Jude Gitamondoc (complete name Jude Thaddeus Gitamondoc) is an award-winning Filipino songwriter, record producer, and musical director based in Cebu, Philippines. A two-time Awit Awards, ABS-CBN's Himig Handog TFC Choice Award and StarStudio Reader's Choice Award, Cebu Pop Musical Festival and Golden Screen Awards winner, he made songs for popular Filipino singers and artists including Regine Velasquez, Piolo Pascual, Toni Gonzaga, KC Concepcion, Gary Valenciano, Eric Santos, Kyla, among others. An advocate for Cebuano music, he co-founded the Visayan Pop Songwriting Campaign (Vispop), a yearly songwriting competition for songs written in Cebuano language.
- 1 Early years
- 2 Career
- 3 Musical
- 4 Visayan Pop Songwriting Campaign (Vispop)
- 5 Influences
- 6 Teaching
- 7 Compositions
- 8 Awards
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Gitamondoc hailed from Surigao del Norte, Philippines. His musical interests started early at age six when his brother brought home a keyboard. He went to study in Don Bosco Missionary Seminar in Lawaan, Talisay City, Cebu, where he initially pursued a priestly vocation. His love for music heightened with the mentorship of Salesian administrators and musicians who taught him the rudiments of songwriting and nurtured his talents in piano-playing.
Later, he left the seminary and pursued his interests in music. He enrolled at the College of Music in University of the Philippines - Diliman but stopped after two years upon realizing that the curriculum was more focused on classical studies, and he was more interested in mainstream pop genre. It was during this time that he encountered Katha, an organization made up of Filipino musical talents including the 1995 World Youth Day theme song composer Trina Belamide and Arnel de Pano who composed the Basil Valdez hit song Lead me Lord. He spent his free time in the organization, getting inspired with the successes of songwriters.
Gitamondoc began his professional music career in 2001. He had done several professional commissioned songwriting gigs such as producing commercial jingles (Casino Rubbing Alcohol, Happy Booster Hotdogs), theme songs (Mantawi Festival Theme Song), school hymns and wedding songs. His first big break was Gary Valenciano's Relevance album in 2006, to which he contributed five songs: Kailan Pa, Only a Friend, Sana Bukas, Wait forever, and In Another Lifetime. The album, however, took three years before it was released and the experience taught him the value of patience and the importance of timing to get the long-awaited break in his professional career.
Siddhartha: A Musical Journey to Enlightenment
He made the English musical Siddhartha: A Musical Journey to Enlightenment based on the poetry and verses of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order. About the historic life of Siddharta Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, it was first staged at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino in 2007. Later productions were staged locally and internationally including Manila, Iloilo, Bacolod, Taiwan, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Hongkong, Macau, New Zealand and Japan. Critic Alphonzo Alegrado, writing for Theater Fans Manila, gave a positive review of the production particularly the musical compositions of Gitamondoc, stating, "Siddharta's composer and lyricist Jude Gitamondoc is a phenomenal artist. The arrangements have layers upon layers of various instruments, creating full, resonant tones that could only be invigorated when performed by a live orchestra."
Song of Bernadette: A Musical of Our Lady of Lourdes Story
He was commissioned to put words and music for "Song of Bernadette: A Musical of Our Lady of Lourdes Story." About the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, its first staging was held at SM City Cebu Cinema 1 on July 5–6, 2018. The production was made in response to the call by then Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal to the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Labangon, Cebu City in celebration of the 150th anniversary of apparition of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, France. The musical was later re-staged in the celebration of 60th anniversary of the parish on February 17–19, 2017, and it was produced again in cooperation with Kintar and Divine Mercy of Love Community the next year for the 160th anniversary of the Apparitions and the closing of the Year of Grace. It was held at the Centerstage of SM Seaside Cebu City on February 16–18, 2018.
Zephyrin, The Musicale
In 2008, he wrote and produced original songs for the Zephyrin, The Musicale, directed by Daisy Baad. Set in 18th century Argentina, the musical depicted the life of Blessed Ceferino Namuncurá and featured the talents of the Don Bosco Technology Center and Cebuano artists, including TV host Roy Empleo.
You've Been Facebooked!
In 2013, he was the musical director and composed songs for the all-original, romantic musical comedy You've been Facebooked! Staged at St. Theresa’s College, Lakwatsa Lounge, the University of San Carlos-South Campus and Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus, it narrated the journey of the generation growing up with Facebook, responsible use of social media platforms, and cyber-bullying. Directed by Jingle Saynes, it starred Mark Jude Tenedero, Bea Samson, Jacqueline Chang, Malaya Macaraeg and Clark Von Jolbot. Cebu Daily News editor Eileen Mangubat reviewed the production, "There was no dull moment. The music was a delightful surprise – catchy melodies and lyrical solos that were easy on the ear. For non-theater goers, the experience left many asking if this was a Broadway show adapted for a local audience."
