By Joe Priela
To kickoff its Kanto Kultura series, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) is launching Kanto Canta, with the goal of discovering and encouraging amateur artists who can bring something new to the table and infuse traditional music with something modern. 
If you are an independent artist, craving to be heard, who wants to have a platform, or just waiting for that big break, this door is for you to enter. You can join as a solo artist or as a group not exceeding seven members. It doesnt matter if the members reside in or outside the Philippines, as long as you are a naturally born Pinoy, you can definitely jump on this train. 
Those who wish to take part in this competition shouldnt have any existing professional or commercial contracts as the CCP Board of Trustees deeply wants to help start off the careers of our kababayans from the ground up. 
With the vision of bringing authentic Filipino music to the world, participants have to use indigenous instruments that can blend with their music arrangementsbe it a kubing, an agung, a bulungudyong, its completely up to you. The should-be uplifting and hope-giving music must be pre-recorded so as to retain the integrity and quality of sound. Original composition is a must and it should not be formerly published or uploaded by any music platforms such as Spotify and YouTube. 
In terms of the lyrics, its not limited to just Filipino. Participants can use any or a combination of our local and indigenous languages. 
Entries will be considered as performance videos and  need to be shot at kantos and kalyes. Should you want to show notable spots within your area, like Calle Crisologo, the Rice Terraces, etc., Kanto Kultura urges you to do so, as it would also promote local scenic spots.  
Its completely free to submit entries. Just put an eight-minute 720p video on your official YouTube page and youre off to go! From there, 15 finalists will be chosen and will be awarded a cash prize of at least P150,000, as well as a possible label signing.
By Feb. 20, 2021, Kanto Kultura will be releasing the link for submitting entries. Submission period for the first quarter is from Feb. 20 to March 20, 2021, and the announcement of quarter-finalists will be on April 3, 2021.
If anyone needs a compelling example, on Feb. 23, the music video of Bangon! by BRWN featuring the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will be released to the public. As the title suggests, its a battle cry for Filipinos to rise up to the challenges were facing and hopeful for a better future. 
Kanto Kultura is the brainchild of CCP Board of Trustees Nikki Junia, Stanley Seludo and Dr. Jaime Laya, with the support of CCP President and Manila Bulletin Lifestyle columnist Arsenio Nick J. Lizaso.
And yes, this is just the beginning of a significant future.