MOVING PERFORMANCE. Ben&Ben perform on Rappler Live Jam in August 2017. The singer-songwriters recently played for a fan battling cancer. File photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Ben&Ben has played for huge crowds and countless audiences – but perhaps their most moving performance to date was witnessed by only a handful of people in a hospital room in Pasig City.

On March 22, the twin singer-songwriters Paolo and Miguel Guico – frontmen of the indie folk band – went to The Medical City to perform for their fan Maxine Blanco, a 19-year-old who was battling osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. 

Their voices cracked as they held back tears, but the duo managed to sing her “Happy Birthday,” as well as their original songs, “Maybe the Night,” “Ride Home,” and “Leaves,” whose chorus lyrics “all will be alright in time,” were particularly poignant in the moment.

The next day, Maxine lost the battle to cancer. 

"It was a very heart warming day for all of us, sad but still happy, because even during her last day, one of her wishes still came true," Maxine's aunt, Kristine Denise Cruz shared.

"Seeing [Ben&Ben] emphatize with all of us is really heart warming, they were crying for a complete stranger, and sang a couple of their songs even though its really hard to sing while holding back tears."

"It's a nice feeling that there are still genuine people in this world, despite their fame," she said.

Kristine posted the videos of the moment on her Facebook page, and they were shared on a Facebook support page for Maxine.

Kristine shared that Maxine had long been a fan of Ben&Ben, and even caught their show at Eastwood on New Years, despite her condition. The family somehow found a way to contact the band through their manager, and they agreed to play for her.

One of the twins, Paolo, also shared the video on his own account, saying “Yesterday, we visited a fan who is one of the bravest and strongest girls we've ever met, Max. She is battling cancer.”

“It was tough singing for her while trying to hold back tears. Her courage moved us deeply. Let's pray for Max and her healing. We're all here for you,” he wrote.

Maxine, who was a legal management student at the University of Sto Tomas, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2018. She became became an inspiration to people on social media for keeping a positive attitude throughout her treatment – which involved several rounds of chemotherapy and even a leg amputation.

According to her Facebook support page, Live Life to The MAX, she died at 3 pm on March 23. A fundraising page has been set up to help her family with the medical and burial expenses. –

Source: Rappler

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