“When I play kasi, may instances na nawawala na lang ako sa tugtugan,” describes Roi Avena when asked about how he knew that music is a path he wanted to take. The BYM winner, who’s been pursuing and advocating for the arts, is a passionate artist who wants to tap into the inner potential of the youth.
His craft has always been the medium for him to communicate his feelings, being a self-confessed introvert that he is. Although he grew up keeping to himself, trying out for Chalk Bright Young Manila through an encouragement of a friend helped him get out of his shell. Now that he’s triumphed in snagging the title, the Arts Management major’s goal is to influence others in pursuing their talent for their betterment.
“Art is rich dito sa atin, and it’s slowly growing. Pero alam kong maraming natatakot [to show their talent] because of judgement. But art is always relevant. Dapat makita nila ‘yung essence, to take in the emotion na dala nito. If it can help me, sure akong marami rin itong matutulungan,” Roi says.
Art is also a means to lend a helping hand. He returns to memories of his many medical outreach programs with his mom, where he volunteers. “It gives me happiness to see children sa slum areas na masaya sila tuwing may activity, mas lalo na kapag may natututunan silang bago,” the Benildean fondly recalls. These experiences gave him hope for the future generation. “Eager silang matuto. It also keeps them away from negative influences,” he adds.
When asked about his role models in art, he lists down a few names. “Iba’t ibang tao, iba’t ibang lessons. Sila ‘yung bumubuo sa pagkatao ko pagdating sa art,” the 22-year-old shares. Citing Ben Cab and his DLS-CSB professors as his style shapers, and music pros John Mayer, Gabe Bondoc, and his own cousin, Ben&Ben’s Andrew de Pano, as people he looks up to, these individuals showed him endless possibilities when it comes to one’s imagination. It takes them far—and become household names in their respective genres.
Roi specifically muses on Andrew’s musical journey, which fuels him more to succeed in the music industry. Growing up seeing his cousin play instruments like the trumpets and the guitar and performed for family gatherings nudged him to follow his footsteps and promised that one day, he’ll venture to this field as well.
“Sabi ko sa sarili ko, gusto ko ring magawa ‘yung nagagawa ni Kuya Andrew, so nag-aral ako ng kusa. He taught me that following one’s dream is possible as long as you love what you’re doing. And I see how he continues to grow—that really amazes me,” the aspiring musician shares.
Pain is his choice of material, and this BYM champ pens compositions that relates to this subjects. For him, the idea of pain is a perfect base for a song. When one drowns in hurt, they become vulnerable—and you get to see a side of them that’s real, without all the mask of pretense. It moves one to bask in authenticity and reflect on your feelings, to cope and be enveloped in a deep emotional manner, perfect for Roi’s acoustic and mellow sound.
Involving himself in music and the arts in general instilled in him an understanding and perception that can only be acquired in dipping your toes in the craft. Your personal growth and the amazing people you meet along the way are the cherry on top of the cake, and for that, Roi is eternally grateful.
Nurturing yourself in art cultivates change—for the better. And Roi is living proof of it.
Meet the Chalk Bright Young Manila winners here:
Photographed by Ed Encelona
Creative Direction by Madel Asuncion
Art Direction by Mikka Caronan
Styled by Aldrin Ramos
Clothes by Forever 21, Penshoppe, and Mango
Makeup by Chuchie Ledesma, Angeline dela Cruz, Muriel Vega Perez
Hair by Jeff Valenzuela, Arthur Tolentino, Muriel Vega Perez
Video Produced by Deiniel Cuvin
Videography by Mismo Studio
ALSO READ: Chalk Bright Young Manila: Meet Our 5 Winners Who Will Inspire You to Move with Passion