What song best describes your 2023? Is it a vibrant, glittering track, with dynamic choreography to match, from the P-pop scene? Was it a hazy shoegaze song that sends you to another realm? Or, perhaps an emotional indie ballad that prompts a stream of tears? Maybe, a fast-paced hip-hop banger that leaves you out of breath?

This year was defined by a myriad of great hits, from viral tracks (still) making their rounds on TikTok to history-making anthems that has everyone singing along. It’s been a good year for Filipino music, making the task of narrowing down the best of the best an even bigger challenge for us here at Billboard Philippines. After weeks of discussions, some that even went down to the last minute, we’ve come up with a list of hits and personal favorites that enraptured our 2023.

Since we heard your favorite songs, it’s our turn. Kicking off our recap of the year, we present our picks for the top 25 Filipino songs of 2023, in no particular order.

‘711’ – Toneejay

At its heart, “711” is a simple love song about wanting to give the best life to one’s significant other. Its edge comes from Toneejay‘s self-aware POV that feels raw and earnest due to its contemporary themes unheard in the genre. Sappy, yes, but honest. What other song yearns for a Santa Rosa house, a car not a motor, a visit to Shibuya or a cafe with a capybara, and a 7-Eleven along a highway “kahit ayaw ko maging kapitalista [even though I don’t want to become a capitalist]?” Toneejay is not necessarily radical, but definitely rad in the best sense. Ratziel San Juan

‘Not 2 Much’ – LONER

LONER’s distinctive take on crafting electronic music has always stood out from the norm, but “Not 2 Much” showcases how his innovative take on the electronic genre can take him (and listeners) to new heights. There’s no doubt that the song is already catchy with its lyrics, yet it’s LONER’s production style that elevates the track to a certain level of catchiness — making it play on loop in your head even when it isn’t playing anymore. — Gabriel Saulog

‘Karera’ – BINI

BINI have long established their bubblegum brand of P-Pop, and “Karera” signals the evolution of that sound. The girl group brings in the twinkly production of J-Pop with a killer melody and hook that are sure to make you dance your socks off. This is one of the best — if not the best — P-Pop songs released this year. — Kara Angan

‘small town’ – Clara Benin

The thing about Clara Benin is that she gets better with time. Her latest record, befriending my tears, is the epitome of that: heavier and complex, with her signature heart wrenching lyrics that become the soundtrack to your heartbreaks. “small town” is the anthem of your hometown ex, and she paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to reopen that wound. It’s not just the best song off the album — it’s the best song of her career so far. — Kara Angan

‘SITWANSYONSHIP’ – Janine Berdin

Janine Berdin explores new territory without necessarily abandoning her previous sound through “SITWANSYONSHIP”. This relatable relevant song elevates the experience to new heights, showcasing all the singer’s best strengths from agility to versatility. It is an effective demonstration of Berdin’s presence as a performer, her proficiency as a vocalist, and the power she holds as herself. “SITWANSYONSHIP” invented showmanship. — Ratziel San Juan

‘Better With You’ – Jeff Bernat

“Better With You” is quintessential Jeff Bernat. It’s an easy listen that has you vibing the moment the song starts, immediately enchanting you with his smooth vocals. In the track, he croons about a love you can’t live without, coloring the airwaves with a picture of the kind of romance you dream about. Truthfully, the song is nothing too grand. In fact, it’s relatively simple with a mellow melody guiding you through and quaint harmonies in the chorus to keep your interest, but there’s immense beauty in its simplicity. You can’t help but sink into the song and sway along. — Jenny Fernandez

‘Orasa’ – Dilaw

“Orasa” by Dilaw is a soft rock ballad built for 2023 and a new generation of love bewildered youth and those youthful at heart. The groove of the song keeps you in a perfect melancholic sway while the lyrics speak of circles and cycles that match perfectly with the spinning thoughts of whoever you’ve passively aggressively posted this song about. “Orasa” in essence is another hugot song, but when it’s done this right: sign me up, pass me the mic, and keep my phone away from me. — Bret Jackson

‘Raining In Manila’ – Lola Amour

“Raining in Manila” is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head even without you realizing it. It’s extremely catchy with a chorus you can’t help but sing along to and a delightfully unexpected instrumental bridge that’s a treat to the ears. A five-minute pop song amidst rising trends of short tracks shouldn’t work but it does — really well, in fact. Beyond being a viral hit, it’s become the anthem for rainy days across the Philippines; if it’s raining, you can bet someone out there is listening to Lola Amour. It’s a timeless classic in the making. — Jenny Fernandez


