Benj Pangilinan sings of perfect love that’s rare | Inquirer Entertainment

Benj Pangilinan sings of perfect love that’s rare

/ 12:15 AM July 15, 2023

Benj Pangilinan

Benj Pangilinan

The invite to the recent launch of Benj Pangilinan’s music video identified him as the younger brother of teen heartthrob Donny Pangilinan, and second son of Anthony Pangilinan and Maricel Laxa.

Lanky and a bit shy, Benj said that “everything was going so fast, maybe too fast” when asked to describe how he was dealing with his suddenly hectic schedule. Prodded by the emcee, however, he added he was grateful for the positive response to his song, “Love, That’s Rare.”


The track is the official single under international record label, Sony Music Entertainment, and is coproduced by Grammy-nominated Xerxes Bakker (Imagine Dragons, Snoop Dogg).


Benj conceptualized the music video with his sister Hannah to play out like a five-minute film. It opens with a middle-aged man driving a car, a small bunch of yellow lilies on the passenger seat next to him. He stops at a convenience store and spots two kids constructing a kite out of yellow plastic and narrow strips of wood through the plate glass window.

It triggers a near-identical memory in the man that sets him on a path that includes making, flying and losing a kite with his girlfriend. Fast-forward to a few years later and now they’re teenagers. The boy’s blousy polo and acid washed jeans give off that distinct late ’80s-early ’90s vibe.

He’s about to hand the girl a letter he has tucked in his back pocket, but a suitor arrives with flowers and whisks the girl off to her going-away party set in a skating rink. Through all this, Benj is singing, “I just want to know you love me, I just want to know you care … a perfect love that’s rare.”

Scene from “Love, That’s Rare”

Scene from “Love, That’s Rare”


Telling a story

In the end, the male protagonist is unable to make his intentions known, but what has remained is the tattered yellow plastic kite, caught in the branches next to a rusty container van. It’s to this “shrine” that the man brings his bouquet in the end.

“We wanted to try our best to tell a story that made people see a different side of love and all that it brings,” Benj said.


In an email interview with director Gilb Baldoza, he said their aim was “to translate the song into a life story.”

“When we were rehearsing the actors, we oriented them to understand the narrative with these little moments, and how these moments will become memories of ‘what could have been,’” Gilb said.

Benj used to write music for himself until he wondered what the point was if he was unable to share it with others. He counts singer Gary Valenciano, husband of his aunt Angeli, as one of his inspirations; singer Moira is another.

Creative process

Asked to describe his creative process when it comes to writing songs, he said he starts with the melody first before tackling the lyrics.

For the “Love That’s Rare” video, Benj said he wanted to leave the ending open-ended, although the shot of the middle-aged man bearing flowers standing in front of the rusted and boxy structure does make it appear like he’s visiting a tomb.

Yellow is used extensively in the video—the girl’s dress, the kites, the flowers. Even the quality of the video has a yellowish cast.

“I chose yellow as a color to subliminally convey to the viewers a sense of the undying heat of love and of the sun, and also to juxtapose it since yellow is the color of ‘sickness’ used in films before,” Gilb said.

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Is the plastic kite still stuck there decades later proof that plastics are forever? “Yes, it could be a commentary on plastic use and climate change,” the director said.

TAGS: music video

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