Ma. Rosalina M. Abejo

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Ma. Rosalina M. Abejo is a nun-composer of songs, symphonies, chamber music, hymns, and liturgy. She is the only nun in the world who directs and conducts symphony orchestra. Her compositions capture unity, simplicity, and balance that belong to the neo-classic school. She used Filipino musical instruments and folk tunes in many of her works.

She likes to remember the Filipino historical events through music as shown in her compositions such as The Conversion of King Humabon, Marian Symphony, Overture 1081, The Blood Compact of 1565, and the Grand Pontifical March.



She was born in Misamis Oriental on July 13, 1922. Born to a parents of both civic leaders of their town and uncles of a family orchestra, she grew up with an orchestra that she often watched around her.

Being a nun was her childhood vocation. Her aunt, the late Sister Rosario Madroñal, was her first music teacher. She entered the Religious of the Virgin Mary (R.V.M.) after she completed an Elementary Teacher's Certificate where she was already an asset. As a novice during the war, she was delegated as the organist, pianist, and in charge of the choir. She began writing songs while giving piano lessons to novice and sisters.


She completed a Bachelor of Music degree in 1956, and a Master of Music, major in Composition in 1958 at Philippnie Women's University. Soon, she was assigned as Dean of Music at the Lourdes College in Cagayan de Oro City where she organized the Cagayan de Oro Community of orchestra. She brought the Cagayan de Oro Community Orchestra to Davao along with the School of Music of the Immacualate Conception College for a series of performances.

She went abroad for studies and presentations of composition and piano concerts. She raised funds through concerts and offered choirs trainings in orphanages and institutions of the poor. She is also a member of several local and international organizations.

She is a recipient of Philippine awards, honors, and citations. She also published some books.


  • Samson, Helen F. Contemporary Filipino Composers. Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing Company, 1976.



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