Sharing love for music with kids

Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco - The Philippine Star

Roselle Nava was one of the singers during the ‘90s whom I believed in. From among her star-studded batch on ABS-CBN’s Ang TV that included Claudine Barretto, Jolina Magdangal, Rica Peralejo, Lindsay Custodio, Victor Neri and Angelu de Leon, Roselle stood out as the most outstanding vocalist. Her songs, Bakit Nga Ba Mahal Kita, Dahil Mahal Na Mahal Kita and her soulful remake of You, which topped the charts during the ‘90s and garnered awards for her, still keep playing in my ears. A mainstay at regular shows on TV, she suddenly disappeared from public eye and was missed by her admirers that included this writer. Did she get married? Did she get pregnant? Did she decide to seek greener pastures abroad?

All these questions were answered in the negative by Roselle Nava herself during my interview with her at the Taste of L.A. Café, Roces Ave. (where they serve delectable salads and delicious oysters). All aglow in nude makeup that revealed how much prettier she is in person than on screen, Roselle explains that she is now a businesswoman with a heart. And, surprise, surprise! She also has a music school (like me) and is happy that she now has a hand in developing love for music in kids, sharing with them what she knows, and giving the opportunity for them to showcase their talents through recitals organized by her school, aptly named Muzik Korner by Roselle Nava.

We shared with each other the difficulties of starting a music school but we both agreed that our passion for music and the satisfaction we get from being able to help develop young talents will pull us through. “It is my way of giving back to the music industry, so making money from this venture is not foremost in my mind,” Roselle asserts. “Also, I have always believed that spending time and energy learning musical skills would lead the youth away from drugs or harmful company,” the petite songstress adds. Her first school is located in Sucat, Parañaque, where she usually spends most of her time, while another school has recently opened in Quezon City, which would give her more chances to see her good friends in showbiz, like Jolina. “I make it a point to keep in touch with my showbiz friends when I am in Quezon City and I am glad I now have more occasions to meet them.”

This image of a sociable Roselle is far different from what she was as a young girl growing up in Laguna. She then was the nerdy type who would rather read a good book than go partying. Up to now, she is still actually shy, preferring to keep quiet and not mind other people’s business. She started her showbiz career when she was in third year high school in San Agustin, Makati. Despite her hectic schedule as an entertainment personality, she pursued her studies and in 1998 finished B.S. in Marketing/Management at the De La Salle University. She says she is not prepared to get married yet as she is lacking in culinary skills. (But I have been married for 20 years and I still do not know how to cook. Ha, ha, ha!) She is focusing instead on her schools, to which she plans to add another one in Laguna soon, which is nearer her actual residence. For both the Quezon City and Laguna branches, she will have scholarship programs for poor but deserving talented students.

Sharing her theoretical and practical knowledge in music and giving opportunities to others to cultivate interest in music does not mean that her career as a singer has completely been consigned to the backburner, though. Even as we do not hear her, and of her, now as often as before, Roselle, through the guidance of her manager, Jocelyn “Baby” Pacheco, is a much sought-after performer in other countries, like the US, Canada and the Middle East. She actually has just returned from a stint in Dubai and will be again leaving for Bahrain and Qatar this month. By strong public demand of her fans who never lost their love for the singer, Roselle is planning to record another album which hopefully will contain singles that would be as successful as her earlier ones.

In a world full of stars centered on themselves, it is a refreshing thought to have a Roselle Nava who is doing something to help in the development of others, especially the youth. Congratulations and keep it up, Roselle! But do let us hear your magical voice again, every now and then.

(E-mail me at [email protected] or text 0927-5000833.)

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