New Album Release: Jesus Sings to Me (A Family Album)

Mishel and her voice coach*

Album #3 – “Jesus Sings to Me” (A Family Album) – Listen to selected samplers in the YouTube video below:

1.            Jesus Sings to Me (Mishel Ivi’s Reverie)  

2.            Come Feed My Love (Joshua Daniel-Pearl Amena Wedding Theme)

3.            Glow (Quino’s Quest)

4.            Kassandra’s Song (Summer’s Lullaby)

5.            My Hometown (Villasis, Ti Ili ni Lelong Simeon, Lelang Udes)

6.            Farmer Bruce and Housewife Carol (My Texan Family)

7.            Finish the Race

8.            Ang Iyak (Si JR ay Nag-aaral

9.            Paraiso (12 Tawen Idiay Bag-iw)

10.          Kawal Ka ng Bayan (Marcos-Ragay Saga)  

11.          Soy Yo (Sa ‘Yo, Aking Maharlika)

12.          Ice Delivery Jeep (Solo Acoustic Version

13.          Tahanan Ko ay Kalikasan (Tahak sa Paraiso Theme Song)

14.          Sunrise of Peace (BautistaRagay Kids Band)

15.          Scarborough Fair/Canticle (Cover by Young Pearl & Jon with dadz)

16. `       Jesus Loves Me (Young Pearl)

17.          Bahay Kubo (Young Pearl)

18.          Beginning and End (Song to Immanuel)

To order: Please send email to Vincent Ragay at [email protected] or send a short message at Messenger, Viber or WhatApp.

Price: PHP 350.00 or its equivalent value in US Dollars. Please send payment via Western Union, Palawan Express or Cebuana Lhuiller.

Song Descriptions

1. Jesus Sings to Me (Mishel Ivi’s Reverie)

Does Jesus sing? Does He merely allow Creation, animals and humans to render His magnificent music and songs? The Maker of the Universe and of Music must know how to sing and sing the most beautiful song ever. This song tries to express what and how He would sing to one who longs for His comfort and presence. Its jazzy structure characterizes the complex yet soothing thoughts we all go through in the process of discovering the Lord’s saving grace. 

My youngest child, Mishel, sings this with Dodjie Fernandez doing masterful recording/mixing. He also provided some percussion and digital accompaniment. This was composed in the late 1990’s in Baguio when Mishel was about 12 years old. After more than a decade, she finally recorded this in Quezon City to replace the first recording she did on her iPhone while in Canada.     

2. Come Feed My Love (Joshua Daniel-Pearl Amena Wedding Theme)

A love song inspired by the Lord’s instructions to Peter to Feed my lamb, Feed my sheep. The Lord protects His flock from wolves and other dangers and, more importantly, provides material and spiritual nourishment.

This song was played at the wedding of Daniel and Pearl, my eldest daughter, in December 2009. After 10 years, they now have two adorable children: Joaquin, 7, and Kassandra, 3 months old.

3. Glow (Quino’s Quest)

“Glow” expresses the inner joy of discovering our real worth as individuals made in the image of God. We all seek to unfold the mysteries of Creation, which we do not completely understand through what we see, touch, taste, feel and experience. Even as small children, we already recognized hidden truths beyond our age. Gradually, we learned and uncovered one mystery after another. I hope this song will become part of my grandson Quino’s companion in his search for life’s true meanings.

4. Kassandra’s Song (Summer’s Lullaby)

Baby Kassandra brings joy to all

Not having seen Kassandra in person yet, I thought of offering to her a song that revives my own memories of the joys and pleasures of childhood. In her tender infancy, all she can appreciate for now would be the faces and voices of her parents and her brother, apart from the brilliant colors and mysterious sounds of music and noise around her. Hopefully, through this song she can feel the melody lulling her to sleep, or keeping her awake to the music of a song that will be truly her own as long as she lives. And may she learn to make lovely music eventually and bring joy and peace to others.

