Filipino bands

Meet The Juans, the band that serves as their listeners’ wingmen in love

Juno Reyes

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Meet The Juans, the band that serves as their listeners’ wingmen in love

Jharwin Castaneda

The Juans let Rappler in on how the famed UP Fair: Hiwaga proposal during their set came to be, as well as the story behind 'pwede ba kitang ligawan?' – the song that helped set up the scene

MANILA, Philippines – Throughout their nine-year career, The Juans have already perfected the art of hugot. 

Having started out with more upbeat, dance-worthy songs when they first began making music, The Juans didn’t actually plan on being known for making heartbreak anthems. The four-piece band even attests that hugot seemed to have just found its way to their music, and they’re happy about that. 

HUGOT KINGS. The Juans members RJ Cruz, Carl Guevarra, Japs Mendoza, and Chael Adriano. Photo by Jherwin Castaneda

“It’s been amazing to see how it’s helped us connect with our Filipino fans, sharing stories in our lyrics that everyone can relate to. In a way, diving into hugot has brought us closer to our listeners, weaving our experiences together through music in a way we never imagined,” The Juans’ leader Carl Guevarra told Rappler.

It was in 2019 when their songs “Hindi Tayo Pwede” and “Hatid” suddenly began to strike a chord with Filipinos and their love lives – cementing their legacy from then on as the band with the mission of “connecting people through hugot and bringing them to a place of healing.” 

The big proposal

It had then come as a surprise that, come 2024, The Juans momentarily set aside their “hugot kings” image for a change to play matchmakers for their listeners. 

The Juans shared that when they were in their studio working on their latest single “pwede ba kitang ligawan?”, they came up with the idea of having their fans answer an online form titled, “Tulungan ka naming umamin (We’ll help you confess).” Fans simply had to tell The Juans how they met their crush, and if they would be open to confessing their feelings either online or in person. 

Enter Rex and Patricia.

During their set at the recently concluded UP Fair: Hiwaga, The Juans helped Rex confess to his longtime crush, Patricia, in front of the fair’s crowd. It was a big moment for everyone on stage, with Rex mustering the courage to pop the question, and The Juans talking Rex through the whole thing.   

So, when Rex asked Patricia, “Pwede ba kitang ligawan (Can I court you)?” the crowd could finally quit holding their breaths and let out loud cheers as Patricia gave him a resounding “yes!” 

The video had gone viral on social media overnight, and The Juans are more than happy to have been able to play a part in Rex and Patricia’s love story. 

“Showcasing our kilig side, aside from our usual hugot heartbreak songs, has been such a refreshing experience! It’s like a breath of fresh air to be able to inspire people to express and confess their love openly. There’s something truly special about spreading joy and encouraging others to embrace those fluttery feelings. It’s a whole new vibe for us, and we’re loving every moment of it!” Carl said. 

Behind ‘pwede ba kitang ligawan?’

“pwede ba kitang ligawan?” is a song for those struggling with modern pick-up line culture, and for those who need an extra push to express their feelings. According to songwriter Japs Mendoza, the song is meant to embody two roles: The Juans as your manliligaw and The Juans as your wingman. 

“The lyrics could emphasize sincerity, thoughtfulness, and respect in courtship, highlighting qualities that set apart meaningful connections from casual flirtations. The aim is to reassure listeners that they don’t have to conform to traditional pickup lines or bravado to express interest in someone; instead, they can rely on sincerity and genuine gestures, like those portrayed by The Juans in the song,” the band told Rappler. 

Of course, every eager lover needs a wingman, and The Juans have already stepped up to be just that to enthusiastically give you advice, or even give you the nudge that you need to approach the person of your dreams. 

“This message reinforces the idea that navigating relationships isn’t just about romantic pursuits but also about the bonds of friendship and support that accompany the journey. The song could celebrate the power of solidarity, illustrating how having a reliable wingman can make all the difference in the pursuit of love,” they added. 

And for those who are planning to confess their feelings to their crush soon, The Juans have a simple, tried and tested piece of advice: just be as authentic as you can be. 

“Speak from the heart and express your feelings openly and sincerely. It’s important to be clear and direct about your intentions so that your crush understands where you’re coming from. Remember, honesty and authenticity are key ingredients in building meaningful connections. So, go ahead, lay down your feelings with sincerity, and who knows, you might just get that sweet ‘yes’ you’ve been praying for!” said The Juans.

‘Simpleng Juans’ with a dream

But despite The Juans now having a steady music career and a large base of listeners who will stick by whatever new sounds the band would like to try, they had really just started out as “Simpleng Juans” with a dream. The band admitted that they knew committing to music was a risky move, but they were willing to put in all the work it would take to get themselves out there. 

“In our early days, we knew the struggle firsthand. We’d perform at gigs where we’d only get paid in coins, and sometimes, only a handful of people would show up to watch us play. But you know what? Those tough times taught us something invaluable. We made a pact with ourselves: even if just one person was willing to listen to us, we’d keep going and give it our all….  We hustled hard, organizing our own shows, events, and creating content until slowly but surely, doors started opening for us,” Carl said. 

Now, The Juans are even set to go on their own US and Canada tour – a dream come true for the well-loved Pinoy band.  

As Carl, Japs, Chael, and RJ continue to live out their dreams together as The Juans, they can only hope to serve as a safe space for listeners through their music. 

“In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, hugot music offers a sanctuary – a safe haven where we can feel understood, accepted, and validated. It’s a reminder that even in our darkest moments, there’s hope and light waiting to be discovered,” Carl said. –

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