2012: Oh what a RAGing year it was!

rag2012A swift glance at Rachelle Ann Go’s professional life in 2012 and you’d see a path that remained rocky but lighted. Well lighted, if I may say so. Many still feel she could have done better where it not for some factors that continue to cause some hiccups in her career but one thing is for sure: she is never impatient. Never had been and seems never will be. Unfazed by what ifs, she continues to do things the way she believes she should and in the process has earned the admiration of many who may have become too impatient with their own lives.

Surprisingly, many still lament her move from ABS-CBN to GMA. You can read about these sentiments in Twitter and Facebook, as well as other forums and showbiz-related websites. Some express this in a way that is offensive, some with regret. Yet for someone who has followed her career all these years, the move continues to prove to be a smart one. If honesty becomes truly the best policy, the move to another network worked wonders for this prolific artist, whose talent was frozen for years, allowing only glimpses of it during rare moments when others pale in comparison. Thanks to the prime movers of GMA, she continues to prove her mettle as not just a bankable performer but a gem as well in raising the bar when it comes to dedication to her craft.

2012 saw Rachelle dabble in more challenges that she otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to jump into had she played it “safe” and stayed where she was for years without making much headway. She proved naysayers wrong by showing her trailblazing ways as she took full advantage of every opportunity that came her way. The lady, who once said that she is not that comfortable acting in front of a camera, wowed everyone when she bravely took on the lead role of Ariel in The Little Mermaid in 2011. Her first dibs in theatre not only earned her rave reviews but boosted her confidence as an artist. And when news broke sometime in August that Cameron Mackintosh intends a West End restaging of Miss Saigon, it wasn’t surprising when hoards of people felt she would be perfect for the role. Their confidence in her ability to breathe new life to Kim, a role that our very own treasure Lea Salonga introduced to the world, is a testament to the respect that she has earned despite her miniscule experience in the world of theatre. A respect that is well-earned through hard work, honest-to-goodness talent, professionalism and most of all humility.

It wasn’t an easy decision for her to finally turn in that registration form. Yet she felt that it was a rare chance to make another dream come true. She had prayed over it and prepared herself well. She tried to focus on what needed to be done and guarded her decision closely from the media despite their hounding. Although everybody expected her to say YES to queries about taking that chance, she held her cards close to her heart, only letting the cat out of the bag when that registration form was finally filed. Without funfare, she went through the audition in mid-November and was among those who earned the honor of being shortlisted by the team of Mackintosh. Even if no announcements had been made, the fact does not make the feat any less remarkable. As they say, if there is a will, there will always be a way. Busy schedule notwithstanding, she was able to make it through to the end…just like we all knew she would.

Yet playing Ariel wasn’t the only factor that made her follow through with her dream to do Miss Saigon, having just fulfilled yet another dream just weeks before her successful audition. On October 26, 2012 she once again showed us that she isn’t just another diva that is one-dimensional. She finally jumped into the bandwagon of self-producing her concert with the help of friends and colleagues who believed in her through the years. This concert that almost didn’t happen was riddled with challenges, including going through a throat problem that threatened to douse cold water on this new endeavor, but faith, hard work and sheer guts pulled her through.

“The feeling is so different, so good. I was able to do what I wanted to do as an artist, I was able to sing the songs I wanted to sing, and was able to do a concert that was about me and my journey. It’s a different experience altogether to be able to come up with a show that reflected who I really am,” she said with much gratitude. “It was very difficult but was very fulfilling. Yes, I was nervous but I was more excited than nervous. You know that feeling that I was able to do this. There were so many challenges along the way. I was very hands on, talking to sponsors, looking over the many aspects of production and experiencing the pressures not just as an artist but as a producer. I was involved in the music, even the lights and so many other things. Some of my friends were even telling me to let go of these details and focus instead on the performance but I wanted to be part of all those. I wanted everything to be perfect, it being my first self-produced concert. I learned so much that made me appreciate and respect the people behind the cameras even more. Whereas before I thought my job as an artist was difficult since I had to be the one facing the audience, this experience gave me a different insight on the whole process behind the cameras. I saw the challenges of being part of the production staff and being a producer where you need to look after everything and make sure things run as smoothly as possible.”

Rachelle admitted that the whole process was stressful but she loved doing it. It also humbled her how friends from the industry, like Direk Rico Gutierrez and his team who said they were doing it for the love of Rachelle, were there to support her no matter what. She admitted that there came a point when she wanted to give up but her friends and supporters encouraged her and pushed her to continue. “Their trust in me made me trust myself again,” she said. “When those difficult times came, I reminded myself to go back to my original goal in producing this concert – and that is to do it as a gift to God. I reminded myself that these bad vibes were just to challenge me. If God never gave up on me, why should I give up on Him whom I know is behind me in this endeavor?”

Her never ending gratitude to God and His blessings extended to the unconditional support from the people who love her, including school friends whom she hadn’t been in contact with for years and yet had offered their help. And of course her fans who were so tirelessly helping promote the concert despite being moved from one month to another. She was so blessed to have so many people behind her especially after her own management team’s seemingly lukewarm participation in this important undertaking of hers (which did not escape many a people’s eyes by the way). And when asked if she would like to do it all over again, without hesitation she replied with an enthusiastic yes and even went on to say she dreams of creating a production house someday.

“Everything fell into place that night. It was perfect,” she said. The rains stopped. People came despite it being a holiday (originally the venue was free on the 25th but was suddenly available on the 26th). “There were many flaws that made me want to do the concert all over again, I admit, but these were just minor things that were not enough to spoil that evening.”

Rachelle may be one artist who was not given the opportunities she deserved through the years. Yet, good for her, she is one person who knows how to create these opportunities for herself without having to step on other people’s toes. In fact, her generosity as an artist despite the lack of support from those who are suppose to be looking after her benefit, was one of the reasons why opportunities open up to her at the right time. For how can one say no to someone who has given you so much or inspired you so deeply?

Rachelle has proven that the odds can work for you. When you’ve got the talent, when your heart is in the right place and when you have earned the respect of your colleagues, nothing can bring you down. Now if you have God on your side, which she definitely makes sure of all the time, how can she lose? Winning isn’t just fame, or trending, or being a Youtube sensation. It isn’t even in the number of products you endorse or the string of shows you have. The best accomplishment is one that touches the hearts of many in significant ways – making them yearn to be better, push them to act and do better, and to pass on that inspiration to others. And she has definitely started a wave of inspiration that has made so many people realize just how blessed they are and how they can be a blessing to others.

2012 definitely showed us that Rachelle Ann Go is no pushover. Her gut feel cannot be faulted and her faith cannot be questioned. She has turned challenges into opportunities to show us that nothing is impossible if you believe…and then work hard to achieve your goals. The year also showed her that her desire to inspire is the very reason why she has reaped such blessings that transcend the material or superficial world. What she reaped in 2012 goes beyond the trappings of fame. She has truly captured what is truly important in a person – the heart and the soul – and that is a RAGing feat indeed!


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