MUSIC / Armed with a new name, and new music, ‘SOS’ Talk about their journey and new single ‘Please Lang’  

By: Ica Hontiveros-Cheng

SOS. Front row from left Roberto Seña (vocals, guitar, synths), Anjo Silvoza (bass), King Puentespina (drums, synths), second row from left: Ram Alonzo (Keys, synths) and Andrew Panopio (guitar).

During the 2010’s my husband Paul and I were active in the local music scene, our son Luke wasn’t born yet, it was easier to see bands in bars and shows. She’s Only Sixteen – was one of those bands whom we’d be happy to see in the line up. We last saw them in 2017 when they performed in the UP Town Center branch of Satchmi. That branch has since closed, (their Megamall branch is still very much open) the pandemic happened, and among the many changes was a name change for the band, who went from She’s Only Sixteen to SOS (pronounced as Sows).    

Fast forward to 2023 – six years later, I am rushing to a hole-in-the-wall- cafe in the middle of Pasig, after logging off my work shift for a press conference with SOS who will be releasing their latest single ‘Please lang’. 

Catching my breath and in bad need of some caffeine, I arrived late with the interview done, but the quintet was nice enough to still accommodate me.

I brought a peace offering, which was a physical copy of their ‘Whatever That Was’ album, that came out in 2017. It was a good opportunity for an ice breaker with the band. 

There were reactions of ‘Wow!’ and ‘Wild!’ upon seeing the CD, which I’m sure served as a reminder on the band’s journey. Which was something that we would talk about during the intimate interview. 

I now christen you SOS

So first things first. Why the change in name? 

The change of name happened in 2022. Lead vocalist and guitarist Roberto Seña explains. It’s easier to not explain why our name is like that (She’s Only Sixteen) being older, compared to when we started (which was back in 2008- the band has been together for 15 years already). 

It’s hard to change your band name so much, so we decided not to stray too far away.

Me: Somewhere along the way you grew out of the name? 

Yeah. It’s a good marker for us and where we’re going and  of where we are in life in general, it’s very significant for us to make that change, and we’re five now. Says drummer King Puentespina, referring to the addition of Ram Alonzo on keys and synth to the band. 

I did notice the change in the sound for ‘Roses’ (released in 2023 via Careless Music) there’s a change in the sound, it’s more electronic with a bit of an 80s vibe. Is it safe to say that this will be the direction of your music going forward?

“Not really,” Seña says. between that (Roses) and this (points to their 2017 album ‘Whatever That Was’)  it’s been more collaborative between the band, there’s a lot of experimentation of sound, yes electronica, but not exactly 80s – some, yeah, but then, we’ve also had our first Filipino single last year called ‘Seryoso’ and then now our new single, ‘Please lang’ I want to say it was a shift in sound, like a manifestation of going through stages and learning how to make more kinds of music. 

Me: You can’t stay in one sound throughout. 

Yeah and that was never the plan to begin with, agrees Andrew Panopio (guitars) it contributes to the longevity of us being in a band, it has to excite us, it has to be fresh, because the moment it doesn’t, it’s a sign of decay. And especially with adding Ram to the mix, it meant to explore new sounds, better arrangements, bigger live sound, he’s a very welcome addition. 

New direction. Same old guys.

You guys are working with Careless Music now. What are you most looking forward to working with them?

We’ve been working on our own for the longest time and being an indie band to be honest has its limits and there is a lot of push that can happen and a lot of extra hands, helping you with every small step of the process like setting up shows, getting sponsors, all the clerical stuff, all the admin stuff, there’s a lot of push that a lot of extra hands can help with says Anjo Silvoza (bass).

We’ve been signed before with other labels so we know as a band we know what we need and we know what we want, it’s just getting people to help us make those things happen at least at this point. We know where we are, where we want to be, where we want to go he adds.

We talked about this being a journey, so at this point in time what are you guys looking forward to the most?

