After 'Broken Marriage Vow,' Rachel Alejandro returns to concert scene

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Jul 22 2022 06:21 AM

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @racheljalejandro

MANILA -- For someone who has been performing since she was eight years old, singer-actress Rachel Alejandro is simply hard to slow down. While the pandemic prevented her from performing live onstage, she did not stop recording songs and lining up activities.

Last year, she released a new single, “Takipsilim,” produced by Rebel Records Philippines. The song was penned by Rain Santana and produced by Alejandro’s cousin, Niño Alejandro.

“Takipsilim” was Alejandro’s first original recording since the duet songs with Ebe Dancel and Joanna Ampil, which were contemporary pop songs that were part of the “Ang Larawan” album in 2017. 

“Since then, I signed up with Star Music and released ‘The Great OPM Songbook Volume 1’ which is available on music platforms,” Alejandro told ABS-CBN News. “I’m hoping to record a new album perhaps next year.”

Alejandro’s last live performance before the pandemic was a Valentine concert in San Antonio, Texas in February 2020. It was a fundraiser that nurses in that community organized for the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption.

“Little did we know then there was a way bigger crisis about to explode,” she recalled. Then the pandemic happened that disrupted everything around the world. 
     
Although she has resumed her US concert tour in May this year and has successfully performed in 10 cities around North America, Alejandro remained tentative about doing a live concert again in Manila.

“Luckily, nearly all my shows that were postponed in 2020 were moved to 2022,” Alejandro said. “But just earlier this year, most of us live performers weren’t sure when we would ever get back to work again. It was a dark and scary time for many of us.

“It feels really, really good to be able to sing for people in person, to see and hear their reactions live and share my music with them again. My favorite part is when my audiences jump to their feet and start dancing.

“Giving people that chance to unwind and let loose as they reminisce their younger, more carefree years, is a blessing I will never take for granted.”

On July 30, Alejandro will stage a one-night only concert at the Winford Hotel and Casino Ballroom. She is performing with a live band. Her guests are “X-Factor UK” finalist Maria Laroco and crooner Lance Carlos. The concert is directed by Vergel Sto Domingo. 

“This [show] was actually originally supposed to happen in March of 2020,” Alejandro explained. “Tickets then were almost sold out when the lockdown was announced.

“Since then, producer and director, Vergel Sto. Domingo and I have kept in touch, messaging each other every few months trying to determine when we can reschedule the show. We finally decided on July 30 as our new date.”

Not a few were surprised when Alejandro returned to acting this year and essayed the character of Nathalia Lucero in “The Broken Marriage Vow.” The show, which is ABS-CBN's adaptation of the British drama series, “Doctor Foster,” concluded last month.

“I was among the fortunate ones who were able to pivot to doing something else during the pandemic,” Alejandro proudly said. “In my case, TV acting, in the ‘The Broken Marriage Vow.’ It was my first foray as a major character in a teleserye.

“I have always preferred doing concerts, musicals and films. Since all of that was on hold, I decided to give ‘The Broken Marriage Vow’ a try. I didn’t expect that the show would be received so well by our kababayans here and all over the world.

“It certainly paved the way and sparked interest for producers to bring me to their communities when live entertainment started making a comeback.”

The lock-in shoot for the cast of The Broken Marriage Vow” in Baguio in 2021 was “super fun” for Alejandro. She undoubtedly gained new friends and cemented old ones among the cast and crew.

“I thought that we found the right family chemistry among us almost immediately,” she said. “But to be honest, every time we were about to shoot a challenging scene, I felt intimidated and nervous that my performance might not be at par with my cast mates’ who had way more experience than me in that medium.”

Alejandro was initially worried about delivering her Tagalog lines, too. “Specifically, I had a tendency to bungle lines when I was in a scene with Jodi [Sta Maria]. To say she is intense is an understatement. She is simply one of the very best actors I’ve ever worked with.

“On the other hand, my scenes with my on-screen husband Art Acuna, daughter Sue Ramirez and trusted Yaya Maggie played by Malou Crisologo, all amazing actors, as well, felt easy and natural.”

“The Broken Marriage Vow” successfully wrapped up last month, but Alejandro will not mind working on a new teleserye again, given another chance.

She will be in Manila for a good one month, then will head back to the US to continue her concert tour. She has more performances – August 27 in Matawan, New Jersey; September 3 in Winston Salem, North Carolina; September 24 in Rochester, New York; October 1 in Queens, New York; October 8 in Anchorage, Alaska; October 16 in Arlington, Texas (Sari-Sari Festival); and October 22 in Portland, Oregon.

Alejandro recently signed with a New York/Los Angeles-based talent agency called Prestigious Powerhouse. She is slated to audition for various US-based film and TV projects. 

“The TV movie, ‘Sinister Cover-Up,’ I filmed in March is now in post-production and will be shown on a popular cable TV channel later this year,” she said.

She plays a Filipina defense lawyer who is trying to overturn a murder conviction. It is produced by Dawn’s Light Media.

“I also have an appearance in ‘Asian Persuasion,’ a film directed and produced by multi-awarded Filipino Broadway producer, Jhett Tolentino and stars KC Concepcion as the female lead.”
 
Alejandro was about to start filming “Song of the Fireflies” in 2020 when the pandemic hit. It is still on hold, but they are targeting to resume shoot early 2023.

A teaser trailer of “Song of the Fireflies” is already on YouTube, featuring Alejandro and co-star Morissette Amon. 

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This pandemic allowed Alejandro to spend more time with her journalist-husband Carlos Santamaria, who is based in New York. “I believe that if there was one positive thing that COVID-19 brought to my life is that it made my marriage stronger,” she said.

“My husband and I lived apart for the most part since he moved to New York in 2017. Even before that, I was always so busy flying to do jobs here and there that it was not out of the ordinary for us to spend many months apart.

“It wasn’t until the pandemic that we actually spent many, uninterrupted months together. That really only happened because I had no work at the time. My husband Carlos was and is my rock.

“It helped that he was also working from home so he was able to provide the emotional support that I needed.”

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