Category Archives: Profiles

RJ Rosales obituary

The editor of the Australian Filipina magazine asked if I would write an obituary for RJ Rosales. I only had his CV up to 2007, so you may notice that it’s light on the details after that. I hope I did him justice. You can find the original article here.

RJ Rosales, who has died aged 37, was one of the Australian Filipino community’s favourite sons. Best known for his stint as co-host of ABS-CBN Philippines variety show ASAP, he was a critically acclaimed actor and musical theatre performer, receiving a Helpmann Award nomination for his role in the 2007-08 Australian season of Miss Saigon. His smooth but strong balladeer’s voice, equally suited to popular music as show tunes, found fans across generations from all over the world. Continue reading

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RJ Rosales

RJ Rosales: On leaving and coming home

This was my first interview, and I hope I did justice to RJ, who also happens to be a childhood friend. It’s one of my favourites.

Filipino-Australian entertainer RJ Rosales took the bold step of moving back to Manila to live his dream. He talks to PINOYexpats about what it’’s like to be an expat then a balikbayan, and how he copes with living out of a suitcase.

There’s something lightly surreal about talking to a childhood friend whose face regularly appears on television and whose voice draws audiences from around the world. So it’’s a relief to discover that chatting over the phone with RJ Rosales is just like, well, talking to an old friend. Which is just as well, because it seems he’’d just gotten out of bed when I rang, though I wouldn’’t have guessed from his cheerful tone. He eats his breakfast as we talk, and the conversation is laced with humour and just a touch of homesickness. Continue reading

Bowl of rice - Photo by kittenpuff via morgueFile

Beyond adobo and rice

This was the first feature I wrote that didn’t include anecdotes in the article. I initially sent Susan Quimpo a list of about 20 questions. She very tactfully suggested I send her a shorter list.

Bowl of rice - Photo by kittenpuff1 via morgueFile

Source: morgueFile

Being a second-generation citizen is characterised by a dichotomy that resonates differently from the experiences of one’s parents. For most naturalised (first-generation) citizens, this dichotomy is acquired by choice. We can balance the memories of home with the reality of our new country of residence. For our children, who are born overseas but live a different cultural experience than their peers, growing up a product of two or more cultures can be a struggle that their parents and grandparents may not easily understand. Continue reading