As OPM icon Ben&Ben is taking a mental health break for Holy Week, Paolo Benjamin used the time to complete a cycling challenge around Mayon Volcano in Albay.
"Yesterday, we finished the Mayon 360 cycling challenge, biking a total distance of 86.5 kilometers around the volcano," Paolo wrote in a Facebook post April 15.
The half of Ben&Ben's Benjamin twins noted that it was his toughest ride yet, "physically and mentally," as he fell on his bike at times at the start of their ride.
"Muntikan nakong hindi ituloy. Pero dahil sa mga kasama ko, inencourage nila akong kayanin... kahit masakit ang katawan at binti," he said.
Paolo also shared some pointers on his biking experience, which he said can also be a metaphor for life. He said one must endure the uphills and tread the downhills cautiously.
"Even if the toughest bits of life come with uphill tests and trials, yung mga semplang ng buhay ay kadalasang nangyayari sa mga smooth-sailing, downhill, victorious times," he noted. "These periods of great momentum can cause us to lose our grip and focus due to everything happening so fast."
"So, let's not forget to hit the brakes from time to time, take everything with grace, caution, and humility[.]"
Paolo said the true test in cycling—and in life—is to bounce back after losing one's balance.
"Sometimes, setbacks and painful defeats have effects in our morale, our psyche, and things in us far deeper than what objectively occurs," he said. "But sometimes, these accidents occur so we can dig deep inside us and find that extra will to power through, no matter what the circumstances.
Paolo said people must believe in the power of community, be it cycling or life.
"[G]etting to the end would not have been possible if there wasn't a team of people who believed we could all make it through," he noted. "[S]haring little triumphs, defeats, and colorful stories with them gets us to the finish line, in a memorable way. The magic is in the relationships we build as we go."
Paolo also shared how they cherished the unexpected, noting that they stopped by an unfamiliar eatery over the course of their trip.
"Sobrang random lang kung pano kami napunta doon, pero sobrang ganda ng mga kwentong nabuo doon," he said. "Di ko malilimutan lahat yun!"
Ben&Ben has been touring as lockdown restrictions have eased. They concluded their performance at the Expo 2020 in Dubai last March. They've also been going live on the streaming app Kumu, and has recently released a new music video for Inevitable featuring Son Ye-jin and Hyun Bin.
Paolo, meanwhile, has since started his fitness journey. In March, he shared photos of his weight loss progress, in which he showcased his hard-earned six-pack abs after "years of hardwork and sacrifice."