Together with Rowell Ucat, Jude Gitamondoc co-wrote the Bisrock jukebox musicale, Gugmang Giatay. Debuted in 2015 to rave reviews, Gugmang Giatay was directed by Edison Saynes and staged at CAP Theater Cebu, SM Seaside City Cebu, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Lahug, and BGC Arts Center. It was chosen by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as the Best Musical in 2017, with editor Gibbs Cadiz commenting, "While it could stand a bit more pruning and polish, this production from Cebu was a joyous blast of authentic musicality and sassy fun. It was performed completely in Cebuano (accompanied by supertitles), but one didn’t mind, because the piquant language itself, along with the repertoire of classic and contemporary Visayan melodies and the exuberant but disciplined performances of the cast, added up to a rockin’ show of unexpected sweetness and charm."
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Gitamondoc was the musical director of Cebu adaptation of the Broadway musical, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. A production of Cebu-based theater group, Vaudeville Theatre Company, the play was based on the 1967 musical comedy whose music and lyrics was created by Clark Gesner.
The Addams Family
He also was responsible for the musical directing of another Vaudeville Theatre Company production, The Addams Family, that was staged in October, 2018. Based on the popular characters by Charles Addams, it was an adaption of the Broadway musical of the same name with the book by Marshal Brickman and Rick Elice, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa.
Visayan Pop Songwriting Campaign (Vispop)
In 2009, Gitamondoc and Atty. Philip Landicho, an enthusiast in Cebuano music, proposed the idea of forming a Cebuano songwriting campaign and contest to help artists in songwriting and music production. The goal was to compose songs that could be aired as part of radio playlist. Gitamondoc and Landicho then joined Artists and Musicians Marketing Cooperative (Artist Ko), a local multipurpose cooperative for artists, musicians and entrepreneurs, where they proposed the idea to pioneering members Ian Zafra, Cattski Espina, and Lorenzo Ninal. The first Visayan Visayan Pop Songwriting Campaign (Vispop) was slated to be staged in 2010, but it was unsuccessful due to inadequate funding.
In 2012, the first Vispop was launched with the support of the Artists and Musicians Marketing Cooperative (Artist Ko) and the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (FILSCAP). The festival's core objectives were to encourage local artists to produce more songs written in the Cebuano language and to nurture appreciation for Cebuano pop songs.
During the first season of Vispop, a campus tour was organized towards the last quarter of 2012, with songwriting workshops conducted in St. Theresa's College, Don Bosco Technology Center, University of Southern Philippines, and University of San Carlos. On the finals night held at Benedicto College Artists Hall on May 18, 2013, the following won the grand prize, first runner-up, and second runner-up award respectively: Duyog (Jewel and Joe Villaflores), Laylay (Lourdes Maglinte), and Balay ni Mayang (Kyle Wong and Marianne Dungog).
In November 2017, Gitamondoc left Artist Ko and his affiliation with the competition. On his Facebook account, he cited the differences of opinions regarding the direction of Vispop. He also raised concerns regarding ArtistKo's management on revenue and distribution, and questioned the registration of "Vispop" as a corporate trademark without his knowledge.
He credited his years and the formation he received in the seminary for his decision to seriously pursue music later in his life. In particular, he acknowledged the influences of Salesian administrators, especially Fr. Randy Figuracion for songwriting, Fr. Andy Mendoza for piano-playing, and Fr. Fidel Orendain for the opportunities to write songs. Among his influences are David Foster, Michael Smith and Diane Warren, as well as Jose Mari Chan, Louie Ocampo, Trina Belamide, Gary Granada, and Ryan Cayabyab. When composing songs, he finds inspirations in random, everyday objects such as books, conversations, and deadlines.
Gitamondoc had conducted songwriting courses and workshops. He was the resource speaker and workshop facilitator for Children's Pop Music Festival in 2008 and in 2009. The activity was organized by the Cebu provincial government through the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children with the goal of encouraging young songwriters and develop potential stars in the entertainment industry locally and nationally.
In 2010, he facilitated the Harmony Songwriting Workshops organized by The International Buddhist Progress Society of Manila, Philippines. He likewise produced the songs that were composed by the participants during the workshop.
At the Cebu-based Brown Academy of Music, he taught a course on songwriting. Additionally, he was one of the facilitators in Cebu Music Creators Growth Summit, a one-day music conference and workshop, that was held at A Space in Crossroads, Banilad, Cebu City in 2016. He also spearheaded the VISPOP Song Writing Workshop conducted in several colleges and universities in 2012, in 2014, and in 2017.
Together with Davao-based composer and singer Maan Chua and Joey Ayala, he facilitated the Tagumpay Songwriting Bootcamp on July 2–4. 2017. Held at the RMPC Beach Resort and Training Center at Island Garden City of Samal, the workshop was organized by the Tagum City government through Local Youth Development Office (LYDO) with the aim of developing songwriting talent of the participants and to produce an album.
- He was the composer of the song One More Chance, which was one of the tracks in Piolo Pascual's album Timeless released in 2007. The song was used in the Star Cinema film One More Chance starring Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz.
- He also provided musical arrangement to the song What Are The Chances by TV host, actress, and singer Toni Gonzaga that was part of her third album Falling in Love that was released in 2007.
