SB19 & GCash Carry On Merry Traditions
In 2020, Wonder had SB19—fresh-faced and eager, yet already so talented—on our February cover. We talked about their hopes and dreams as a group, and they let us in on their reason for working so tirelessly. They told us that they wanted to make P-pop—a term that was only then earning its strides—a global phenomenon. They wanted to create something for themselves, of course, but the dream was much bigger than that. SB19 wanted the world to know about Filipino talent, its unique intricacies and power that it holds.
“Back then, we were still on the path to discovering our sound and finding our place in the music industry,” reflects SB19. “We've since evolved not only as musicians but as individuals. It's been a time of self-discovery and artistic exploration. We've delved into diverse musical genres, experimented with our styles and collaborated with talented artists. Our journey is a testament to hard work, dreams and the incredible support of our fans.”
Needless to say, the last three years have been good to Pablo, Josh, Justin, Stell and Ken. Believing that incredible talent exists in our country, it’s a “dream come true” for each one to be part of a group that “actively contributes to the global music scene.” With brand deals, international tours, awards and even more nominations under their belt, it’s amazing to remember that they debuted only five years ago.
And as this year comes to a close, SB19 has a lot to look forward to: some good old Christmas traditions and new merry ones that are sure to leave to leave a mark. They’ve even started their gifting season early, thanks to their holiday collaboration with GCash.
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In the short amount of time that they’ve been in the industry, SB19 has powered through and has come out the other side. Josh notes that he’s pleasantly surprised with how well their solo careers have been received, and it’s true. Many of them have released successful solo tracks, and Stell was even selected as a voice coach on “The Voice Philippines.” For Pablo, a lot to do with their success has been the support of their fans, endearingly called A’TIN. “Their unwavering support and love have been the driving force behind our journey,” the group leader says.
Justin summarizes the past five years with awe: “The magnitude of the changes we’ve gone through is truly astonishing.”
The transformation has come noticeably as a group, but a lot of it has to do with the individual changes that each member has embraced. And when we ask what the biggest transformations they’ve seen in themselves are, SB19 notes how they’ve helped them as a group, too.
Justin notes how he’s seen himself get better at communication and teamwork. While he was shy in the beginning and hesitant to express his thoughts, he’s learned that it’s important to be honest and direct. Pablo, on the other hand, expresses that he’s learned to focus on self-improvement. As the leader of the SB19, we understand that Pablo felt the need to fill every role that was needed—but has come to the realization that this isn’t how a group works, and has since learned the beauty of teamwork and allowing each person to contribute their unique strengths. Likewise, Josh admits he was a little individualistic with his approach, but that SB19 has helped push him to see the power of each member and then work those into a group dynamic.
Stell and Ken, meanwhile, admit that they’ve started to stop seeking external validation. “I’ve learned it’s okay to be judged, as long as I’m happy with the choices I make,” says Stell. Ken chimes in to agree, saying: “I know myself best, and being true to who I am is what matters most.”
With Christmas just around the corner, holiday staples like decorations and music—we’ve already added the “We Wish You A Merry GCash” jingle featuring SB19 to our playlists—are in full swing. And because we’ve already received the gift of music from them, we had to ask SB19 what personal traditions the boys are looking forward to most. Noche Buena is something that Stell is eagerly awaiting, with Ken chiming in that his family loves to prepare their feast together. Justin mentions a holiday trip with his family, a welcome chance to experience new places with his loved ones. Pablo and Josh tell us that their get-togethers tend to be simpler and quieter, but the two are happy to spend some quality time with their families.
But this year isn’t just about long-standing traditions. Just as SB19 has transformed throughout the years, so have their holidays. “We’re excited about expanding our Christmas celebration this year, especially with those who couldn’t be with us during previous gatherings. GCash is playing a vital role in making this happen,” they start. “With ‘Lahat Merry,’ we can connect with more loved ones, whether they’re near or far, and extend our warm wishes. We’re using GCash to send Christmas gifts, share joy and prepare for our upcoming gatherings.”
Because like the rest of us, the boys of SB19 have learned to embrace the convenience that GCash provides.
“It’s a heartwarming way to ensure [na] ‘Lahat Merry’—[that] everyone is happy and part of the festive season, no matter where they are.”
Much like all their artistic collaborations, SB19 is mindful about their partnership with GCash. “It’s not just a collaboration,” they explain. “It’s a reflection of our shared values and passions.” And as this holiday season marks the second Merry GCash jingle with SB19, the choreography even takes inspiration from the group’s previous dance numbers, ensuring that the campaign includes more of SB19!
So while the group makes sure that their music strengthens their connection to A’TIN, GCash makes sure that Christmas is a merry one for all Filipinos. Not to mention that SB19 knows first-hand how important accessibility is.
“We resonate with GCash’s commitment to inclusivity,” explains SB19. “It aligns with our mission of spreading joy and positivity through our music.”
And SB19 ensures this because they know that their success is a direct result of the support of their fans. “[They] mean everything to us,” the group explains. “They’ve been with us through thick and thin…We value their input and often take their suggestions into account when making decisions about our music or projects.”
“We’re fully aware that we wouldn’t be where we are without their support,” they continue. “Our goal is to make every fan feel like they’re part of our journey, and that’s why we work hard to create that personal dedication.”
The group then goes on to discuss their Half A Decade Celebration, where SB19 made it a point that their activities provide A’TIN with unforgettable experiences. The festivities culminated in a fanmeet on October 28, 2023, where fans had the opportunity to interact with the group through games, activities and music.
“Music is a universal language,” states SB19. “It’s a privilege to connect with people from different parts of the world through our songs.”
The group then reiterates the same thing they told us three years ago: “It’s not just about us; it’s about the entire Filipino music industry and the talents yet to be discovered. We’re proud to be part of this movement, and we’re committed to raising the flag of our country high on the international stage.”
A lot has changed in the three years since Wonder first got an in-person glimpse of the magic that is SB19—and even more since they first debuted. But while things were arguably simpler then, so much has come from the boys’ hard work and the support of their fans. Together, they have transformed the understanding and reception of P-pop, both locally and internationally. With a strong community supporting them, SB19 has turned their transformation into a tradition that we can all look forward to year-long.
So while the boys just wrapped up the celebrations of their half-decade careers, it only really means one thing: If we all bore witness to the rise of SB19 in five short years, there’s no telling what they will conquer next.
Like SB19, it’s time to make the most out of GCash this holiday season! Pay with GCash until November 30, 2023 to join their Lucky Gifts promo. Just click on the “Merry GCash” banner on the app and click “Play Lucky Gifts” to receive your gift for the day. For the month of November, users will get a weekly chance to win as much as P50,000.
And until December, get exclusive deals and discounts from over 70 GCash partner merchants when you purchase online or offline through Scan To Pay, Online Pay, or GLife.
Ready to have a merry holiday season? Download the GCash App on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Huawei App Gallery.
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