11 Songs from the Memory of Rodel Naval (ORIGINAL PHILIPPINE MUSIC)
16 February 1953
Rodel was the fifth in a family of seven (four girls and three boys). Born of a caring, solicitous mother and a hardworking father, Rodel could have acquired our Mom's aggressiveness and daring frankness in dealing with people. From our Dad, his persistence for whatever he did, his cool demeanor, and peevish reaction to insincere persons. Rodel, liked our Dad, adhered to the maxim that "honesty is the best policy".
At an early age, as my Dad and Mom clearly remembered, Rodel showed a flair for arts: to draw, to act and to sing. With pencil on hand, he would doodle from anything that struck his childish fancy. Rodel's early love for arts spurred his resolve to be an entertainer. He would strum the guitar or would tinker with the home piano. The sound of music continuously rang in his ears refreshing his whole being like wafts of fresh air in hot summer day. Before Rodel left the Philippines for Canada in 1979to join his immigrant family, he was already making waves. He was one of the most publicized newcomer. Within few months, Rodel was cast as the leading role in two major motion pictures. His boyish appeal captured the hearts of many. But in spite of his enormous publicities, he felt there was not enough projects coming his way... not even a recording contract which he had been aiming forever since the start of his career. It was all hype no real meaty work, no direction. That was when he decided to leave for Canada.Rodel always believed in God and attributed this to his mother's influence and strong faith in the Almighty. He was 17 years old when Rodel was touched by the message of the of the speakers in a Christian Youth Conference held at Philippine Theological Seminary in Mariveles, Bataan. Rodel went forward to receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. After the camp, Rodel became more active in church activities. Also Rodel and our sister, Rosalie, and five of their friends formed a singing group and they called themselves The New Sound. The group sang in different churches and Christian television shows.
"When I got sick, I knew it was time to get right with God. Sometimes the Lord gives us a big spanking to call our attention and causes us to go to Him. I got so scared when it was confirmed that I was an HIV positive. My spiritual condition nagged at me. I walked away from God and stayed that way for a long time. Often I thought about going back to Him but I never acted on it.
After a few years, the reality of my illness hit me and I cried. I have wandered off the path very often but I knew that God was there. I figure that without this illness, I would never have turned back to God. Though I'd like to be healed, and wish this never happened, God is able to turn it around for an eternal purpose. I don't believe God is making me suffer for the past. He is not a God Who enjoys giving punishment. He is a God of healing and restoration, not a God of destruction. We are the ones who do that. God had a beautiful plan for me. I didn't walk according to His plan. Now I'm back with Him and realize how much more eternity means to me in relationship to what life means now. God is more concerned with the condition of my soul than my physical being. I feel that God loves me so much that He doesn't want me to go astray. Possibly God allowed this sickness to get my attention.
I don't understand so many things, but I'm hanging on to His promises. God knows my heart and the desires of my heart. He knows everything about me. Certain things will be revealed to me when I meet Him face to face ... and I am looking forward to it, you know. So when I go, wish me von voyage!"
June 1995 - about a week before Rodel died. Delia (holding the basin), Myra (sister-in-law), and Marie, the youngest, as they were washing Rodel, changing his clothes and trying to keep him comfortable. Rodel chose to stay home rather than in the hospital Year: 80s/90s
Genre: Pop/Standard [-]