As one of the top winners during the recently concluded Awit Awards, popular folk pop band Ben&Ben was the group with the second largest haul for the night (next to P-pop boy band SB19) with five awards for Album of the Year, Best Musical Arrangement, Best Music Video, Best Collaboration Performance, and Best World Music Recording. Three of the nine-member group were present to accept their awards during the event.
After accepting their first award for the night, lead vocalist Paolo Benjamin gave the initial speech.
“I think we’ve all been through a lot these past two years because of the pandemic. But the fact that we’re all here and Filipino music is alive is something that is so much to celebrate about. So dun pa lang palakpakan na natin. Prinoduce namin ito nung nagkaroon kami ng bubble sa Ben&Ben house so good memories. Gusto rin namin magpasalamat sa Liwanag (the name of their fandom). Thank you so much for being there for us,” he said.
Fresh from their concert tour in the US and Canada, the hugely popular group shared how it felt performing for their fans abroad for the first time.
“Well it feels good to be home. Most especially it feels good to be closer to din sa Liwanag, sa lahat ng sumusuporta. We’re just happy to be back,” admits Paolo Benjamin.
Violin and vocals member Kiefer Cabugao also shared their memorable gigs abroad.
“Sobrang hindi naman in-expect at first. We were so nervous about playing outside. Iba yung how they received us. Sobrang nakaka-overwhelm siya. We gave our best and they also gave their best basically. Nagulat talaga kami, hinahanap nila tayo. They know our songs. What surprised us as well is kahit hindi yung mga Filipinos kumakanta. It was an amazing experience,” he added.
With the band now aiming to go global, they admitted that they hope to be able to perform in major international venues like the Madison Square Garden in New York City someday.
“Wherever the music takes us, basta we want to be able to authentically share our story to as many people as possible. We’ll try to give our best and reach out all over the world. Yun yung dream this year and in the coming five years,” Paolo revealed.
“Liwanag, you brought us all here and kung may mapanalunan man o wala, we’re still very, very, very grateful for you guys for listening to our music and we promise to keep giving back to you for as long as we can, for five, ten, 15, 20 years from now. We’ll keep giving it all back to you,” she said.
The Ben&Ben member also shared her excitement for their upcoming homecoming concert happening on December 18 at the SMDC Festival Grounds in Parañaque City.
“Madami kaming ipi-present na mga bago. Maybe some surprises here and there, guests artists maybe. Pero no spoilers muna. But we’re excited to share them all the Liwanag and everyone is coming over,” she added.