The news of the death of RJ Rosales spread faster than wildfire in cyberspace and the over-pouring of grief from a community in disbelief has been heart-wrenching to say the least.
RJ passed away at the prime of his life, at age 37 on Monday, 5 December 2011 at approximately 11:30am.
RJ Rosales was one of the community’s beloved sons. He sang and performed at community functions during his teens while still at university studying for a Mathematics degree which later landed him a job in the bank.
However, with his talent, versatility and good looks, it was inevitable not to have been lured into the entertainment world and the community watched with pride as he shot straight to stardom.
He juggled stage engagements, concerts and recordings between Australia, Philippines and Singapore.
He evolved to become a pop idol in the Philippines appearing as one of ABS-CBN’s mainstays in shows like ASAP and performing in various night spots throughout Metro Manila.
Singapore was just as kind to him as he dazzled on their centre stages winning acclaim for various stage roles. He had just completed a stint in Beauty and the Beast in Singapore.
But he made his mark on stage when he landed the role of “Thuy” and “The Engineer” in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon in 2007 which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Helpmann Awards (the Australian equivalent of Broadway’s Tony Awards.)
Twice he stepped into the role of our hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. First in 1998, still in his teens, he played Rizal in “Sisa” at Parramatta Riverside Theatre for the Philippines Centennial Celebrations. And last year he played Rizal again in Leonor Oroso-Goquingco’s theatre masterpiece, “Her Son, Jose Rizal” at the Tom Mann Theatre, Sydney. He also delighted the audience as the guest entertainer at the Philippine Community Council’s 2010 Philippine National Day Ball.
A grieving community is still coming to grips with his sudden tragic demise. In the various roles he played: singer, actor, thespian, recording artist, he will best be remembered for his roles as a son, brother, nephew and friend; a charismatic individual who remained grounded and humble despite the ever flickering and fickle showbiz glare.
Sadly, his final role has ended and he drew the final curtains.
RJ Rosales, here today, gone tomorrow. Heaven robbed us of a true talent.
Our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Rosales family.
RJ was buried at Pine Grove Memorial Park, Minchinbury NSW after a Requiem Mass at Blessed John Paul XXIII in Stanhope Gardens NSW.