- Gary Valenciano's award-winning Relevance album in 2007 contained his compositions Wait Forever, which was the album's carrier single, and the second singe In Another Lifetime, which was used as the theme song in Eternity under GMA Films.
- His song Breathe You was part of the eponymous album by actress and singer KC Concepcion under Sony Music that was released in 2010. KC Concepcion also interpreted his song Imposible.
- In 2010, he provided music and lyrics to Raki Vega's composition We Will Rise Again under Music R’ Us Music Publishing and distributed by 22 Tango Records.
- His compositions However Much Love and Believe in the Dream were interpreted by Nina and were included in her album Stay Alive released in 2011.
- Erik Santos' Awit Para Sa'Yo album contained his song, If You Have To.
- Singer Juris Fernandez released the album Forevermore in 2011, which included his composition I Believe In You.
- Two of his songs, Don't Be Too Nice and French Fries and Coke, were part of Protégé grand winner and singer Krizza Neri's eponymous album, which was produced by Aiza Seguerra's label Blackbird Music and released in 2012.
- Another one of his song, Proper Heartbreak, a collaboration with Therese Villarante and Maeren Sanoria, was included in Kyla's album The Queen of R&B that was released by Star Music in April 15, 2018.
- Additionally, Ariel Rivera performed his composition, Kakayanin Ko Ba.
In addition to pop songs, he had also composed religious and inspirational songs.
- His song, Make A Stand, was the theme song of the double celebration of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBC) Year of the Youth and Episcopal Youth Commission (ECY) 25th Anniversary in 2011. The song was part of the commemorative album XXV: Rooted in Christ, Firm in the Faith released by the ECY office.
- Another song, Beyond the Horizon, was the theme song of the Salesian Youth Day 2013.
- Regine Velasquez interpreted his composition, Nathaniel (Gift of God) and was included in her award-winning album Hulog Ka Ng Langit that was released in 2014.
- The popular Cebuano song Hahahasula, interpreted by Kurt Fick and back-up vocal by Paola Pia San Diego, was his composition. It later won the MOR Pinoy Music Awards' Regional Song of the Year in 2016.
- Under FatBoys' Production YouTube channel, he released Cebuano songs that gained mainstream popularity including Bisaya Baya Ni Bay, Hey Joe Show's Morena Girl, Ang Pinaka-Maoy'ng Krismas Song, Puhon, Pero Atik Ra, and In Love Ra Kutob.
- He composed Shodi Na Ngal, a song written in Cebuano gayspeak, for the musical Gugmang Giatay.
- He was the composer and lyricist of Pasko sa Amoa performed by the multi-awarded Mandaue Children's Choir under the baton of Maestro Dennis Sugarol with musical arrangements by Jad Bantug and Anjelo Calinawan.
- He executively produced, wrote, and composed The Voice Of the Philippines Season Two and Star Music artist Tim Pavino's Puslan Man.
- He co-wrote the song Matahum Nga Cebu, the station ID of Real Cebu TV (RCTV) channel in 2010.
Performed by the Dreamgirls, Not Today, a song he submitted for the Pinoy Dream Acamemy Dream Songwriting Competition, was adjudged as one of the top 16 finalists in 2006.
He won top awards at the 28th Cebu Pop Music Festival in 2008. He was the composer and lyricist of Pasayloa Ako (Forgive me), which was performed by Elvis Somosot. Also, he composed Bisan Pa (Even if) with lyricist Eugene Tan; the song was performed by Arceli Bullo. For Pasayloa Ako, he won the grand prize while Bisan Pa earned the second runner-up award.
In 2014, he wrote Song On a Broken String, a collaboration with Cebu-based poet Therese Villarante, which made it to the final 12 songs in the national songwriting competition, the Philippine Popular "Philpop" Music Festival. Furthermore, the song made it as a finalist at the 2015 Awit Awards for Best Rock/Alternative Recording.
Two of his composition made it to the finals of ABS-CBN's Himig Handog: P-Pop Love Songs songwriting contest. In 2013, his entry This Song is For You, interpreted by Erik Santos, was one of the 12 finalists in 2013, and another song, If You Don't Want To Fall, which was interpreted by Jed Madela, made it as one of the 15 finalists out of 6,000 entries in 2014. If You Don't Want To Fall also won the competition's TFC’S Choice Award and StarStudio Readers’ Choice Award.
His compositions won two Awit Awards. In 2007, the song In Another Lifetime, performed by Gary Valenciano and released in his album, Relevance, won Best Ballad. Another song, Nathaniel (Gift of God), sang by Regine Velasquez and released in her album Hulog Ka Ng Langit, won the Best Inspirational/Religious Recording in 2014.
In recognition for his work in the arts, he was given the Sugbuanong Laiko Award by the Archdiocese of Cebu and the Outstanding Talento by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in June, 2012.
In 2017, the Philippine Daily Inquirer hailed Gugmang Giatay as the Best Musical for the year 2017.
His song Sinsilyo was nominated for Best Song at the Cebu Siloy Music Awards 2018.
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