Awaken Your Senses: Ben&Ben is Giving Us More Feels with Smart and Apple Music

Just another "Ma, may ____ na kami!" moment here.

Listening to Ben&Ben is such an extraordinary encounter, but vibing to their songs in a feels-like-they-are-just-sitting-beside-me level of music experience is almost literary.

It feels quite magical in how the folk-pop band Ben&Ben translates trivial little details of grief, pain, and doubt into a melody that soothes our aching parts. Whether it’s “Pagtingin,” which revolves around the feelings of frustration and anxiety of being into someone at a young age and being shy to go for it, or “Leaves” that talks about healing and forgiveness, or “Maybe The Night,” which alludes to special moments with others that we don’t want to slip away in time, there seems to be a Ben&Ben song for everyone. 

Paolo Benjamin Guico enjoying music in surround sound

But what happens when we’re taken on to a whole new level of listening experience? Yup, this is not your kathang isip talking! With a partnership that goes way back—from the “Inevitable” campaign song to the “Kwaderno” concert—mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. has made enjoying Ben&Ben music even more intense as the emotions of their songs because of Apple Music’s Spatial Audio feature.

Surround yourself with music that gives you all the feels

Apple Music’s Spatial Audio gives its subscribers an immersive audio experience with true multidimensional sound and clarity. “Listening to a song… is like magic. The music comes from all around you and sounds incredible,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s Vice President of Apple Music and Beats. “Apple Music as we know it is about to change forever.”

The nine-piece ensemble playing their instruments: Toni Muñoz and Andrew de Pano on percussion, Jam Villanueva on drums, Paolo Benjamin Guico on vocals, Patricia Lasaten on keyboards, Poch Barretto on electric guitar, Keifer Cabugao on violin, Miguel Benjamin Guico on acoustic guitar, and Agnes Reoma on bass.

With Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) technology that preserves every single bit of an original audio file, legions of supporters from the Liwanag fandom will be able to hear the exact same thing that Ben&Ben recorded in the studio—the energy in percussions, the romance in electric guitar, the silent cries of a violin, and the courage of beating drums. Literally lunod with feels!

Marvel at the great things that come with an upgrade

The unmatched vibing experience with Ben&Ben and Apple Music is made easier for Smart subscribers. All they have to do is download the GigaLife app and activate Apple Music from the app’s home page. Once successfully signed up, subscribers can use it on their smartphones and other devices with compatible headphones and earphones.

Ben&Ben from left to right: Toni Muñoz, Andrew de Pano, Patricia Lasaten, Poch Barretto, Paolo Benjamin Guico, Keifer Cabugao, Agnes Reoma, Miguel Benjamin Guico, and Jam Villanueva

Don’t think it’s masyado pang maaga to decide. Smart offers a six month trial for you to feel like you’re jamming beside the nine-piece ensemble Ben&Ben with Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, and to try elevating your music streaming experience no matter what device you’re using.

Feel music and live smart like Ben&Ben. Learn more at Smart’s website. To keep up with updates, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To know more about Smart’s services, visit PLDT’s website, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Magic and Action of Sports are Back as the UAAP Returns via Smart’s GIGAPlay App

Game on!

From exciting half-time performances to buzzer-beater wins, the UAAP is finally, finally back

When you’re a college student, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season is one of the big events you look forward to the most. However, the annual college spectacle was put at an abrupt halt in March 2020 when the nationwide lockdown began. Filipino collegiate sports fans went two years without a single game, lost without the rivalry between powerhouses like Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University.

But as the Philippines eases restrictions signaling what may possibly be the end of the pandemic, the UAAP is back with more excitement than ever. The first round of the Men’s Basketball tournament begins at 4:00 PM on March 26, 2022, starting with the “Battle of Katipunan,” featuring the UP Fighting Maroons and Ateneo Blue Eagles.

While I was only able to watch a few games during my freshman and sophomore year, the games are now more accessible as Smart, the official digital partner of UAAP, will stream it for free on the GigaPlay app during a limited period. It’s safe to say that I’ll be taking advantage of this opportunity, thanks to Smart Prepaid.

There’s always going to be something quite magical about witnessing the games live and in person with our fellow schoolmates. After all, is our college life really complete if we don’t get to watch at least one UAAP game?

Rookie season

I still recall standing in the middle of the crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena, a freshman cheering for my school’s team, dressed in green, and screaming as loudly as I could. Although I knew little about basketball at the time, the passion I felt as I cried out loud hoping for a win overtook everything else. It was almost like I was on the court myself, playing the game alongside the team. During that match, I was their teammate. 

Nothing can ever replace that memory. The feeling of being there, tears falling down as I yelled my heart out in the last couple of seconds. And when they finally won? It felt like I was among the victors—it was a win not only for the team, but for the entire school. 

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of winning, and I’m over the moon knowing that we will be able to experience that sense of victory once again.

Team spirit

While there will always be hecklers present, seeing each university’s community unite for a game is something that we can always look forward to. It’s always thrilling to be there among the thousands of fans cheering on everyone’s favorite teams, dressed in the designated school colors, faces painted with pride—in my case, I will be cheering “Animo!” with my head held high.

Despite the fierce rivalries that come with every season, Filipino fans, both young and old, are more than ready to see their favorite university athletes face one another. I’m definitely one of them, and I’m ready to end my college days with the games that will hopefully be another championship under DLSU’s belt.

To enjoy free streaming of the UAAP Games on the GigaPlay app, Smart subscribers can download GigaPlay on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, set up an account, and watch their preferred game on the GigaPlay content lineup while connected to Smart mobile data or PLDT Home WiFi without worrying about data charges. It’s that simple and easy.