Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Mary and her music

Adabel Borinaga, USJ-R Mass Comm Intern - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines -  Born with musical blood running in her veins and surrounded with the hush of notes as she was growing up, the remarkable Mary Anchit Maglahus now produces her own sound in the Cebuano music industry.

This 26-year-old alternative folk singer who describes herself as determined, passionate and hopeful with whatever she is doing is also a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She can play piano, keyboard and guitar.

Growing up with musician parents – her dad is a bassist in a church band and her mom is a singer – Mary already nurtured her passion for music early on in her elementary years.

“I remember singing OSTs of my favorite anime series, singing songs of Alanis Morisette and whatever was a radio hit during that time. I was always eager to join singing competitions and other activities involving music: the drum, bugle, and lyre corps, the choir, even being a psalmist at church and volunteering for an intermission number,” said Mary, laughing at the memory. “I remember writing my own song when I was 11.”

Her rich musical background was also fostered by the influence of The Beatles, Bread, BeeGees, Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and other standard songs in the multiplex, which her father used to play and sing along to when she was young.

Artists Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, and other piano-playing artists like Nerina Pallot, Sara Bareilles, Vienna Teng, and Jon Mclaughlin are a few of her influences in piano. In songwriting, she looks up to Allison Sudol, Keane, KT Tunstall, Ingrid Michaelson, along with the aforementioned artists.

Mary also desires to work with local artists in the music scene someday, including Jude Gitamondoc, Raki Vega, and Cattski Espina. She also dreams of performing with a symphony orchestra.

“I dream of my songs being orchestrated, and then I get to sing them with a piano forte,” she says.

Mary, who signed up almost three years ago under 22 Tango Records, was discovered by Cattski Espina one time when she was invited to perform for the Songwriters’ Night at The Outpost. However, she became quite inactive in the production due to her work and other music-related engagements.

Before entering 22 Tango Records, Mary fronted a band and it was only recently that she decided to pursue a solo career.

“When I finally accepted the kind of sound I wanted for my songs, and finally realized the identity I wanted for myself in the music scene, that was when I decided to go solo.”

Aside from being a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mary is also a high school teacher in a university. She plays tennis, reads books, and trains high school choir. She is also interested in other genres in music including Anti-folk, Alternative Rock, Country, Country Rock, Blues, Jazz, and New Wave.

The alternative folk singer – who finds inspiration in her songs from people’s stories, her own experiences, and from quotes or books she has read – shares her excitement towards releasing her debut single which is a major milestone in her career.

“I feel motivated, at the same time thrilled, about the idea that finally one song will be out. I feel accomplished at the same time knowing that I had that long hiatus in songwriting trying to find myself.”

Her debut single titled “The Race” under the Folk City Compilation Album will be out soon. It has four stories in it; all are stories of her dear friends.

“One was about someone’s parents’ separation. Second was about fear of dying and not being able to see his family again as he was about to take an operation. Another was of a friend who loved somebody but wasn’t ready to be in a commitment, and then another one who dearly loved somebody but wouldn’t confess. Each of my friends expressed about how they weren’t ready for what they’re into. I heard all their stories in a day. And I myself wasn’t ready to see how miserable they were. It kind of hurt me to know how they were struggling, so I wrote it down in a song. So basically, ‘The Race’ is about how life gives you a go and yet you’re not ready for it.”

Aside from her debut single, she is also currently working on her song “The Seafarer” and more songs for her upcoming album.

Mary hopes to inspire audiences to make them appreciate and love our own music. “Whether it’s Bisrock, Visayan pop, or our kind of Folk, Cebuano music isn’t mediocre. I guess it’s time people listen again, listen more, then open their minds, and get used to the ingenious music Cebuanos make.”

Catch more of Mary at www.22tangorecords.com and keep posted for more Folk City events and the Folk City various Artist Compilation Album that will be released this month.

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