The road to one’s dream always has an underlying story. One’s full realization of a calling is usually shaped by unfavorable circumstances, leading you to a clearer orientation of what you really want to be in life. It rarely happens overnight – it is a tedious process. Rebekah Mae Raguirag’s journey to the music industry is no exemption – hers is a myriad of life’s turning points before she stepped out and fought for her dreams as a Christian artist.
Now that she is about to launch her music album hopefully before the end of the year, let’s know more about the path she has traveled to come to this.
Her Humble Beginnings
When you’re born in a family whose inherent musical talents run in the genes, added by the fact that you’re the daughter of a known Pastor of a local church – the expectations are set high. You’re subject to stereotypes and your life is often watched by many. It’s almost always expected that you pursue the same path your parents have started in the church. While she fulfilled her duties as a Pastor’s daughter, she had personal visions and dreams to be recognized for her talent, leaving a legacy on her own.
Rebekah Mae grew up in the ministry, supporting their father and serving the Lord through singing. At an early age, she was exposed to the realm of music by participating in the choir, performing in musical presentations in the church, rendering solo numbers and learning to play instruments. She enrolled in UP Diliman’s extension program for voice lessons and graduated in Asian Seminary Seminary of Christian Ministries, earning a Certificate in Christian Musicianship by year 2010. Since 2009, she has been spearheading music workshops in their town for kids to help them develop their gifts in music. With a string of credentials and experiences as a musical artist under her belt, she has developed a profound passion for this craft and honed her God-given talent.
A Turning Point
Not everything is about pure talent. Sometimes there are major setbacks that will either help you or hinder you from achieving your dreams. When super typhoon Yolanda devastated the town of Guiuan, Samar in 2013 she cried on top of her lungs and made a vow to God to use her talent to the fullest just as long as He would spare the lives of her family. But in spite of that blessing, she got discouraged and stopped cultivating her dream after recording a Tagalog song in Tacloban.
In July 2015, she was diagnosed of an illness that tested her faith once again. That disease will paralyze half of her body if not healed within six months. She was reminded again of the vow she made to God, and renewed her promise of serving Him no matter what the cost. After having second opinion from three specialist doctors in Manila, she was declared physically fit and it was a mere pre-mature diagnosis from a doctor in Tacloban. At this moment of transition and stage of healing, she got spiritually reconnected and her relationship with the Lord became more intimate.
This made her decide pursue her ultimate dream: to create an album and inspire people through her soulful pieces. She may have had hesitations in the past, failures, resisting opportunities due to lack of confidence, but she regarded them as stepping stones to realize her bigger dreams.
Other Than Music
Aside from strumming the guitar, mixing notes and writing songs, Rebekah Mae is into several passions as well. She’s also artistically-inclined, as she loves to draw on her spare time. She treats cooking and baking as a means to express her affection for her family and friends. Her stress-buster activities include long-boarding and wake-boarding. A Jack-of-all-Trades, so to speak.
Rebekah Mae grew up listening to both secular and Christian artists. She recalls the whole volume of a Christian album for kids entitled “Kid’s Praise” as one of her greatest musical influences since she was a kid. For Christian artists, she looks up to Brooke Fraser, Corinne May, and Selah. In the secular world, she admires The Corrs, Sara Bareilles and her dad, whom she often jams with along with her sister Helen Sue.
What to Expect from the Album
The audience will surely be touched with her seven original compositions: 1 Tagalog song and 6 English songs, varying from Christian Pop, Country & Gospel. The selection of the songs will take you from being melodramatic, to feel-good vibe, worship and praise.
Of Goals and Aspirations
“I have at least three major goals: First, to fulfill Gods’s purpose in my life and glorify His name. Secondly, to reach out to both Christians and non-believers through music, which is a powerful tool to communicate to everyone, transcending age, gender and beliefs. Lastly, I want to inspire young musicians to use their talent the best way that they can honour God in their lives, through conducting music workshops and events/ programs”
In a country where local Christian Music is hardly noticed, she aims to be strategic with her plans and is open for adjustments in promoting her music. The logistics, finances and people to collaborate with are but normal elements that needed to be worked on. She is praying for her album to be launched in December, God-willing. For now, she’s done recording the songs and is almost finished with the mixing. Tune in to her FB page to listen to her cover songs.
I always remind my students that being talented is not enough to catch God’s attention, it’s how we do it from the heart. To have a passion, you should realize that it is not something like a passing interest, or a hobby – it involves commitment and love in your work. That kind of passion will only come, when we start humbling ourselves and submit everything we have to the Giver of Talent, the Almighty God.
Rebekah Mae’s story mirrors that achieving your dreams is not only about waiting for the perfect timing – you really have to work hard for it. When you do things out of love and commitment, results will follow. And we all glorify our Creator when we multiply the talents He has given us.
Photos credit to: Rasterbase Dps and Rebekah Mae L. Raguirag