooperation with the PLDT Smart Foundation and One Meralco Foundation. This competition is deemed to be the first of its kind in the country.

Akapela Open competition accepts a cappella singing ensembles of 3 to 12 members, all male, all female, or mixed voices with 18 years of age and above. For the semi-finals and finals, competing groups are required to sing at least one full song written by a Filipino, either in English or Filipino/Tagalog, for a maximum of a 10-minute performance with no limits to the type of music. Groups were judged according to musicality, musicanship and stage presence.

Process of elimination happened until 9 finalists were chosen: 1415, Acapella GO, D’ Trendz, FiVibe, Overtone, Pinopela, Taftonic, W/ Plesha and Xavier University Glee Club Showstoppers.

They battle for the Akapela Open championship last October 30, 2013 at the Meralco Theater. Php 250,000.00 is at stake for the Akapela Open champion. The First runner up gets P150,000 and Second runner up has P100,000. For the record, every finalists also gets P30,000 each as a consolation prize. The Best Arrangement of a Filipino song gets P50,000.

VerJube Photographics sponsors photographs for Akapela Open


Ms. Krina Cayabyab of Baihana, daughter of Mr. C., has invited us to cover and sponsor the said big event and we’re lucky to be considered. We had a difficult time deciding if we accept the offer or not because we wanted services to be perfect and satisfying for them. They’ve given their full trust and we eventually accepted the challenge. It was such a delight being invited for a special musical event such as this. And for the love of music we really had a great time covering Akapela Open and we’re thankful for another awesome music experience.

We’re grateful about working with The Cayabyabs, meet the finest vocal groups in the country today, listen to them live and proud being part of the Akapela Open family. We could not ask for more!

The road to finals

It’s a 3-day coverage: Welcome Dinner for the finalists on 28 Oct 2013, documenting the rehearsals on 29 Oct 2013 and the finals night on 30 Oct 2013 plus victory party after the show. It’s a very exhausting but very fulfilling 3-day duty. We invited 2 apprectices to helped us cover the finals night, thanks to Rinna and Jea. We won’t forget our interactions with our co-staffs in Akapela Open along with Mr. & Mrs. C. It’s will always be memorable for us documenting the very first Akapela Open. The nervous yet overwhelming faces of the contestants were for the win.

We’ve experienced every group’s performance at the welcome dinner organized by Akapela Open for them. It’s fun to capture candid moments of the participants. We’re amused by how beat box sound was being created.

The performances

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The stage was opened by The Ryan Cayabyab Singers and Baihana with a fabulous a cappella production number arranged by the one and the only Mr. C. Video below courtesy of Aileen Siwa.

Here’s a run down of a cappella  performances from the 9 finalists, video courtesy of Akapela Open.

1. 1415

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2. Acapella GO

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3. D’ Trendz

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4. FiVibe

Akapela Open (3)

5. Overtone

Akapela Open (7)

6. Pinopela

Akapela Open (4)

7. Taftonic

Akapela Open (9)

8. W/ Plesha

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9. Xavier University Glee Club Showstoppers

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The results

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The show was directed by Mrs. Emy Cayabyab. Hosted by trio Enzo, Pael & Banjo, their vocal improvisation segment was a hit. The contemporary a cappella winners were chosen by board of judges namely Mr. Jonathan Velasco, Ms. Krina Cayabyab and Mr. Monet Silvestre.

Champion: ACAPELLA GO from Malolos, Bulacan

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1st runner up: PINOPELA from Baguio City

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2nd runner up: 1415 from Diliman
Best Song Arrangement: Nici Bulaong and Enzo Sta. Juana (1415)


This journey is history. Acapella Go had the final performance onstage. But for us, all the 9 a cappella groups who participated were all winners.

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Kudos to all the hardworking Team Akapela Open, from the organizers especially to Mr. & Mrs C (epic couple of the Ph music industry), to all the staff who’s been very kind us and to Krina who trusted us the most. It’s a joy listening to Mr. C’s recommendation and appreciation of our work.

Akapela Open

The After Party

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After the tough yet friendly competition of that same day, we were treated with special jam sessions and cocktails. We found ourselves singing with all the participants, Akapela Open staffs and selected guests with the music of Mr. C on keys. It’s one of my favorite places on Earth and we call it #TheBestOfAkapelaOpenExperience.

What’s most important is that we continue to learn many things as we progress and we get to work with people who have known this industry for years. We love this industry we’re in and we love this passion that we have. May you’ll always be there to support your local artists and the Filipino music. Mabuhay ang OPM!

Jovelyn Bajo-Calingo

Enjoys capturing, editing, and sharing content across social media platforms alongside music photography. The birth of this blog is a testament of my credence on the power of images in conveying stories.

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