PH band in BukSU for IP song writing workshop preps

person access_timeWednesday, March 13, 2024 chat_bubble_outline0 comment

MALAYBALAY CITY (13 MArch 2024) Two of the nine members of Ben&Ben, one of the Philippines most popular bands have visited Bukidnon State University as part of preparations in the run up to an upcoming song writing workshop to be held in the province dubbed Sounds Like Change.
‘Sounds Like Change’ is being spearheaded by Ben&Ben, the musical label led by twin brothers Paolo and Miguel Benjamin. SLC is a major advocacy project of Puhon, a non-profit group organized by the band dedicated to help the tribal artists of Bukidnon through music. The workshop, with dates still undisclosed, is expected to gather pre-selected representatives from Bukidnon’s seven tribes and will focus on the theme “Protecting the culture and environment of Bukidnon”.
Jared Kuo of the workshop co-organizer Philpop Musicfest Foundation, accompanied Ben&Ben in the visit to the BukSU Main Campus on March 13, 2024. The group paid a courtesy call on the University President, Dr. Joy M. Mirasol, who welcomed the group and extended support to the initiative and the participation of BukSU students.
BukSU faculty, non-teaching staff, and students gave the group a warm welcome with some of them managed to witness the meet up with local officials and had photos and videos taken with the celebrity twin artists.
After BukSU, the group proceeded to their courtesy call with Bukidnon Gov. Rogelio Neil Roque.
The twin brothers also visited the BukSU Bukidnon Studies Center Kaayaran Gallery and Datu Bagangbangan Museum where they were ushered by Ms. Loreta Sol L. Dinlayan, BSC Director. In BSC, they met with select local officials; Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park (MKRNP) Park Superintendent Merlita Luna-Tabamo, Ms. Melinda Tulba, Officer-in-charge of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) - Bukidnon; Bae Melinda Saway, the representative of Atty. Arbie S. Llesis, IP Mandatory Representative to the Bukidnon provincial board, among other personalities.
Ms. Tabamo told the Peace Monitor they have invited the twin brothers to be the ambassadors for the "KitKat" twin mountain ranges, Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kalatungan Ranges and Natural parks. She said Mt. Kitanglad, declared an ASEAN Heritage Park since 2009, has qualified to be a candidate for inclusion among the UNESCO World Heritage List. Tabamo said they have pushed for the twin mountain ranges dubbed KitKat, in the inclusion.
Ben&Ben, according to their website, has endeared itself to many with their heartfelt lyrics, unique musicality, and their electric vibe onstage. In the prime of their youth, the site quoted, the band is keen on dedicating themselves to bringing richness to the music they create through songs of hope, love and positivity.
Ms. Ma. Easterluna Canoy, Executive Director of the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs (KIN), said the group’s visit today and another one last month were meant to meet and consult with project stakeholders, including the free and prior informed consent process with the tribal communities represented in the initiative.
KIN, with community partners Central Mindanao University Public Relations and Information Office, had facilitated and documented the visit.
Canoy said “Sounds Like Change” was the title of Paolo Benjamin’s Change Project during his fellowship with the Future Young Bridging Leadership Fellowship Project of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and TeaM Energy Center (TEC) in 2015. The project focused on “Indigenous Music Towards Nation Building.”
As Paolo’s assigned bridging leader coach, Ms Canoy said she suggested to him back then to visit Bukidnon as it is the perfect space where the twins can discover and support the music career of the IPs. She noted that since 2015, the Benjamin twins have personally visited Bukidnon’s tribal tribal artists.
She noted that Paolo was passionate about finding the means to honor the music and sounds of indigenous peoples as a bridge for nation-building--knowing it is “in our roots as Filipinos” and to pay respect to Filipino ancestors.
According to the KIN social media account, just months later, Paolo visited Bukidnon. He and twin brother Miguel met Waway Saway--the alpha teacher who is revered by both IP and non-IP audiences. The twin brothers also met the tribal youth bands Kulahi, Talahari, Kalayag, Daraghuyan and Imbayao Jammers, most of whom performed on stage during the 2014 Bukidnon Centennial Tribal Concert.
Ms. Canoy noted that after their first three-day visit in Malaybalay City and Lantapan in December 2015, the brothers participated in the PhilPop Music Feastival and placed second for their song "Tinatangi". The piece was composed by the talented duo infused with symbols of indigenous musicality. The song’s music video featured the twins with Bayang Barrios and Cookie Chua. The song Tinatangi serenaded the young and old audiences and inspired them. The rest is history.
In BukSU, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology student from the Bukidnon tribe, Raki Ampo, performed one of the songs of Ben&Ben in Binukid.
Ms. Dinlayan of the Bukidnon Studies Center facilitated the BukSU leg of the visit, with support from the Kalandang Taw Center for Peace Studies and the CAS-Philosophy Department.
PEACE MONITOR is released by the Kalandang Taw Center for Peace Studies. Bukidnon State University established the center in 2021 as one of its first four research centers. The center’s niche is on peace studies for community engagement involving the province’s indigenous peoples and their position in Mindanao’s tri-people realities. Kalandang Taw is Binukid for "our collective peace". (BukidnonNews.Net) 

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