music & cancer


The chubby bajo or bass player setting the beat.


Does music heal cancer? For me, it does.

During chemotherapy the soothing harmony and rhythm of music helps me to relax more and to think of positive thoughts.

Music elevates your healing experience to another level of life’s appreciation.

When I was in elementary, I am not the athletic type.

I tried music because it was more child-friendly. I joined the Rondalla team of Sta. Ana Elementary School with Ms. Donasco as our adviser.

The experience thought me persistence and patience.

Music was like mathematics, it has exact figures or notes. If you didn’t hit it right, you would be out of tune.

The cacophony of rondalla instruments (banduria, piccolo, octavina, bajo or bass, guitar, drums) when fused together was heaven for me.

I learned to appreciate the value of each instrument in creating harmony for a great musical masterpiece.

It was not easy to learn the basic of octavina (smaller than a guitar) – the sound it produced was like the equivalent of alto voice for singers.

When I was in Grade 6, I didn’t know if it was a promotion, but I was assigned to play the bajo or the bass.


It’s all about the bass!


Imagine a way bigger yukelele with four strings – 6 feet tall.

The bass was crucial to set the beat of the music.

I enjoyed it a lot.

During my high school years in Mariano Marcos Memorial High School there was no rondalla but I was encouraged to join the choir.

It was easy to sing if you are the melody.

But, I was a bass singer (yes, bajo na naman pero boses na ang labanan!). The lower notes were very difficult.

It took years to train my ears.

Choir singing was never easy, it was like a rondalla – everyone must be spot-on or else you’ll produce a noise not music.

Same thing in life, you have a role to play in the greater scheme of things even if you have cancer.

Cancer is not the be-all and end-all of everything.

Yes, it is part of your journey

But, it should never stop you to find your voice and share it to the world- as a testimony of hope and as a catalyst of change like what music did to my life.


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