5. My Hometown (Villasis, Ti Ili ni Lelong Simeon, Lelang Udes)

My grandparents, Jose and Praxedes Marcos, lived in Tombod, Villasis, the town where my father ended up living and serving as a guerilla fighter during WW2 after his USAFFE unit was decimated in Pangasinan, probably leaving him as the only survivor when he managed to lie low for three days covered by his comrades’ corpses while the Japs incinerated the dead. His prayer to survive and escape was answered when the grass fire that was about to engulf him slowed down when the wind shifted and the Japs suddenly departed. He ran to the direction of Tombod, my mother’s village in Villasis. My father then was a new graduate of B.S. in Agriculture at UP Los Banos, Laguna when he joined the war. Living and working in a village with farmers served him well in his future work in government as a top national 4-H Club (later called Anak Bukid) leader until he retired. He was a native of Siaton, Negros Oriental and had served as Asst. Provincial Agriculturist there before we moved to Metro Manila in 1965.

The spiritual-blues-jazz fusion recalls my memories of those visits to our Lelong and Lelang, who lived simple, happy and productive lives as farmers. The lessons they imparted to us children have never left us even now in our own old age. Going back to those days through this song is one great feeling of rustic, organic life relived and ever-living.

6. Farmer Bruce and Housewife Carol (My Texan Family)

I spent 5 months studying World Evangelism in College Station, Texas in 1980 and lived with the family of Bruce and Carol Hottel. Bruce is now a retired agriculturist, although he worked his peanut farm in Oklahoma after retiring from government. He assembled and reconditioned tractors as a hobby-trade back when I stayed with them. Carol remains the faithful housekeeper and loving mother she is to their three daughters (as she was to me, virtually, for a short while), who now have their own growing families. Their youngest, Jodi, was almost 5 when I lived in their happy Christian home. Her elder sisters, Dana and Lori, were out in college and married, respectively, leaving Jodi and two empty rooms, giving me space to board in and to experience American life and taste fine Texan vittles.

This song, recorded on cassette tape, is a typical folk/country/Western ballad recalling those lovely, inspiring months with the Hottels.   

7. Finish the Race

This song, which ends the English Side A (Part 1) of this album, relates the continuing challenges in a believer’s run in the race of life, onward to the inevitable reward when the Lord will welcome all the faithful and victorious runners in His glorious heavenly stadium.

8. Ang Iyak (Si JR ay Nag-aaral) 

Jon, Pearl and Mishel at Burnham Park, Baguio City

Recorded at Tim Warden’s studio in Sa Fernando, La Union, with Rey Jacildone doing the technicals, “Ang Iyak” narrates my son Jon’s experience as a boy in elementary school. The proverb in the song (Ang turo ay pumapasok nang kasama ang iyak/Learning comes with pain) is actually from my son’s namesake, JR, Jose Rizal, our favorite hero. We all learned this, consciously or not, as kids as well. Although I remember I must have been a masochist for my mother’s belting since I often gave my younger sister’s so much trouble then.

As adults, the lesson remains true and valid. For no matter how old we are, we remain weak inside through all the many temptations we face in life. Genuine education is a life-long process. I hope Jon keeps this song at his side as well.

9. Paraiso (12 Tawen Idiay Bag-iw)

Walking and chatting with Matt Raymer at Camp John Hay

Living in Baguio City for 12 years taught me the best lessons in life, artistically, professionally, emotionally and spiritually-speaking. Singing this song relives the idyllic and challenging experiences of living in a Paradise-like place that was gradually losing its beauty and glory back in the 1990’s (before a gargantuan mall arose, sucking off water, power and common sense) and may have totally lost them by now. It is presently undergoing rehabilitation as a city.

Zoella Starr Cabuco-Steigl provided additional vocals and Rey Jacildone’s studio expertise completed this folk song’s Benguet-pine-scented-air appeal. “Manariwa”, my first album released in Baguio in 2000, included this song version.

10. Kawal Ka ng Bayan (Marcos-Ragay Saga

Emilio Sardan Ragay, Sr.
Inocencia Marcos Ragay

My late-father, Emilio, fought and helped to liberate Baguio City from the occupying Japanese forces in 1945. My late-mother, Inocencia, in her own right and work, fought for her family and her country as an industrious and faithful daughter, wife and mother during those war years and throughout her life. War brought our parents together and also kept our family together even after the war had turned into other forms, such as political, economic, academic, social, emotional and moral conflicts that beset us all in our passage through life. How we deal with all of them determines how we keep our relationships strong or weak. Surprisingly, wars and conflicts tend to make people stronger in the end. 