Filipino hip-hop’s new phenom Hev Abi is taking the country by storm. Say (or meme) all you want about the rapper — there’s a reason why “WELCOME2DTQ” earned a spot on the Billboard’s Philippines Songs Chart and has the catchiest hook on TikTok. His flows shine over the stripped-down instrumental, with the right placements of adlibs to push the song forward. Hev Abi’s grit and intention in making music makes him one of the most exciting fresh faces in the country. — Kara Angan

‘That’s Why’ – of Mercury

of Mercury’s CHANGIN’ was a strong project that redefined the sonic landscape the group wanted to explore, and their first single post-release ended up becoming one of their strongest tracks yet. In “That’s Why”, listeners are treated to one of this year’s most soulful songs, with lead vocalist Nathan Huang’s vocal delivery echoing the style of 90s acts like Boyz II Men. With such smooth production that ascends towards the track’s climactic bridge, it’s a standout single that marks a promising beginning for whatever project the band has next. — Gabriel Saulog

‘korean blackout curtains 7ft (1 pc, not set)’ – cheeky things

Loud, fuzzy, and lo-fi — 2023 was the year of shoegaze, dreampop, and garage. Metro Manila-based band cheeky things has become an underground favorite for their in-your-face wall of sound music. “korean blackout curtains 7ft (1 pc, not set)” is loud but not cluttered, with a moving melody and an ambient break in the song to let it breathe. This a prime example of the sound that’s taking over the underground scene — and for good reason. — Kara Angan

‘Mona Lisa’ – Dominic Fike

Dominic Fike doing a summer pop song was not in my cards this year, but made my 2023 that much better. “Mona Lisa” is a lush track that paints a picture of a fleeting romance that you can’t shake off your mind; it’s light and airy but brings out so many elements of Fike’s range as an artist. Ultimately though, “Mona Lisa” is a fun song that sonically encapsulates a carefree summer so beautifully. — Jenny Fernandez

‘Dream Again’ – KRNA

WIth a dreamy opening that envelops you in its first few seconds, KRNA’s “Dream Again” sounds like a track that fits perfectly with the climactic scene of a 90s coming-of-age movie. The Cagayan De Oro-based band use their talents to craft a sentimental ambience within the song’s four minutes that utilizes bittersweet lyricism as a weapon that strikes emotional damage to its listeners. In some ways, the track features familiar sound that is comforting, if not devastating  — somewhat as if it was a fleeting dream from our memories. — Gabriel Saulog

‘what’s ur move?’ – Jason Dhakal

While I’ve mentioned that BEING is a fantastic record in its entirety, one of the album’s most notable tracks is “what’s ur move?” — which has the perfect blend of grooviness and sultriness that plays well with Jason Dhakal’s distinct vocals. The layered aspect of the track’s chorus features a seamless blend of groovy vocals that effortlessly fuse funk and R&B –– building an infectious, rhythmic landscape. Listeners should take special note of the song’s outro, where Dhakal’s captivating falsetto adds an emotional touch, making it a repeat-worthy conclusion that resonates with soulful brilliance. — Gabriel Saulog

‘Dagundong’ – Alamat

Through this dauntless hip-hop track from Thyro, Alamat narrates the country’s bloody struggle against imperialist oppression from Spanish colonization to America’s so-called benevolent assimilation. The P-pop group perfectly embodies their historical concept with the radically empowering call: “Dahil pusong mandirigma,’ di papakutsa, ‘di papapugong / Pusong mandirigma, ‘di papadikta at dadagun-dadagun-dadagundong [The heart of a warrior won’t be ridiculed, won’t be oppressed / The heart of a warrior won’t be tyrannized and will ru-ru-rumble].” — Ratziel San Juan

‘get him back!’ – Olivia Rodrigo

Though it wasn’t released as a promotional single, Olivia Rodrigo’s “get him back!” stood out from an already stellar sophomore release — showcasing how much fun Rodrigo had making the record. The track’s frenetic energy captures the perfect mix of desire and disgust at the thought of a former lover. Sonically, Rodrigo meshes the elements that made acts like Avril Lavigne and Weezer connect with a varied audience. The title itself is already such a clever play on words with its double-entendre meaning, so what more can we ask from a song that’s as fun as this? — Gabriel Saulog

