10 Questions with Ben&Ben
Ben&Ben is a 9-piece band from Manila, started by twin brothers Paolo and Miguel Guico. They’ve performed sold out shows and created chart-topping hits in the Philippines. Ben&Ben’s current lineup consists of Paolo and Miguel Guico, Poch Barretto on electric guitar, Jam Villanueva on drums, Agnes Reoma on bass, Patricia Lasaten on keyboards, Toni Muñoz and Andrew de Pano on percussions and Keifer Cabugao on violin. And they’re all taking Filipino folk to the next level.
- Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Hey! We’re Ben&Ben, a Filipino folk pop band from Manila that started as a duo of Paolo and Miguel Guico, both guitarists and songsmiths of the band. Currently we’re 9 in the group. We come from all walks of life. We play original music in both English and Filipino.
- What first inspired you guys to pick up guitars and make music?
It’s different for all of us, but we’d like to say that generally, music is a big part of Filipino families, and that’s how each of us started making music: being inspired by the sounds of home.
- What are your favorite Filipino foods?
We love Adobo! And Sinigang! And Sisig! And Jollibee! Lahat na! Haha.
- What are some of your favorite things to do or sights to see in the Philippines?
We like going to beaches, and exploring places where our heritage and culture is alive and kicking.
- What is the most awesome things about being Filipino?
I think it’s our ability to find positive things in the face of life’s challenges.
- What were some of the musicians you listened to growing up? What influence have they had on your music?
For us, (Pao and Migs), it’s a melting pot of influences, but generally the biggest ones relating to our sound now would be Pinoy folk artists like Noel Cabangon, Joey Ayala, Bullet Dumas, and local and foreign pop artists.
- How would you describe your personal styles?
Our personal styles are a mix of folk, pop, jazz, world and alt-rock.
- Where do you find inspiration for songwriting today?
We find inspiration in stories of personal lives, and in other people as well.
- What do you like to do for fun that isn’t related to music?
As a band, we like exploring places to eat, traveling, and doing random things together.
- What are the top 5 places to visit on your bucket list?
Japan, Korea, Palawan, Batanes, Sagada!
Filipino Phrase of the Day:
Lahat na! – everything! (which is always the right answer when asked “What’s your favorite Filipino food?”)