“Pasalubong” by Ben&Ben (ft. Moira Dela Torre)
The title of this song (“Pasalubong”) is actually an expression in Tagalog, a language indigenous to that Philippines. And what pasalubong represents is a gift, whatever it may be, that someone brings home to loved ones after traveling abroad or some other notable distance for a significant amount of time. In fact as directly translated by Google, “pasalubong” comes out to “souvenir”.
So keep in mind that we are dealing with a song that is rendered in a completely-different language. Thus, as translated by Google, the lyrics don’t necessarily make complete sense. Hopefully in the near future a better translator who is actually adept in said language will publish a more proper translation.
But what we are able to gather is that maybe the vocalists are using the aforementioned practice of giving gifts to edify their friendship with one another. Indeed the lyrics, as Google translated, read a lot like a love song, i.e. one making a conscientious effort to cozy up to the other. Parts of the song don’t read amorous per se. Rather, the wording can be more generally interpreted as being symbolic of the vocalists’ desire to strike up a really meaningful, loving friendship.
But then again, who really knows. Some of the words used would definitely point to these feelings being about a potential romance. And whereas the music video may not be a lust fest, it can also be interpreted similarly, considering that for example this is duet being a male and female vocalist.
So we’ll conclude for now by saying that what they are actually dealing with, most logically, would be two individuals who idealize building a strong friendship with each other before actually embarking on a full-fledged romance.
Ben&Ben is, as of the writing of this post, a nine-member band, being from the Philippines. The name of the group is evidently derived from its two lead vocalists, twin brothers by the name of Miguel Benjamin Guico and Paolo Benjamin Guico.
And the rest of the crew consists of the following:
- guitarist Poch Barretto
- violinist Keifer Cabugao
- keyboardist Patricia Lasaten
- percussionist Toni Muñoz
- percussionist Andrew de Pano
- bassist Agnes Reoma
- drummer Jam Villanueva
Thus far Ben&Ben have released one EP, a 2016 self-titled effort, as well as a full-length entitled Limasawa Street. And whereas they have yet to really build up a name out west, the band has obviously proven to be one of the most-popular acts in the Philippines during the latter part of the 2010s, judging by the number of music awards they have won in just a three-year timespan, from 2018 to 2021.
“Pasalubong” is the band’s second collaboration with Moira Dela Torre. Moira is a Filipina soloist who has been professionally active since the early 2010s. She first made a name for herself participating on the inaugural season of the Filipino version of The Voice, which is amply entitled The Voice of the Philippines, in 2013.
And for the record, the first time she teamed up with Ben&Ben was on the 2019 track “Paalam”.
Paolo, Miguel Guico and Moira are credited as the authors of this song, alongside Jason Hernandez. And its producers are Jean-Paul Verona in conjunction with the aforementioned Andrew de Pano.