Monday, June 28, 2021

SB19 and Ben&Ben make history with generation-defining version of “MAPA”


SB19 and Ben&Ben, two of the biggest Philippine acts, are making history again with a re-recording of the former’s smash single “MAPA” under Sony Music.

In a year marked by self-imposed isolation and forced withdrawal from the outside world, the inspirational ballad brims with positive light as it honors every loving and hardworking parent out there, who made our journey toward life bearable, and filled with important lessons.

According to Roslyn Pineda, Sony Music’s General Manager, Philippines and Vice President, Business Development, Asia, there was clamor from the general public for #SBen19 since last year.

Mutual love and respect

“How did it happen? Basically, SB19 had an idea — a band version of MAPA,” Pineda discloses. “And Ben&Ben said yes in a heartbeat, which perhaps shouldn’t have come as a surprise given their ‘Ma, may ___ na kami’ captions on social media that make their devotion to their parents public knowledge. As their label, it was wonderful for us to see SB19 and Ben&Ben get along so well.  And when they performed together on one stage, I don’t think anyone could deny—it was pure magic!”

SB19 shares Pineda’s enthusiasm, adding that when they were still trainees, the internationally recognized boyband had been dreaming of what it would be like working with the nine-piece collective. “It was really nice because while working, we were able to share stories and experiences that brought us closer. Also, during the shoot of our video, we were encouraging each other to gain confidence and just enjoy the performance.”

Both SB19 and Ben&Ben made a surprising announcement about the release of the new version of “MAPA” last June 18, which sent #SB19BenAndBen and #SBEN19MAPA to the top of the Twitter trending topics at #1 and #2 respectively.

Delicate arrangements and intricate details

Packed with jazzy, orchestral details, inviting harmonies, and expansive arrangements, the new version of “MAPA” frames its extraordinary paean of parental love with commitment to emotional sincerity and nuanced storytelling. SB19 was gracious enough to give Ben&Ben (whose debut album, Limasawa Street is now certified-triple platinum) permission to rearrange the material, ensuring that it stays faithful to the creative vision of both groups, collaboratively and individually.

According to Ben&Ben, “We were 100% involved with the process. They gave us free liberty to arrange the song, only giving us additional comments to help make some parts flow better. Pablo (SB19) and Pat were directly coordinating and constantly giving updates, and the suggestions he gave greatly helped us during the final recording sessions.”

Ben&Ben revealed that all of the band members were creatively responsible for their individual parts, but the entire arrangement was mainly conceptualized and spearheaded by Pat and Poch. “They’re two of the most technically proficient in the band when it comes to arranging intricate sections, and they wanted to add that to support the powerful message of the original song. Arrangement-wise, we wanted to make it distinct from the original, adding fun rhythms and grand sections. We felt that doing this added weight, and served to support the powerful vocal performance of both acts.”

The instrumentation takes a huge artistic leap by updating the original with layers of sonic ambition and introspection, and as a result, rebuilding the sound from the ground up, while creating magic that transcends beyond the material. “We want people to have a different vibe about the song,” SB19’s Pablo points out. “The original version is more mellow, while this version gives it a rich, well-rounded, and a happy feeling - put together in such a way that it makes listeners feel more uplifted when they hear the song.”

Historic first

In what could be a landmark-defining event to promote the team-up, SB19 and Ben&Ben recently shot a performance video of the song at the historic Manila Metropolitan Theatre.

Pineda takes immense pride in this feat. “The Manila Metropolitan Theater is a revered national treasure,” the record label executive shares. “Apparently, it’s the only existing art deco building of its size and integrity in Asia. So to have SB19 and Ben&Ben be the first artists to grace this iconic venue after 6 years of restoration is nothing short of a groundbreaking cultural moment”.

SB19 and Ben&Ben’s “MAPA” is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Poor healthcare in the Philippines

The pandemic make healthcare more inaccessible for others. Some hesitate to go to the hospital for consultation and lab tests even if their sickness isn't covid related because of fear they will catch the virus.

For simple lab tests- some tests you need to reserve your slot then technician/doctor arrives minutes or hours late. You have to fight for your slot that you have reserved days before because they keep on inserting patients or singit.

Some doctors don't conduct face to face consultation if their patient is just one even if you have set an appointment and already inside the premises. There are sicknesses that should be assessed not via online consultation. There are patients that feel more confident with face to face consultation. 

Hospital staff said suit will be worn in a testing area and disinfection right after every patient will be done because it is part of what you paid for but it wasn't observed. Maybe this is one of the reasons the covid cases are still rising because even inside the hospital health protocols are not observed. Not even sure if they sanitize or disinfect chairs and wheelchair in the lobby. In addition the sanitizing gel containers are quite empty.

Many people lined up for lab tests and in buying medicines in the pharmacy. Also the triage area is sometimes manual, not all hospitals have the qr code or electronic form which makes lines longer. We all know the more you line up with people, the more you might get the virus.

No wonder many Filipinos desire to live abroad not just because of poverty and misuse of taxes but also because of poor healthcare system may it be government or private.  More advance technology to cure people isn't for everybody. It is usually just in the metro and doesn't reach other parts of the country. It is only for the ones who can afford it.

How to make others listen to you when you are in offices or inside buildings with professionals in it

One of the problems in the Philippines is people regard being health professionals, doctors, lawyers, engineers as the highest form of professional work. And when you are not part of the said categories you are an ordinary person, a less important individual.

My parent said problem with people is they don't listen to the younger generation. In example when fight for their slot, assert their right or when they tell others that they are wrong.

So I have thought of ways:

1. Dress like a professional when going into offices and hospitals. 

2. Carry a bag that looks like for office use or professional looking.

3. Lower the tone of your voice. Don't sound like a kid.

4. Use the English language or mix it with Filipino language.

5. Avoid slouching and maintain composure. Don't make gestures that make you look nervous or stressed out or restless.

6. Don't show others you are irritated by their wrongdoings. Don't show frustrated emotions. 

7. When writing emails or messages use the English language and the format should be like office format and office languange.

8. Intimidate others.

9. Don't apologize when you know you are right.   

In a world that make you feel less important just because of your age or because you don't hold a high position in the government or isn't a celebrity, in a world that survival of the fittest is the motto make sure you show you are not an ordinary person.

Every person have achievements, skills, group of people they influence may it be small or big, etc. No one should make you less important than others.

No profession is highest among others. Not just because they are health professionals they are more knowledgeable than others or it highest form of work. Scientific knowledge isn't the only knowledge that exist in the world. There is a term called multiple intelligence. 

I graduated with a bachelor of science. I have done many scientific lab work and written research papers in college. Most of my past employment are science related. My professional license /board exam passed is science related. I graduated from one of the top universities but I don't look down on others as less important just because their work isn't science related.