To say that the Filipino music industry is built on the shoulders of women is an understatement. Women have had an immense hand in shaping what Filipino music looks and sounds like today — from the likes of Pilita Corrales, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Sarah Geronimo, and Moira dela Torre, to the women who work behind the scenes, whether they’re record label executives, managers, roadies, photographers, composers, songwriters, and more.

The marks that generations of women have left on the music industry will, and should, never be forgotten or go unrecognized. In its mission to connect Filipino music and the world, Billboard Philippines recognizes the significance of giving a global platform to the women who have championed Filipino music over the years.

While at first glance, it seems that women dominate the music industry, there are still specific challenges that they face as women. During her acceptance speech for the Powerhouse award, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid shed light on the obstacles that women artists face, especially as they grow older. “We have to deal with [the changes that come with aging] and it changes our voices, our appearance. You know, ang dami-dami naming kailangan harapin…’Yung dating…ikaw ‘yung nagkakaroon ng hit, mararamdaman mo ‘yung unti-unti hindi na ikaw (You know, there’s a lot of things to face…before, you’re the ones who make hits, and then eventually, you start to slowly feel that it’s not you anymore.)”

Velasquez-Alcasid then emphasized how that doesn’t faze her, but it puts a spotlight on the unique obstacles that women face in the entertainment industry as a whole. The first edition of the Billboard Philippines Women in Music Awards was filled with unforgettable moments that all revolved around the celebration of Filipino women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds in the music industry.

Whether it was the iconic Jolina Magdangal hosting the event, SB19 member Stell presenting the Rising Star Award to their “sisters in pop” BINI, or Sarah Geronimo’s explosive performance of “Dati-Dati” (Before) and “Ikot-Ikot” (Turn Around), the 2024 Billboard Philippines Women in Music Awards signaled a change in how the Filipino music industry can recognize and lift up women’s voices.

Stell presenting BINI with the Rising Star award at the Billboard Philippines Women in Music.

BINI, Stell (of SB19) photographed by Excel/KLIQ PH.

However, it’s not just by their talent that these women are being honored. These women have also exemplified the determination and leadership in their craft and in the industry at large that makes it all the more important to truly appreciate the legacy they have built. The 2024 Billboard Philippines Women in Music Awards honored women of different types and in different areas of the music industry, starting with Pinoy rock icon Barbie Almalbis’ stellar performance of her biggest hits and even a cover of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.”

Each award was presented by a male presenter who has a close relationship with their respective honorees. Through this, the presenters symbolize how even if Filipino music seems to be dominated by women, there is still much more to do in making more spaces for women to tell their stories on their own terms. The women take center stage as they share what it means to be a woman in the industry today — to inspire others, to serve as an example, to mentor other women, and more.

Here’s a deeper look into what happened at the first-ever Billboard Philippines Women In Music.

Belle Mariano: “Hopefully, through my music, I’m able to inspire others.”

Belle Mariano

The awarding ceremony kicked off with the awarding of the fan-voted Listeners’ Choice honoree. Belle Mariano went home with the award for her song, “Bugambilya,” after garnering 68.6% of the total votes. Fellow actor-singer Franco Laurel presented the award to Mariano, sharing, “As a fellow actor and singer, I understand that sometimes the road to fame can be filled with roadblocks. Belle has shown true grit in facing the small challenges like detractors – which every rising star has – to big ones like the closing of her home channel. Through all of this Belle has proven to be a survivor and has come out bigger than ever, from conquering the small screen to dominating the music scenes.”

As she went up the stage to accept her award, she paid tribute to her grandfather, who helped her realize her love for music. “Hopefully, through my music, I’m able to inspire others. Hopefully, I can inspire little girls who want to be singers, songwriters, composers, and many more.”

Mariano winning the award means that “Bugambilya” truly resonated with tens of thousands of people, and that she is truly an artist that touches the lives of her listeners. As she says in her speech: “As an ate (older sister), a piece of advice: never stop dreaming. Dream big, because nothing’s impossible.”

Morissette: “I share this award with them.”



The next honoree to be awarded was the Y.O.U Beauty People’s Choice winner, Asia’s Phoenix, Morissette. She was able to garner 45% of the total vote. Her husband and frequent collaborator Dave Lamar presented her award, thanking all the Mowienatics for their unending support throughout Morissette’s journey. He closed his speech by saying, “I am happy and honored to be presenting the love of my life, my one and only diva, the Billboard Philippines People’s Choice Awardee.”

Upon receiving her award, Morissette emphasized that the award is not just her’s to share — but rather, a shared recognition for her fellow nominees and the impact they have made on the music industry. “I share this award with them,” she said to close, highlighting the importance of sisterhood and respect for all women.

Ena Mori: “It’s nice to break rules sometimes.”