Apart from the single that we’re releasing, we’re releasing two EPs next year says King Puentespina (on drums) and that’s like the culmination of our experiences from the last EP. We all moved to La Union at one point, for this project, we locked ourselves in the studio and then we finished all the songs.

Seña explains: For context we opened a studio in La Union during the pandemic, there’s a popular coffee shop there called ‘Del Union’ and we built a music studio (Bavarian Studio) above their coffee shop.

(And yes! This is also the same coffee shop that’s opening in Fully Booked BGC soon! So will definitely check it out! And maybe hopefully get to visit La Union soon!)

So that’s where we make music now, it’s great because we get to enjoy creative freedom there, not just because there’s a beach but because it’s our studio, so there’s no hurry, no pressure.

We’re also looking forward to getting to play in other countries, Seña adds, since the pandemic lifted, we’ve played in Bangkok, Japan, twice in Singapore. And it’s always been our goal to be more recognized regionally.

Deep Dive into ‘Please Lang’

What’s the inspiration behind the song ‘Please Lang’ and how excited are you to have your followers listen to the new song?

“Collective experience. We all contributed to the lyrics. And then it’s funny when we were giving lines there was some sort of truth relationshipwise, it was fun, really.

The last thing we wanted to write was a Tagalog hugot love song but what I liked about this it’s not about what could have been, rather what happened. It’s definitive, there’s no more hope there says Seña.

Me: But the title ‘Please Lang’ isn’t it like asking for another chance?

Yeah. That was the first half of the song. But it never goes back to the chorus.

The song ends with these lines:

Ayaw ko nang drama, ikaw lang ang tama

lumaban sa dulo, parehong natalo

Listen to ‘Please Lang’ here!

Life can be funny at times. I’ve been listening to this band since around the late 2010s, the last time that I saw them was in 2017. And I stumbled into them again in 2023. There have been many changes in our lives. I guess, the only constant thing in life is change after all. But no matter the addition of a new band member (for them), or the addition of a baby (for me), it could be a world wide pandemic, or it could be the end to a relationship you fought hard to keep. (Please Lang) I guess it all comes down to the music, to continuing to create more music and getting to share this to fans, whether they be longtime followers, such as myself, or to a new generation of fans, whom the band hopes to reach with the new music they will be releasing.

‘Please Lang’ is now available to stream on Spotify and other streaming platforms.

Ica taking a snap with SOS after the interview. CD on the left is their ‘Whatever It Was’ album from 2017. Album art by Karen De La Fuente.

SOS along with other incredible bands will be performing during GNN Production’s year end party on December 15 at 123 The Block. You can check out this blog post for more details!


I really liked the writing in ‘Just a little bit of rain’ I liked the lyrics. It’s very relatable to a lot of millenials. Being “broke”and all but there’s still something positive about it.

My question about it is: The lyrics goes: “With a little bit of ‘ahaha’ so what is the ‘ahaha’ referring to?

You’re the first person to ask that.

To be honest, I feel like for the person listening it can be whatever, coz it’s different for everyone, I think what is relatable is the message, being “broke” but the objective of the song is, we all have the same problems, and we all have a different way of coping.

So whatever that is for you, you will just know, in the moment that you listen to the song, adds Anjo Silvoza (bass).

The song came out three years ago. I regret not making it a single. It caught up in analytical popularity three years after it came out, adds Seña.

The song is in the band’s top five Spotify songs, when this interview was being done, that has since changed with the addition of ‘Please Lang’ -the band’s newest release.

Check out some of the lyrics to ‘Just A Bit Of Rain’

When I was a boy, I hoped to work with my hands
When I was a teen, I thought I had it all planned
But now I’m a man wishing that I was a boy
No worries that now I find myself unemployed

Don’t worry about me, I can sing a little ahaha
On my two feet, walking with a little ahaha
I’m feeling better with a bit of ahaha
It’s just some rain with a little
Just some rain with a little

And listen to the song here: