Raoul Imbach is a carrier diplomat working for the Swiss Foreign Affairs Ministry for over 30 years. He is an entertainer and a composer for over 50 years. “Tribute to the Philippines” is Raoul’s 11th album of his original compositions published around the world in English, French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and now Tagalog. Some call him a Renaissance man as he has many passions, and managed to be successful in most of them. However, music remains his first love.
Raoul Imbach created the “Wild Tortillas Band” in Vietnam in 2003 with the purpose of accompanying Raoul in his concerts to have old rock and latin music gigs. He revived the album in Korea, then in the Philippines. He saw that only in the Philippines that the band members have been so active in composing and presenting their own songs. The Wild Tortillas band was composed of Jaime Vilas (Bass), Roderick Manubay (Guitar), Rennie Vargas (drums), Ferdinand Salamat (Percussion) and Marlon Fernan who recently replaced our keyboardist Victor Lim.
I was invited to attend this event as a correspondent for Wazzup.Ph under Sir Ted Claudio. I didn’t expect to see a foreigner sing and speak in good Tagalog.
Here are some lessons I learned when I interviewed him:
1. You can have a full-time job, and still do your passion!
Raoul is a diplomat and has a lot of work to do. He spends a lot of time doing hard work to bolster Switzerland and Philippines’ relations, yet he has the time to sing and launch multiple albums too. Just like Raoul, I also have a full time job, and am passionate to sing and do YouTube videos. If he can do it, it means we can also! It inspires all of us that it is possible to have many hats and talents, and do them all at the same time with passion and excellence.
2. You can dedicate your songs to your children.
He has one and he sang it in Tagalog and English as well. Raoul has a Filipina daughter by his first wife, and he sang a song in 2 languages for his daughter. It is so touching for one child to have your father dedicate a song for you. That is also why I do my songs on my YouTube and Facebook live, so that I can leave a legacy for my 3 young children too.
3. A diplomat from another country like Raoul loves the Philippines more than most do.
I observed a lot of Filipinos do not really care that much about the Philippines. Especially when some Filipinos migrate, there is no sense of being a Filipino. There are still a lot of the Filipinos have crab mentality. Some wants to destroy their countrymen for the love of money. When you see Raoul’s music videos, and hear his Filipino songs that has a duet with Freddie Aguilar’s “Anak”, or his song Binibini, you could see a man who is so in love with the Philippines and her culture.
4. Switzerland and the Philippines have a great partnership, and it can be seen in Raoul’s life.
You can see his dedication to making the Philippines his second home. I know that just by observing Raoul, he wants to make Filipinos welcome in Switzerland as well. I can see it in the way he treats his Filipino co-band members. He was very friendly to all the media and guests who attended the launching.
5. Make the most of your life while we are alive.
Finally, like Raoul who obviously has a wonderful life and a successful one. We need work-life balance. We should not be afraid to go after our dream and do creative works like writing a book, launching an album, directing a movie or musical. If it has been placed in our heart and it is our passion, we must do it so the world can celebrate that gift and talent that was given to us to share to mankind.
With Co-Media who Raoul sang to as Binibini during the launching.
I am grateful to have met Raoul Imbach. Something tells me that I will see him again soon. Thanks again to Ted Claudio for giving me this grand opportunity.
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