Ben&Ben Sheds Light and Hope in Debut Album ‘Limasawa Street’
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, June 04, 2019 3:25pm
If you’ve been humming along to the lines “‘Di ba nga ito ang iyong gusto,” then you must’ve heard of Ben&Ben. This nine-piece Filipino folk band led by twins Miguel and Paolo Guico released a number of singles that became hits like “Kathang Isip,” “Maybe the Night,” “Leaves,” and “Susi”. Their songs became anthems since 2015 and it’s about time for them to release their first full-length album. Fans have something new to be excited about as Ben&Ben unveiled their debut album, Limasawa Street.
Ben&Ben named Limasawa Street after the street where Paolo’s special someone lives. But as they did their research, “Limasawa”is also derived from the Butuanon word masawa,meaning light. True to the album’s name, the band made sure their album will enlighten listeners even through the physical album alone. Instead of sticking to traditional packaging—a CD enclosed in a plastic case. The album comes in the form of a box, which becomes a lamp or lantern (please use non-flammable and non-fluorescent light only). If this is not a ~holistic~ experience, we don’t know what is.
Unboxing the album feels like opening a special birthday present. Inside, you’ll find a booklet of lyrics and album postcard arts made by Nicolai Maybituin. Each of them a visual representation of each of the 13 songs in the album. Ben&Ben also used a flash disk (that lights up when plugged in, btw) instead of a CD.
Limasawa Street’s tracklist is as interesting as its physical album. As Miguel said, their songs are “folk, earthy, and organic.” Like what they did in “Kathang Isip,” Ben&Ben made sure their lyrics and melody are relatable and will make the listeners feel they are not alone. “Pagtingin” surely is a song most of us can relate to—it describes how someone refuses to take the risk of confessing their feelings to another. There’s also “Araw-Araw,” which conveys the message: “if you love someone, choose them every day.” And of course “Mitsa (Salamat),” which may sound like a sad goodbye song, but it actually sings about being hopeful after a heartbreak.
If there’s one thing to learn about Ben&Ben’s Limasawa Street, it’s hope. There’s always hope no matter the situation—whether it’s a fresh heartbreak, a newfound disappointment about the government, or looming despair over family or work. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel—and perhaps Ben and Ben’s music can help you create your own light (and also because their flash drive lights up too, so that might help).
May you continue to have hope within your hearts. If you feel like giving up, plug in your earphones and listen to Ben&Ben. And we promise you won’t feel so alone in your battle.