The legacy of Rodel Naval
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil (The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2013 - 12:00am

Singer and actor Rodel Naval died of AIDS in 1995. His was a successful career that included hit songs, Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin and Muli, films, TV shows, concerts and that much-coveted stint in the Toronto company of Miss Saigon. While his death was quietly accepted by his family, they were not about to let his memory vanish into thin air. They made sure that Rodel did not die in vain and it is because of this that the Rodel Naval Care Outreach (RoNaCo) was formed in 1997. Go to for more information about this.

As per Rodel’s sister, Rosalie Memije, RoNaCo has already helped 250 people afflicted with AIDS until they passed away. The support they provided those patients now continues to their families. At the present time, RoNaCo is assisting 13 children orphaned by AIDS in their schooling and other needs. Beneficiaries of the organization have also now been expanded to include impoverished families in the slums. Two hundred thirty of these received gifts from RoNaCo last Christmas. This is handled through a partnership with the evangelical church, River of Joy Christian Fellowship.

To help RoNaCo raise funds for its projects helping the poor, the sick and downtrodden and most of all, to be able to inspire, encourage and bring hope to those who feel there is no hope, Rosalie has decided to publish Rodel’s biography in a book. His life was a story about forgiveness and peace. She sees him now as a prodigal son who ignored his Father’s love and care but came back when he came to a desperate situation and was received with open arms.

Also part of the fundraising efforts of Rodel’s family is the release of the special collector’s edition of Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin. This is an album that his other sister, Delia Contreras, put together as a tribute to her brother. Available in the local stores on the Alpha label, the CD contains his 18 best recordings led, of course, by Muli and Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin.

The other tracks included are Bakit, Ikaw Pa Lamang, Isang Lahi, Patuloy Pa Rin, Bakit Kung Kailan, Patawad Ama, Kailan Kaya, Higpitan Mo Ang Yakap, Then I Saw Your Face, Just You And Me, Finally I Found Love, Fantasy, Once Again, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Love Is Stronger Far Than We, and a live version of Home from one of Rodel’s concerts in Canada. A portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the album will go to RoNaCo.

Just in case you have ever wondered why singers and musicians risk so much for their music or as it is often said makakanta or makatugtog lang, here is your answer. From Dean Kay’s ASCAP Daily Brief comes this piece of wisdom that appeared in the Wavian Digital Arts & New Media written by David Ackert of the LA Times. The original was actually about actors, but somebody changed the subject to singers and musicians and it works just as well: “Singers and musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime.

“Everyday, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Everyday, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgement. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life — the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment — to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul.

“Singers and musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”


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