‘Liwanag si Melanie’: Ben&Ben vocalist offers songs at wake of fire victim fan

November 5, 2021 - 5:31 PM
This composite shows a screenshot of Ben&Ben's Paolo Benjamin during his performance at the wake and his still from "Leaves" MV. (Ben&Ben/Facebook; Instagram/Paolo Benjamin)

One of the vocalists of folk indie group Ben&Ben delivered a tribute performance dedicated to the student who previously died in a fire in Quezon City, who happens to be one of their fans.

The victim was identified as Melanie Trinidad, 21.

DZRH News reported that her grandmother named Luzviminda said that Melanie got trapped inside the burning house after she rushed in to retrieve a laptop she used for studying.

The grandmother and two relatives suffered second-degree burns. They are currently recovering in a hospital.

Initial probe from the Bureau of Fire Protection said that the incident took place at Greenfield 3 Subdivision in Barangay San Agustin at past 2 a.m.

BFP added that the fire was put out at 3:06 am.

The fire reached the first alarm before it was extinguished. It also destroyed P750,000 worth of property and displaced three families.

The investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.

‘A Liwanag sa ating lahat’

In a video released by the band on Thursday, its vocalist, Paolo Benjamin, performed two of their ballads “Leaves,” a 2017 hit single, and “Magpahinga,” a song from their new album “Pebble House, Vol 1: Kuwaderno” at Melanie’s wake.

The post had since earned 120,000 reactions and 678,000 views on the platform.

In the description, the acclaimed nine-piece stated that Melanie was also a “Liwanag,” the name of their fandom.

The group also said that they came to know the student’s sacrifices after they talked to her loved ones.

“A tribute for Melanie, isang Liwanag sa ating lahat. Si Melanie ay isang estudyanteng namayapa dalawang araw na ang nakalipas. Biktima siya ng sunog na nangyari sa Novaliches, QC,” the group said.

“Nakausap namin yung mga malapit kay Mels, at hanggang sa huli, ang pinaglaban niya pa rin ay yung kapakanan ng mga mahal niya sa buhay, at yung pag-aaral at kinabukasan niya. Thank you for your bravery and compassion, Melanie. You’ll live on forever through the people whose lives you’ve touched,” they added.

Ben&Ben also asked fans to pray for the eternal repose of Melanie’s soul.

“Liwanag si Melanie. Kaya sa huling pagkakataon, pumunta kami sa service niya para makiramay at maghandog ng iilang mga awit. Let’s all pray for the repose of her soul,” they said.

Ben&Ben’s bassist Agnes Reoma likewise sought prayers for Melanie.

Meanwhile, in the comments section of the video, the group also shared a post from Melanie’s friend named Elise Danielle Delos Reyes. The latter sought donations to help her friend’s family.

The post was shared by Facebook page Ben&Ben Scenarios, a fan page.

“Melanie was a pure soul who lost her life in the fire fighting for her life. Meanwhile, her family is suffering degree burns. We would truly appreciate your donations to help Melanie and her family,” the post read.

In another post, the page shared that it was Elise who made the initiative to reach out to members of Ben&Ben and asked for their help.

“Maraming salamat po sa mga tumulong magdonate kay Melanie at sa family niya, especially po sa Ben&Ben, napakabuti po ng puso ninyo. Thank you po sa prayers niyo, sigurado pong masaya ngayon si Melanie sa Heaven. (heart emoji),” read the post.

It also re-shared the original post from Elise’s account.

Elise also penned a lengthy post for her late friend, Melanie. She detailed how she made Melanie’s dream come true even at the last minute.

She also shared that Paolo offered four songs during his visit to the wake.

“…Dumaan si Kuya Pao at yung parents nila ni Kuya Migs. Inalayan ka pa ni Kuya Pao ng apat na kanta!” Elise wrote.

“Hindi ka raw kasi makakapunta sa virtual concert ng Ben&Ben sa December 5, kaya siya na mismong pumunta sa’yo para kantahan at haranahin ka. Iba talaga kapag malakas kay Lord. Grabe, hindi namin maimagine yung tuwa at kilig mo kahapon.. kaso pasensya na kung sa ganitong paraan mo pa naranasan ‘to,” she added.

Elise likewise thanked the band and her fellow Liwanags for their condolences and prayers.

“Sa Ben&Ben at sa Liwanag team, paulit-ulit man ako, pero gusto ko pong magpasalamat for this very humane act. As your fan, masasabi kong I really stan the right band,” the fire victim’s friend said.

“Sobrang proud ako sa generosity niyo. Thank you for sharing your talent to those who need it most. For sure, sobrang busy niyo sa upcoming concert niyo but you still found time to extend your help and grieve. This means a lot to us, lalong lalo na kay Melanie! Kung alam niyo lang po talaga kung gaano niya kayo kamahal,” she continued.

“Maging sa lahat ng co-Liwanags namin ni Melanie na nagpaabot ng tulong at dasal, thank you so much for your kind hearts and may God bless you all,” Elise added.