Filipina Cancer Survivor Rea Rabe: Surviving the Big C

Filipina Cancer Survivor Rea Rabe: Surviving the Big C

Excel V. Dyquiangco


Although she was born to a poor family, Rea Rabe never let her circumstances dictate her attitude. While a student at the Technological Institute of the Philippines, she got a scholarship and managed to finish her degree by being a working student. “I told myself that I will never allow my kids to experience what I have been through,” she says. “I was going to school with empty pockets and an empty stomach. I want to give my future family a good future and at the same time help other people who like me are struggling to make both ends meet.”


Eventually in 2005 she was recruited in the Philippines to join Novotel World Trade Center as Payroll Supervisor. Seeing her potential, her Director of Finance promoted her to Accounts Receivable Supervisor in less than a year and later on as Credit Manager. After her credit management stint, she was given the opportunity to be Chief Account in Angsana Hotel by Banyan Tree in Dubai. Later on she moved to The Address Hotel Montgomerie as Chief Accountant and pursued another promotion with Jumeirah Creekside Hotel as Finance Manager in 2012.

She was at the peak of her career with many hopes and aspirations. “The climb up the ladder was so fast that I didn’t have time to breathe but still, I was very thankful to our Lord Almighty,” she says. “All of these are God’s blessing. I saw my prayers being answered and because of this, I want to bring back to Him the glory by serving Him.”


Filipina Cancer Survivor Rea Rabe: Surviving the Big C

Live Life to the Fullest

However in January 2013 her world suddenly stopped turning when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer Stage 3.

“I suddenly saw myself from afar, looking ahead where the future seemed so dark and uncertain – I even thought that I was going to die,” she says. “I started to worry about the welfare of my family and then I remembered God. I sought Him and surrendered everything. I want to live my life for the Lord, for my family and to fulfil my dreams to help other people.”

Interestingly a few weeks after she was diagnosed with kidney cancer, she was found to be pregnant. All her doctors advised her against her pregnancy, saying that the baby could cost her life but she remained steadfast in her faith. She wanted to surpass her giving birth and she knew deep inside her heart that the baby would extend her life. Soon she gave birth and discovered that her cancer had developed even more to Stage 4. “The cancer has spread to both of my lungs, in front of my heart and multiple lymph nodes and in my stomach,” she says. “I struggled with the initial doses of the treatment. I was wasted. I doubted my ability to cope with the treatment. I was miserable. I cried out to God and He gave me my friends in church. I found encouragement and they strengthened my faith.”

Now two years in treatment, her condition got stable. She related how God has indeed given her the miracle of healing – though she is still clinically ill, she knows how spiritually strong she is.

“I still carry out my job as normal,” she says. “I enjoy my baking hobby, I run errands, take care of my active toddler and most of all, and serve the Lord God who gave us one life to live. Let’s live it to the fullest. Life is too short to be spent on anger, worrying and whining. Forgive those who offended you, let go of hurtful past, spend time with loved ones, for you never know how much time you still have with them. Go out and celebrate life! You only got one.”





Excel writes and edits for a coffee table books-publishing company. Since his boss is the former biographer of Fidel V. Ramos, he sometimes mingles with the top-tier politicians. At one time, FVR even asked him to do push-ups (and we don’t know how that went!). Excel is also the author of the immensely popular children’s books  “I Don’t Like To Eat” and “Lala Burara” (Messy Lala).