Rico Blanco offered some words of wisdom for up-and-coming musicians during his acceptance speech at the 36th Awit Awards on November 9.

A pillar of Filipino music both as a Rivermaya founding member and solo artist, Blanco received this year’s Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino Award. “This award might seem small here in my hands, but I think it’s the biggest award so far I have received… This award recognizes talent not as much as it recognizes effort and hard work,” he accepted humbly.

Blanco thanked his past and present colleagues as well as loved ones, including his partner, actress-singer Maris Racal: “My sweetheart…my main source of inspiration and strength. I share this award with you.”

The “Yugto” singer then proceeded to share a dose of inspiration for the local music industry’s rising artists.

“I want to share this award with all of you. Maybe as a reminder for all of us to keep going. When your latest single isn’t doing as well as you hoped, keep going. When you have a bad day, keep going. If your bandmate quits on you, keep the fuck going. The haters, pay no mind. Keep going no matter what.”

“Thank you for this incredible reminder for all of us. I will cherish it. And yes, I will keep going. In fact, I think I’m just getting started,” Blanco concluded.

The Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino Award is conferred by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry to Filipino music artists with remarkable achievement locally and abroad. Past recipients include the likes of Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, APO Hiking Society, Eraserheads, Francis Magalona, and Lea Salonga, to name a few.

Blanco‘s long list of awards includes everything he was nominated for in 2009: Awit Awards, MYX Music Awards, NU Rock Awards, and Philippine Radio Music Awards, on top of accolades spanning three different decades from his solo work alone.