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OMG! It’s Maria Aragon’s time A Filipino - Canadian YouTube Sensation

Just want to share this story because I am an avid fan of Maria Aragon, originally posted in
At 11 years old, Filipino-Canadian YouTube sensation Maria Aragon fulfilled her dreams far from what she had ever imagined with her cover of Lady Gaga's "Born this Way" on the video sharing site granting her instant fame. But this young up and coming singer has recently achieved yet another dream. She has finally come home to the Philippines to record her very own album.
Maria sat down with Yahoo! Philippines OMG! last Wednesday, July 27 to share her exciting experiences coming home to the Philippines for the first time.
OMG: How do you find the Philippines so far?
Maria: I arrived on July 21. For now, I've stayed in Manila, just went around. I haven't got to see the whole country yet but I've been to ABS-CBN. I'm here to record an album under Star Records. It's been really fun for the past days. It's not like a job. It's more of a hobby, something that I want to do for the rest of my life and recording has been so much fun. I wanted to do an album, it's always a big dream of mine and I never thought that I'll get here at my age. I'm really blessed to have that.

OMG: If given the chance, what are the places in the Philippines that you'd like to visit someday?
Maria: I would want to visit Boracay and I've always wanted to because we want to come here for vacation too and see how beautiful the Philippines is. We might go there next week when my Dad comes.
OMG: Where are your parents from? How are you as a family?
Maria: My dad's from Laguna and my mom's from Ormoc. My Dad's a painter, that's his hobby. When he was in the Philippines, his painting was in a museum. I'm always with my family. I have a 15 year old brother and I guess he's always been my best friend. Instead of having a best friend at school I have a best friend at home and it's my brother. We always are like just a normal family. The only difference is that we kinda live in front of cameras right now and a lot of people know us but the thing is we always are a normal family. We always have been. I don't think we'll change and that's what I like about our family. We're always together even through fights or whatever.
I think that we are all very proud of who we are and we always have pride in what we are and that's great.
Back at home, I don't know if we're traditional but we speak Tagalog all the time. If I don't speak Tagalog then my mom and dad will, all the time. We're just like how we are in the Philippines. We're a Filipino family, we eat filipino food, we understand our language. We know things about our culture and we're all still very proud of what we are even if we're not actually in our country.
OMG: Would you like to visit your parents' hometowns as well?
Maria:  I want to. We had a family reunion on my Dad's side. When my mom and dad were still here, they stayed in Mandaluyong.
OMG: What are your favorite Filipino dishes?
Maria: I love tocino, the one my mom actually makes at home. I don't think any other tocino compares to my mom's and my mom is like the main chef at home so she cooks most of the food and I like nilaga na baboy.
OMG: How about balut?
Maria: I'm not a big fan after I heard what it really is. But it's good. I don't eat it that much though.
OMG: How was the experience like performing with local artists/audience?
Maria:  It's fun. They're all nice. Everybody in the Philippines are all nice I have to say. They're all so grounded and I'm glad that I get to meet them 'cause I used to watch them on TV.
I find the Filipino audience way more supportive cause I know that most of my fans are Filipinos. I guess the Filipino crowd is a lot more loud and they scream a lot. when I was in ASAP they were screaming.
OMG: Who among the Filipino/international artists do you look up to the most?
Maria: My favorite female singer is Lea Salonga. Because I think that she's really nice because I got to meet her at my home. She was just really nice and very focused on her singing. That's what I like about her. And I love Gary Valenciano, I mean because he's very grounded, very godly, and I got the chance to meet him. He's just so nice.
Actually, I've always looked up to Michael Jackson as well. His music I think is really important because of the good messages in his songs, and if they don't have good messages, [they have] good melody, catchy songs. I think that Michael Jackson, he was already in front of the camera when he was six, he was part of the Jackson Five, so it was kinda like destiny that his Dad put him into the Jackson Five 'cause he was really talented and very godly and that he was the best male singer that I know.
OMG: Tell us about your album. Will it have OPM?
Maria: I have "Kung Bubuksan Mo Lang ang Puso," it's a Tagalog song. Most of them are OPM. One is for Global Angkop Walk called "One Hope, One dream." Money from the walk goes to the education of poor children.
OMG: Did you have offers to record an album abroad?
Maria: I got some but we really didn't take it seriously yet because of course we're all very busy with what we're doing so we have to decide as a family first. But I got the chance to go to the Philippines and record an album so it's pretty awesome right now, what's happening.

