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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 12, 2021



RACHEL ALEJANDRO was last seen playing Aurora Quezon in the critically acclaimed historical drama, “Quezon’s Game”. 

She’s now back in the recording scene with a new single, “Takipsilim”, her first in a decade. 

It’s produced by her cousin Nino Alejandro’s Rebel Records and released by Warner Music Philippines now available for download on Spotify.

When the pandemic lockdown hit us last year, Rachel was in New York, where her husband Carlos Santamaria is based. Not being able to entertain audiences through concerts and shows affected her. 

She was supposed to do two films: the musical “Song of the Fireflies” with Morissette Amon and the Loboc Children's Choir, and the indie film “Song for Selina” by the makers of “Quezon’s Game”, where she plays a music producer, but the pandemic halted the work on both projects. 

Rachel has since returned to New York and we got to talk her via a zoom presscon.

“The pandemic is an unprecedented time for performers like me around the world,” she says. “It has definitely impacted nearly all of us financially, but worse than that, for someone who loves her job as much as I do, to say it’s been tough is an understatement. 

"New York is one the hardest hit sa lockdowns.  It’s really scary at the beginning. Iyak ako ng iyak. We had a neighbor across who died, two days na pala, wala siyang kasama. 

"Ako, I'm very healthy, hindi ako nagkakasakit o nilalagnat. I was more worried for my husband, what will I do if he gets sick?”

When travel restrictions eased, Rachel returned to Manila.

“When I came home to Manila before Christmas last year, it just suddenly occurred to me that I wanted to create new music. 

"I haven’t had a certified hit song for many years but who’s to say it can’t happen in 2021. I thought, ‘Sure, I can’t be performing in concerts now, but I can certainly be recording.’” 

Rachel and her cousin Nino announced a song search online and in a few days, they got numerous submissions from local songwriters. 

“Takipsilim” by 19-year old Rain Santana was chosen for its haunting melody and emotional yet hopeful message. 

“We fell in love with it immediately,” Rachel says of the song which has an inspirational message saying: “Minamasdan ko ang dilim, hinahanap ang sagot sa kulay ng takipsilim.”

In a matter of weeks, Rachel recorded the song at Nino’s studio in Parañaque and taped the music video with directors Chuck Ronquillo and Aris Magayanes in Alabang. 

The music video of “Takipsilim” is now available on the Rebel Records YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3kWa5NE.

 The song title, which means “twilight” in English, is very opportune for the current trying times we’re in. 

As Rachel says: “Takipsilim or twilight is that time of day when practically all the light has gone… but not quite. Nag-aagawan ang dilim at liwanag.” 

As such, Rachel hopes her latest song will be both a new anthem for brokenhearted romantics and an ode to everyone who’s struggling during this time.

 “As this ‘takipsilim’ goes on for us displaced artists and unemployed professionals around the world, we cling to our faith, whatever that may be. My wanting to create new music was a leap of faith on my part. 

"If there is something we learned this past year, it’s that nothing can surprise us anymore. Anything can happen to any of us, both the bad and good but we should never, never lose hope!”

Did she feel bad when Joanna Ampil win all the awards for their film musical “Larawan”? 

“Her role as Candida is really the more explosive role. Me as Paula, sabi nga ng direktor namin, just be a mouse na nasa paligid-ligid lang ni Candida. 

"But I’m very happy with the movie. Everywhere it’s shown, even in various schools in remote areas here in the Philippines, the reception is very positive and favorable. Yun ang biggest satisfaction I got in also co-producing the film.”