Ena Mori

Rising rock artist Zild then presented the Rule Breaker award to his close friend Ena Mori. Both Zild and Ena Mori have been considered as some of the forerunners in today’s alternative and counterculture scene — building a community of young people who refuse to conform to tradition and celebrate self-expression in all its forms. When sharing what being a ‘rule breaker’ means to her, she said in her blue carpet interview, “I think it just expands the possibilities of how female artists can be.”

This was echoed in Zild’s opening speech, where he said, “I am very proud to present this award to a fellow musician who constantly seeks to improve and innovate her craft through the exploration of cultures and sounds and the breaking of boundaries.”

Ena Mori

She then entered the stage with a rousing performance of her latest single, “Heartache Generation.” The classically-trained pianist played the synths during her set, along with a tambourine during parts of her song. She was accompanied by One Click Straight drummer and producer Tim Marquez. She wowed the audience with her signature avant-garde take on pop music, evoking the spirit of a bonafide Rule Breaker.

“I’m just really thrilled to [be] here with a lot of female artists that I admire. I didn’t really think that there’s a “rule breaker,” but I guess there is one. It’s nice to break rules sometimes. I’ll just continue breaking some rules, so cheers to that,” Ena Mori said during her speech.

BINI: “We will still continue to strive for excellence.”


BINI photographed by Mayks Go/Billboard Philippines.

Next on the list were the Rising Star awardees, the “Nation’s Girl Group,” BINI. The crowd was definitely surprised to see SB19 member Stell as the presenter of the award, to which Magdangal aptly described how, “the Billboard Philippines’ Rising Star Award is bestowed to the Princesses of P-pop by the Kings of P-pop.”

Stell’s speech proved to be one of the most memorable moments of the night. “I am honored to be here to present our sisters in pop with the Rising Star Award,” he said, before honoring BINI’s sharp choreography, incomparable songs, and even joking that their “face cards never decline.” “Mula sa aming lima sa inyong walo, congratulations! Sama-sama nating itaguyod ang Filipino music here and on the global stage.”

(From us five to you eight, congratulations! Let’s continue to platform Filipino music together here and on the global stage.)

BINI photographed by Mayks Go/Billboard Philippines.

Before you knew it, BINI launched into a live performance of their latest viral hit: “Salamin, Salamin” (Mirror, Mirror). The BLOOMs came out in full force during the event, cheering for their “best girls.” As they accepted their award, the group’s leader Jhoanna delivered the group’s speech on behalf of the eight girls, who then thanked their management team, families, and of course, their ever supportive BLOOMs.

“We will still continue to strive for excellence,” she said to close. “At dadalhin po namin ang P-Pop sa world stage. Hindi lang po namin nirerepresent ang group namin, kundi lahat ng P-Pop group sa bansa (And we will bring P-Pop to the world stage. We aren’t just representing our own group, but also all the P-pop groups in the country).”

In the same way that Stell talked about how SB19 and BINI would work together to bring P-Pop to the world, BINI emphasized that it was only through a truly collective effort — the fans, the hard work and artistry that goes into making the music, and the overall support from the industry — that Filipino music as a whole can make an impact on the global stage.

Moira dela Torre: “If you asked 10-year-old Moira if she thought that she would be awarded on the same stage as the same people she looked up to, she would probably not believe you.”


Moira photographed by Mayks Go/Billboard Philippines.

“A Hitmaker has the ability to craft songs that deeply resonate and inspire people from all walks of life. Transforming a song from an anthem to an intimate personal soundtrack,” Magdangal said, to introduce Billboard Philippines’ awardee for the Hitmaker category. “The first Billboard Philippines’ Hitmaker Awardee is an exceptional example of relatability. Moira’s 3.47 million monthly listeners and almost 10 million streaming followers, are a testament to her ability to reach into the depths of everyone’s hearts.”

To honor the one and only hitmaker, Moira dela Torre, her best friend and social media icon Mimiyuuuh went up the stage to present her the award. After her performance of “Before It Sinks In” from her 2018 album and eight times platinum-certified, Malaya, she gave a touching speech honoring her single mother.


Moira photographed by Mayks Go/Billboard Philippines.

As she teared up, the “Paubaya” (Let It Go) singer said, “If you asked 10-year-old Moira if she thought that she would be awarded on the same stage as the same people she looked up to, she would probably not believe you.”

“Now, 20 years later, my admiration for them just went even deeper knowing everything not just an artist, but a woman in this industry goes through not just to create a name for themselves, but also to take care of their platform and listeners. Mama [Regine Velasquez-Alcasid], Ate Sarah [Geronimo], Ms. Pilita [Corrales], Ate Armi [Millare], and to all the great women artists who have gone before me, on behalf of all of the women in OPM that you paved the way for, including myself, I want to say thank you.”

Jackie Lou Blanco on behalf of Pilita Corrales: “She paved the way for so many…hindi siya madamot.

Jackie Lou Blanco

Jackie Lou Blanco

When the time came to honor Asia’s Queen of Songs, Pilita Corrales, the whole audience watched in awe as her daughter and actress Jackie Lou Blanco came up the stage to receive the Icon award on behalf of her mother. Billboard Philippines Editor-in-Chief Bret Jackson presented the award to her.