This song is dedicated to my beloved parents and siblings, Rolinda, Emilio Junior (D), Levi, Virgil (D), Elizabeth, Marian and Marilou, as well as to all courageous “soldiers” out there. Jun Tamayo did the superb musical arrangement while Rey Jacildone did the splendid studio work.

11. Soy Yo (Sa ‘Yo, Aking Maharlika)

Dr. Jose Rizal’s execution by the Spaniards at Bagumbayan Field, Manila on December 30, 1896

“Soy Yo” is taken from Dr. Jose Rizal’s last poem, “El Postrer Adios” and is dedicated to my beloved country, Philippines, formerly named Kingdom of Maharlika, which is properly translated from Hebrew words mahar and lika as “Beloved Bride”. It features a bridge taken from Rizal’s “Song of Maria Clara” rendered in a solo electric- guitar riff. Three lines from the poem describe the late-hero’s skills in writing and in music, one mentioning the guitar and the psaltery (and declaring “Soy yo, Querida Patria, yo que te canto a ti!”) and the other two offering himself as Nature’s music to Patria Adorada (“Vibrante y limpia nota sere para tu oido . . . constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fe”/“I will be a vibrant and clean tone in your hearing . . . constantly repeating the essence of my faith”). 

12. Ice Delivery Jeep (Solo Acoustic Version)   

This solo acoustic version of the original three-part vocal-harmony and guitar arrangement in my first album was actually a casual practice-recording during a lull as Rey Jacildone did sound-checks for the final take. It sounds good enough as a raw take to share with those who prefer unadorned, unpretentious music.

13. Tahanan Ko ay Kalikasan (Tahak sa Paraiso Theme Song)

Mishel sang this into a cassette recorder when she must have been 9 or 10. It was the theme song for our youth-camping program Tahak sa Paraiso (Trek to Paradise). With good friends, Xavier Narcelles, Olaf and Monette Bautista, Ji and Jess Rafanan, Hermogenes Abedania and me as counselors, our children underwent trainings at Camp John Hay and in Subic, Zambales to learn vital lessons in life and from Nature, our home. Later on, in 1993 and 1995, Tahak sa Paraiso trekked to Mt. Pulag in Benguet with UP Baguio Bio and Geo students who were chaperoned by these well-respected fellow instructors and professors of UP Baguio, St. Louis U and Baguio Brent School.

14. Sunrise of Peace (BautistaRagay Kids Band)

Another casual cassette-recording at home with Pearl, Jon, Mishel along with Olaf and Monette’s children, Nicole, Mica, Dawn and Migo when they were tots. I dreamed of forming a kids’ band with them; but this was the only song they ever did. I hope it still makes them famous after having disbanded before even banding together. Their passion for singing is contagious in this rendition which they practiced a few times. Out of the mouths of babes, the Lord’s praise is truly perfected!

15. Scarborough Fair/Canticle (Cover by Young Pearl and Jon with dadz)

Recorded in an old double-cassette recorder which allowed two-channel or stereo-mixing (crude by today’s standards), this is a multiple-layering of the Simon & Garfunkel hit based on the traditional English folk song, Scarborough Fair. It was meant to be a serious cover of the original hit but ended up as a noisy, family recording with Pearl, who was 2 then, and Jon, who was less than a year old. How’s that for a multiplex-recording while babysitting two kids at separate times? Music, like herbs and life itself, provides so many delightful spices. (Apologies to Paul Simon for this half-cooked or uncooked cover.)

16. Jesus Loves Me (Young Pearl)

Children love singing into a microphone. Well, some adults are addicted, as karaoke sessions can attest. This and the next cut are Pearl’s practice sessions at three year’s old.

17. Bahay Kubo (Young Pearl)

18. Beginning and End (Song to Immanuel)

This simple ballad was also part of my first album, recorded and mixed by Rey Jacildone. It gives honor and praise to the Alpha and Omega Who was, is and is to come, the Lord Yahusha, the only begotten of Abba Father, the Giver of life, of family, of love, of music, of beauty and of abundant joy. To God be all glory, honor and praise!

*Thanks to Hyacinth Sermonia for the album cover photo.