Ben&Ben percussionist on becoming '1/9' of band | Inquirer Entertainment

Ben&Ben percussionist recounts story of becoming ‘1/9’ of the band

/ 04:14 PM October 30, 2019
Toni Muñoz of Ben&Ben

Toni Muñoz of Ben&Ben. Image:

Perhaps there really is no straight path toward one’s dreams, yet somehow, you will still get to where you are supposed to be — you always will.

Ben&Ben percussionist Toni Muñoz took to Twitter on Oct. 30 to share her journey of how she became part of the award-winning folk-pop band. As it turns out, Muñoz started going down this path carrying a lot of doubts with her.


If Muñoz had her way in 2016, Ben&Ben would have been missing a percussionist from their nine-person ensemble. Muñoz initially wanted to quit music and pursue a career in photography, which was her dream from the get-go.


Toni Muñoz takes a mirror shot of Ben&Ben. Image:

“Nung 2016, nagdesisyon [akong] bitawan ang lahat para sana tuparin na ‘yung pangarap ko. Sabi ko, hindi na ako magmu-music. Nag-resign na rin ako sa day job ko. Sigurado talaga akong gusto kong maging photographer,” she said.


(In 2016, I decided to let go of everything to pursue my dream. I said I won’t do music anymore. I also resigned from my day job. I was really sure I wanted to be a photographer.)

However, she happened to cross paths with “The Benjamins”, twins Paolo and Miguel Guico. The two, who are the band’s vocalists and guitarists, began inviting Muñoz to jam with them. And jam they did.

“E dahil nga wala naman akong day job nun, at fangirl naman talaga nila ako, game!” she said. “Tapos naging sunud-sunod na ‘yung mga tugtog, tapos nakilala ko na rin yung anim pang bens, at ang dami nang mga sumunod na pangyayari.”

(It so happened I had no day job then, and anyway I was a fan, so game! Then the gigs became more frequent. Then I got to know the rest of the six bens, and there were many other things that followed.)


Amid the band’s growing presence in the music scene here in the Philippines, Muñoz’s doubts on her chosen career path remained.

“Sabi ko sa sarili ko, anyare na dun sa pangarap natin? Kala ko ba ‘yun na ‘yung pupuntahan nating path?” she asked. “Pero sinubukan kong mag-let go at hinayaan ko lang kung saan man ako dadalhin ng tadhana.”

(I asked myself, what happened to my dream? I thought that was the path I was taking. But I just tried to let go and let destiny take me wherever.)

However, even though it seemed that fate made Muñoz abandon her dream in photography, it appeared to not be the case. The percussionist’s dive into music even presented her greater opportunities to practice her passion in the craft.

“Fast forward to present. Mas naadik pa ako ngayon sa photography. Mas nakakapag-shoot pa ako ngayon ng mga kung anu-ano at sinu-sino. At mas marami ring nakaka-appreciate sa mga litratong kuha ko (salamat sa inyo),” she said.

(I became more addicted to photography. I even get to shoot more now of people and things. And more people have begun to appreciate my shots. Thanks to you all.)

“Hindi man ako professional photographer ngayon gaya ng plano ko, mas maganda pa nga ‘yung pinagdalhan sa aking lugar, nae-enjoy kong kumuha ng litrato ng hindi binibitawan ang music.”

(I may not be a professional photographer now as I planned but I ended up in a better place. I enjoy taking photos without having to let go of music.)

Some of Muñoz’s photography can be seen on her Instagram account. The photos show her range, from portraits to landscapes, details and other human interest shots.

In her other Instagram account, @splitscreeneye, Muñoz posts her images edited to appear as if viewed through a split-screen.

Despite the many self-doubts, the complicated journeys and the uncertainty of life, Muñoz seemed to have found something she can truly be grateful for.

“Mahalaga talaga ang pagtitiwala. May mga bagay na hindi ibibigay sa’yo ng universe kasi may mas maganda para sa’yo,” Muñoz reminded her followers.

(It is really important to trust. There are things that the universe will not give you because there is something more beautiful destined for you.)

Ben&Ben, known for their hits “Kathang Isip”, “Pagtingin” and “Araw-Araw”, has won several awards since being formed.

Some of their most notable awards are the Awit Award for Best Folk-Pop Recording 2019 for their song “Branches”, Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019’s Best Original Song award for “Araw-Araw”, and Awit Award for Best Inspirational/Religious Recording 2018 for “Leaves”. JB


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TAGS: Awit Awards, Ben&Ben, dreams, folk music, Music, OPM, Photography, Pop music
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