Last October 15, Billboard Philippines was officially launched worldwide through an event held at Whitespace Manila. The star-studded event was buzzing with artists, industry executives, and invited members of the media, all coming together to celebrate the history and future of Filipino music.

SB19 and The Juans

Juans, SB19: Kieran Punay

“[What I love about Filipino music] is the growth, the way it’s evolving, and the originality,” shares rapper Alex Bruce to Billboard Philippines. Unique Salonga also feels the same way, adding later that, “Pinakagusto ko ngayonnag-iinovate siya. Iba’t ibang tunog ngayon ang naririnig ko” (What I really like about it now is that it’s always innovating. There’s new types of sounds and music that I can listen to).

DJ Jia The Menace welcomed the guests with an electrifying set as attendees went around and mingled before the event, taking seats at Security Bank’s guest lounge in the main event hall. Icons like Gary V, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, and Noel Cabangon set foot on the blue carpet to celebrate the occasion. They were joined by emerging stars like Janine Teñoso, Ena Mori, and Arthur Miguel, who were decked out in denim outfits provided by Guess. Ena Mori, alongside Jolina Magdangal and Zild, even went home with Vivo’s Best-Dressed Man and Woman of the Night award.

After guest photos were taken in front the Globe, Security Bank, Vivo, and Billboard Philippines photowall, the launch kicked off with a stunning performance by the one and only Asia’s Soul Supreme KZ Tandingan, whose powerhouse vocals brought the house down. Just moments before her set, Inigo Pascual and BINI’s Mikha and Aiah gushed to Billboard Philippines about how they consider Tandingan as one of the Filipino artists the world should listen to.

KZ Tandingan

KZ Tandingan photographed by Kieran Punay

The program continued with speeches from Billboard President Mike Van and Chief Operating Officer of Modern Media Group Incorporated, Anne Bernisca. Billboard Philippines Executive Producer Paolo Valenciano and Podcast Producer Anton Molina revealed the three flagship projects of Billboard Philippines‘ media channels: Studios, Soundwave, and Volumes.

Mike Van

Mike Van photographed by Kieran Punay

The surprises didn’t stop there. Brand Associate Atari Academia announced the six events Billboard Philippines has lined up to celebrate and push forward Filipino music to the next level. Billboard Power List is slated to recognize and celebrate the most influential figures in the music industry. Billboard Women in Music, just like its United States counterpart, will honor the outstanding achievements of women in music who are making their mark on the industry.

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid with Jolina Magdangal

Velasquez-Alcasid, Magdangal: Kieran Punay

Billboard Pride Summit will serve as a platform to embrace and celebrate diversity as well as inclusivity within the world of music. Billboard OPM Fest will be a music festival dedicated to showcasing the very best of Filipino music, featuring both established artists and emerging talents. Billboard New Gen will zone in on the next generation of music creators and innovators who are shaping the future of the industry. Finally, the Billboard Live Music Summit will explore the dynamic world of live music, from concerts, festivals, and beyond.

Music Editor Jason Caballa led the audience in the countdown to the launch of the website, which serves to document to the past, present, and future of Filipino music with the latest news, artist profiles, reviews, industry updates, lifestyle features, and many more.

Finally, Editor-in-Chief Bret Jackson unveiled the covers of the multimedia platform’s maiden print issue, P-Pop kings SB19 and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

“Tonight is a celebration of original Filipino music — as we knew it, as we know it, and as the world will soon know it,” Jackson said to cap off the night’s program. “Through the stories of artists, composers, musicians, producers, and every person in the music industry, Billboard Philippines looks to bridge Filipino music and the world. We aim to pave the way for the rest of the world to experience the transformative power of Filipino music.”

Check out more photos from the Billboard Philippines launch down below:

Billboard Philippines’ debut issue is now available at SariSari.Shopping, Lazada, Shopee, and the Sari Sari Kiosk in Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Pasig City.

Billboard Philippines team with Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and SB19

Photographed by Kieran Punay

Billboard PH Launch Venue

Photographed by Kieran Punay

Anne Bernisca

Anne Bernisca photographed by Kieran Punay

Bret Jackson

Bret Jackson photographed by Keiran Punay

Iñigo Pascual, Jayda Avanzado, Gary Valenciano, and Darren Espanto

Pascual, Avanzado, Valenciano, Espanto: MEETKESO

KZ Tandingan and Nadine Lustre

Tandingan, Lustre: Kieran Punay

James Reid, Seña (of SOS), Issa Pressman

Reid, Seña, Pressman: Kieran Punay

Erik Santos, SB19, Christian Bautista

Santos, SB19, Bautista: MEETKESO

RJHO Dee, Moy Ortiz, Mark Escueta, Jolina Magdangal, KZ Tandingan

Dee, Ortiz, Escueta, Magdangal, Tandingan: Kieran Punay

Janine Teñoso, Arthur Miguel, Vivoree, Maki

Teñoso, Arthur, Vivoree, Maki:Kieran Punay

Philieep Masaquel (TD), Daddy A, Blaster Silonga

Masaquel, Daddy A, Silonga: Kieran Punay

Gary Valenciano and Joey Generoso

Valenciano, Generoso: Kieran Punay

GELO (of BGYO), Jason Dhakal, NATE(of BGYO)

Gelo, Dhakal, Nate: Kieran Punay

Zild, Ena Mori, Jolina Magdangal, Bret Jackson

Zild, Mori, Magdangal, Jackson: Kieran Punay

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid signing a Billboard Philippines magazine

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid photographed by Kieran Punay

SB19 signing a Billboard Philippines magazine

SB19 photographed by MEETKESO

The Billboard PH team with Mike Van

SB19 and Mike Van with the Billboard Philippines team, photographed by Kim Santos.