‘CRIMINAL’ – Felip

While FELIP’s debut EP has so many gems, “CRIMINAL” is an undeniable crowd favorite. The dark, moody track showcases the rapper’s vocal range and the versatility of his musicality; while lyrically, he dives deep into the complexities of being human in both English and Bisaya. The song is rich and layered, with FELIP not wasting even a single second to deliver the very purpose of the song. If there’s one song from COMPLEX I could listen to again for the first time, it’d definitely be “CRIMINAL”. — Jenny Fernandez

‘Fiend’ – Faspitch

Known to experiment with various styles of rock throughout their career, Faspitch’s “Fiend” takes the best of their DNA, splices it together, and births a monster of a song. Loud, fast, and triumphant, it’s a statement of the band’s prowess. Fans of Faspitch are well acquainted with the band’s vocal range and technical ability, but a definite high note of this record is the airtight production that gives space to every detail while still maintaining arena level depth. Play this song at full volume and wake up the neighbors, because it’s Faspitch season. — Bret Jackson

‘delikado’ – dwta

Folk singer-songwriter dwta weaves Bicolano into her soothing harmonies for “delikado” (Dangerous). Fresh off her Awit Award for Best Regional Recording, the singer is making space for the Bicolano language to shine in the mainstream. “Delikado” is music for swaying along, and the fade-out outro with multiple voices singing and harmonizing the chorus line is a nice touch that earns the song a spot on the best songs of 2023. — Kara Angan

‘I Want You’ – SB19

“I Want You” is an unexpected addition to SB19’s discography in the best way possible. Stepping into the realms of sensual R&B, the track strays away from the usual emotional ballads and dynamic power anthems heard from the P-pop group. It’s captivating and indicative of how much more SB19 can do. — Jenny Fernandez

‘homebdy’ – DEMI ft. madman stan

Could we consider this track a late-night bop? In “homebdy”, DEMI and madman stan make a strong collaboration that utilizes both of their strengths. DEMI’s voice evokes a certain sense of allure — one that’s playful with its melody, making it the perfect compliment to madman stan’s raps. With its snappy chorus and smooth beats, it sticks to the landing with a level of finesse that not many R&B artists could pull off. — Gabriel Saulog

‘Rapstar’ – Flow G

 “Rapstar” was one of the biggest hip-hop tracks this year, with Flow G almost never stopping to breathe throughout the entire track. He switches from flow to flow, changing the energy enough times to keep you aggressively bopping your head along. Flow G drops rhymes one after the other — “Ginaganapan ko lang ng natural / Tsaka inagapan ko na mautal / Nilaban, sinugal, ginapang, minahal” — with different multisyllabic rhyming schemes sandwiched between each other, just like in “Alam ko na may mata na nagbabantay kung pa’no ako sasablay / Matyagang nag-aantay kung kailan ako tatamlay at lalaylay.” — Kara Angan

‘Lackin’ – Denise Julia

Denise Julia’s debut mini-album is a long time coming. We’ve all been (not so) patiently waiting for it, having heard bits and pieces of its tracks on TikTok throughout the year and “Lackin” definitely did not disappoint. It’s fun, empowering, and just immensely catchy — you can guarantee that we’re all singing that second verse word for word. — Jenny Fernandez

‘ERE’ – juan karlos

Give juan karlos his flowers, because “ERE” is this year’s Philippine anthem. juan karlos is unapologetically back to his heavier rock sound, and his lyrics are more painful as ever. While the song is obviously taken from his personal experiences, what makes it magical is that the lyrics can be applied to any situation in a listener’s life. It’s no mistake that the multiple sections of the song have gone viral online, such as its chorus and the bridge. — Kara Angan

‘Unta Tanan’ – Kurt Fick

Kurt Fick is no stranger to best releases — win Vispop enough times and you secure your spot as a true superstar. “Unta Tanan” (roughly translated as ‘I Wish I Had What You Had,’ or in Filipino, ‘sana all’) is a perfect example of Kurt Fick at his best. This is how you execute the disco-funk-soul revival ala Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, with elements of a Filipino-style ballad. — Kara Angan

Check back in next week for Billboard Philippines’ Best Albums of 2023 list. In the meantime, check what our readers’ voted as their best Filipino releases of the year.