Ben&Ben highlights queer women’s struggles in ‘Paninindigan Kita’ music video

June 30, 2022 - 6:19 PM
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Award-winning Filipino band Ben&Ben features bandmates and real-life couple Pat Lasaten and Agnes Reoma championing queer love in the official music video of one of their latest singles “Paninindigan Kita.”

Pat and Agnes star as a romantic couple that faces the challenges typically hounding queer relationships in a world that invalidates their struggles and questions their existence.

The music video for “Paninindigan Kita,” which roughly translates to “I will stand by you” in English, caps off the month-long Pride celebration with its release, and earns the nine-piece band another LGBTQ+ anthem that fits dab smack in their collection of relatable romantic songs. 

The couple and band members play out fictional but realistic scenarios that also resonate with the experiences of queer Filipino women, whose love stories are seldom depicted in popular Filipino media. 

“We’re both excited and nervous because we’re not very public about our relationship,” said keyboardist Pat. 

“We also aren’t into PDA, in fact our bandmates seldom see us hold hands,” she added.

Bassist Agnes added: “Expressing this story to a wider audience will be a fun challenge, as we aren’t actors. Nonetheless, we’re excited for the number of queer kids who’d see it.”

The “Paninindigan Kita” music video is directed by filmmaker Niq Ablao, who previously directed Moira’s “Paubaya,” featuring Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto, and Ben&Ben’s “Upuan,” featuring Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano.

Ablao’s visual direction takes viewers on the journey of Pat and Agnes, “from the first time they decided to stand up for love regardless of gender and how they chose to stand by each other no matter what.” 

She emphasizes that the music video “shows some of the struggles and challenges, especially of those in the LGBTQ+ community – who feel like they have to hide simple expressions of love.”

If viewers should take away anything, it should be more than just the typical “kilig” they get from romantic music videos, and instead a deeper understanding of love’s different colors, Ablao said.

“Regardless of gender and sexuality, we love who we love and we stand by them no matter what. Brave are those who fight and take pride for it,” Ablao added.

“Paninindigan” is written by Paolo Benjamin and Miguel Benjamin, and the first track they recorded in an actual studio since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020. Ben&Ben completed the entire track at Spryrta, where they also recorded their full-length album, Limasawa Street. 

The track follows the release of “Di Ka Sayang” in 2020, another empowering LGBTQ+ anthem that inspires self-love and confidence, and this month’s “Langyang Pag-ibig,” which chronicles the inevitable disintegration of a romantic relationship.

The song is out now on all digital music platforms worldwide via Sony Music Entertainment.

Following the release of the music video, the hashtags #PaninindiganKita and #BenAndBen entered the top trending list of Twitter Philippines with Liwanag, the group’s fandom, raving about the MV.