OMG: Do you understand Filipino?
Maria: Yes I can understand Tagalog fully. [I don't speak much Tagalog.] Konti lang, I always say that. Hindi ako fluent. I performed [the Philippine National Anthem] for the first time when I was back in Winnipeg for the Philippine Independence ball.
OMG: Since you'll be very busy with your career, will you still have time for your education?
Maria: Our school starts in September so it's different from how it is in the Philippines. That's why we're here till September so I can attend school again. I'll be in grade 6.
I probably will go back to the Philippines after my album because I might promote and do more performances but I don't know, education is a really big thing for me. I was very focused on my education and ever since this all happened I didn't have that much time to go to school so I will balance both because both are really my passion and for me, I'm really blessed to have this opportunity at my age. So I'll take the chance while it's there.

OMG: Did you ever expect that you will get this far?
Maria: No. Because actually when I make YouTube videos, i do it for fun or I do it for my family just for entertainment but I never knew that I'd get this far. Through YouTube videos I actually get to reach my dreams just being a recording artist and getting to go the the Philippines.
I got to see a lot of different views of life. I got to travel a lot, I got to eat a lot of different food. I got to meet a lot of different people and I got to see a lot of different situation and it made me more open to the world. That's why I'm doing the Global Angkop Walk because I really want to support and help children. I've been very privileged for what I have now and it's my pleasure to help them in the best ay that I can.
OMG: Do you see yourself singing for the rest of your life?
Maria: Well singing for me is what I like to do for the rest of my life but it might change as I get older but right now, it's the best thing that happened so far and yeah I'd love to follow the footsteps of Michael Jackson. I just wanna keep singing even without the publicity I would still want to keep on singing, try to improve more on my work. I wanna write my own songs and I think that's how it will all start. So I'm kinda trying to write a song but I want it to come naturally.
I don't know I just wanna keep doing what I'm doing and try to keep better with what I'm doing. My dad explained to us that just like the stairs, once you get your first thing you have to try and keep on going up and you should always try harder. But popularity is not really a very big thing for me, it's just my passion and I hope it stays the same and that my passion keeps on going until I get to the top and improve more on my music. When the time comes, I hope it's a good song and that I get better and better.
OMG: You've been known for singing Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Do you ever get tired of singing it?
Maria: I don't get sick of it but sometimes I'm tired of singing it. From doing that, it makes me want to improve on how I play it but I guess I need more time to kinda change the way I sing it so that I won't get tired of singing it and that I have something else to offer to the filipino crowd and my fans worldwide.
Lady Gaga's amazing and I love her very much and I mean we think she's what we call "gaga" but she's very nice and I think she has an amazing personality and she was very nice that's all I can say. I guess I was so starstruck to even remember what she said. She was amazing and she was so talented and she was so nice apart from the very diverse things that she does on stage.
OMG: You've met the Canadian Prime Minister, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and wife Catherine. How was the experience like?
Maria: I think it was an honor. I feel really blessed to have those kind of experiences. I hope I'll get more, I just feel really blessed for what I have right now and I feel so privileged and I want to stay grounded and hopefully there'll be more opportunities to come.
OMG: Do you think you're the "next sensation?"
Maria:  I don't know what will happen in the future but I'm grateful for what I have so far and if I am the next sensation, I'll be so excited but of course first, I think I have to improve more on my talent.

OMG: In Filipino, what message would you like to say to your Filipino fans?
Maria: Salamat po sa inyong suporta... that's all I could say! What I have in my mind is in English. I'm really grateful for what you're giving me so far and the privileges that you're giving me and for all the support. Mahal ko kayong lahat and mabuhay and salamat po!


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