“The Billboard Philippines Icon Award is given to a legend who transcends generations, genres, trends, and in this case, even languages. There is no question that Pilita Corrales is an institution of the country’s music industry with a legacy spanning decades,” he said. “Throughout her storied career, Pilita was soft but firm in her decisions, especially when it came to her family. She had a wanderlust in her that was strongly tethered to her homeland.”

“135 albums. Asia’s Queen of Songs. Filipino icon. Salamat jud kaayo sa tanan imong gibuhat para sa music industry (Thank you for everything that you’ve done for the music industry).”

In response, Blanco shared, “For my mom, singing [was] not only a way for her to give her talent. It was a way to help her family, to put her brothers and sisters to school.”

“She paved the way for so many… Hindi siya madamot. Hindi niya alam na ganon siya kagaling. (She’s not selfish. She has no idea that she’s that great). She has such a big heart and I know she has been an inspiration for so many, but more than anything, I’m so proud as her daughter.”

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid: “My son is my legacy.”

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid

It was no question that Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid is a Powerhouse in every right. With over a million followers and fans over two decades, she has become a true pillar of the Filipino music industry. Her husband, songwriter, and long-time collaborator Ogie Alcasid presented her the prestigious award during the event. While Velasquez-Alcasid has been open about how she feels about her career and how it’s “past her time,” her fans and the rest of the music industry have continuously proven that she is still, and forever, Asia’s Songbird.

“Hon, I’ve witnessed your triumphs and your challenges and I would just like to say that of all the many people who admire and follow your career, I am your number one fan,” he said, to introduce her to the stage. “You are Asia’s Songbird. You are a multi-awarded performer…And now you are also Billboard Philippines’ first Powerhouse awardee. Congratulations! I love you.”

After a performance of her unforgettable rendition of Paramore’s “The Only Exception,” Velasquez-Alcasid made one the most emotional speeches of the night — dedicating her life to her son, Nate, who was in the audience during the event.

“People will forget about me, will forget about my voice, what I’ve done in the industry, but my son will always remember me. My son is my legacy,” she said, to end her speech. Velasquez-Alcasid may be Asia’s Songbird, a juggernaut in the music industry, but at her core, she is a mother and wife filled with undying love. It is because of that love that she is able to touch the hearts of every Filipino across the world.

Sarah Geronimo: “I want to thank you personally for encouraging me to stay true to myself.”

Sarah Geronimo

Sarah Geronimo photographed by Mayks Go/Billboard Philippines.

March has served to be one of the defining milestones of Sarah Geronimo’s 20-year-long career. Earlier this month, she became the first homegrown Filipina to be awarded at the Billboard Women in Music Awards in Los Angeles, California after being chosen by Billboard Philippines. Now, she is Billboard Philippines’ first-ever Woman of the Year awardee.

“Through her songs and films she has made people fall in love with her over and over again. I am a personal witness to this woman’s fortitude and determination to give her very best to make her dreams possible,” said her husband and actor, Matteo Guidicelli, who also presented her the award. “Allow me to share a little something about a girl I fell in love with about 10 years ago. The Popstar Princess, who, through the years, has evolved with grace and elegance, wisdom, and strength, without losing her vulnerability and honesty with her audience. This has made her one of the strongest, most determined women I have ever come across. Today, she is an artist, producer, and wife. She is our Popstar Royalty.”

“I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be the one to present this award to you — the first Billboard Philippines Woman of the Year, Sarah Geronimo.”

The crowd erupted into applause and cheers as the Sarah Geronimo we all know so well took the stage for her performance. She opened her performance with the high-energy “Dati-Dati” complete with background dancers, and closed the performance with her unforgettable hit, “Ikot-Ikot.”

As she went to receive her award, the Popstar Royalty couldn’t help but beam with gratitude. “Thank you once again to our amazing women in music for giving us the inspiration and motivation to continue reaching for our dreams. Billboard Philippines, I want to thank you personally for encouraging me to stay true, to be true to myself, na okay lang maging iba, okay lang maging ako (it’s okay to be different, it’s okay to be myself).”

“Thank you for making me feel that my voice and how I use it in my own little way to entertain and somehow, sabi n’yo nga po (just as you said), to influence people, matters and [is] appreciated. Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much).”

As the night ended, everyone went home with the reminder of the power that Filipina women hold — not just to entertain, but to make a meaningful impact on the country and the world. In the stories of each woman, we see that they even though they come from different backgrounds and genres, they all have a shared love for making music that matters. At the end of that day, it’s through making music that touches people’s lives that bear the true mark of an artist.

Learn more about the stories of the Billboard Philippines Women in Music awardees and nominees in the special print issue of Billboard Philippines, which is out now via Sarisari Shopping. Check out more photos, videos, and articles from the 2024 Billboard Philippines Women in Music Awards here.