My name is Patricia Lasaten. I’m 24 years old and I am the keyboardist of the Filipino Folk-Pop band, Ben&Ben. I am also a music composer and arranger for film.
When I’m touring with my band, I stay in the city but when I’m not busy with Ben&Ben, I go home to my province in Cavite. I like living in the city because everything is accessible and I’m near the people I work with. I also like going home to the province where my family is and where it’s more peaceful. The city is the place I want to be when I want to be productive, but when I want to relax, I go to the province.
The city is the place I want to be when I want to be productive, but when I want to relax, I go to the province.
The best thing about living in the city is how accessible everything is. I like being near my friends, near my bandmates, and near the restaurants that serve my favorite food. The best thing about my province is that’s where my family is. It’s also just an hour away from the city. I guess I can say I have the best of both worlds sometimes.
The only negative thing I can think about in the city is the heavy traffic. For the province, it’s the lack of access to products. To have something shipped via courier from the city to the province it takes about 2-3 weeks as compared to having it shipped to somewhere in the city which takes about 2-3 days.
Exciting, Challenging, Fast
My dad is a well-known film composer in the Philippines. He taught me almost everything I know. I started learning how to arrange music in high school and I learned to compose for film when I was in college. I also started performing with my first band in college. After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from school, I worked as one of my dad’s apprentices. During that time, my band Ben&Ben has already begun touring in different music venues. Six months after I started working for film and TV, I resigned and decided to take the risk and perform full-time with my bandmates at Ben&Ben.
Six months after I started working for film and TV, I resigned and decided to take the risk and perform full-time with my bandmates at Ben&Ben.
All my life my parents were set on me becoming a film composer like my dad. They didn’t exactly like the idea of me performing in a band but they still supported me given that I still become a film composer. When it was finally clear to me what I really wanted to be, I sat them down and talked to them about it. Thankfully, they respected and supported my decision to leave my job and become a full-time touring musician.
As of writing my answer to this question, there is still a global pandemic. I don’t know how soon we will reach this goal but I really hope we can tour overseas again. I just really want to get back to performing for people. Everyone in my band has a collective goal to reach out to more people regardless of where they are or what they’re going through. We want to be able to give them just a little bit of hope that would help them get through everything that’s happening to the world today.
Everyone in my band has a collective goal to reach out to more people regardless of where they are or what they’re going through. We want to be able to give them just a little bit of hope that would help them get through everything that’s happening to the world today.
When I think of people I’d love to collaborate with I always feel like it’s such a far away dream. Parang nanliliit ako because the people I’d love to work with are such big people in the industry. My ultimate dream collaboration would be with Hayley Williams or Coldplay!
The women I surround myself with are such strong women. Our band mother is very strong. My girl bandmates are strong and confident in themselves and they inspire me to continue being myself. My current partner is one of the kindest people I know. My mom is a go-getter and she inspires me to do what I want despite the challenges that come with it.
The women I surround myself with are such strong women.
I looked up to Kitchie Nadal and Yeng Constantino. I really loved their music. I didn’t get to know who they are as artists because the internet wasn’t a really big thing for me growing up, but I really loved their songs. I remember wanting to be like them growing up.
One of the things I find challenging about being a female in my industry is figuring out where to change clothes when I’m all sweaty after a gig haha! Not all the places we perform in have a bathroom or a designated changing area.
The music industry is currently a male-dominated industry. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced harassment from anyone I’ve worked with but I can’t say the same for other women musicians. We need to constantly educate everyone about sexual harassment and consent. We definitely need more women here. I also can’t ask for sanitary pads from men haha!
We need to constantly educate everyone about sexual harassment and consent. We definitely need more women here.
Try not to let your fears and anxieties get in the way of you reaching for your dreams. Surround yourselves with people who will support you. Surround yourself with good people. Don’t be afraid to try new things and to take risks. You’ll never know where your crazy idea or your crazy dream will take you. And last but not the least, don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. The world is too big for you to live according to people’s expectations.
Photos courtesy of Iya Forbes, Toni Muñoz, and Karen Dela Fuente.
August 28, 2020