Kagay-anon Arthur “Chinggo” Madrigalejos Nery recently signed a contract with Kean Cipriano’s O/C (Odd Creatures) Records. Along with other O/C Records artists, he was launched in a special concert last month in Quezon City. His song, Life Puzzle, which he wrote and composed along with Yuuki, is enjoying positive feedback from music lovers. His journey to success has finally begun.
I first featured Chinggo here last year, when he and Yuuki launched the music video for Life Puzzle. But I’ve known Chinggo for years. I’ve seen him grow as a person and as an artist. Chinggo, you see, is my nephew. But I only got to know him really well when he joined our benefit production for The Vagina Monologues last March 2015.
Back then, Chinggo was a college student at Xavier University and a member of The Xavier Stage. He joined our production because he wanted to hone his skills as a performer. And we gave him the perfect role; that of a transgender. He was still quite new to theater at that time, but he didn’t disappoint us. He played his roles (he had several) with gusto. They weren’t perfect performances, but they were good, especially for a first-timer in the TVM world.
Since his role did not require any singing, we only heard him sing when he did a duet with another talented artist, Dan Israel Custodio, during the anniversary show of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC) at Centrio Mall. I remember taking a video of that performance because I was blown away by how he and Dan did their own version of a Jason Mraz song – and a difficult one at that. I told Chinggo he’d go places if he only focused on his craft.
Later that year, Chinggo acted in The Xavier Stage’s Holy Week offering, “Ang Pasyon ni Hesukristo”. We saw him transform from the fun-loving and gentle person that he was to a ruthless soldier. I knew right there and then that he really had what it takes to be a good performer – both as an actor and a singer.
One year later, we were again about to stage The Vagina Monologues. Without hesitation, Chinggo joined the production and told me that his goal was to portray all five transgender roles in the monologue They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy. I felt a surge of happiness after I heard him say that. You see, The Vagina Monologues is our group’s advocacy. We stage it every year (after we get the rights) for two main reasons: so the stories of the abused will be heard, and so we can contribute to the Vday Worldwide Fund for the movement against violence on women and girls. With what he said, I was assured me that we were going in the right direction; that we were doing the right thing.
To date, Chinggo has interpreted four of the five characters in the abovementioned monologue. This year, our show will be on March 08, but Chinggo won’t be able to join us. And this is perfectly okay with me – because he has finally found his calling. He is finally starting to live his dream. I (and everyone at Oro Teatro Bulawanon) have always been sure that he would become a somebody in the music scene someday. He is not only multitalented; he is also a kind-hearted person who always puts others’ needs ahead of his’. This time, he’s finally doing something for himself – and I cannot be prouder.
Last week, Chinggo and his group (including Yuuki), were given the opportunity to serenade the music-loving public with a live rendition of Life Puzzle inside the Wish 107.5 Bus. Although it wasn’t the first time a Kagay-anon artist was featured by Wish, it is a big step towards his goal. And that is what matters most right now – the fact that he is finally realizing his dreams.
If you haven’t seen the video of Arthur’s Wish 107.5 live performance yet, check it out on YouTube. You can also listen to Life Puzzle on Spotify.
To all those who dream of performing live onstage, on national television, in front of a crowd of thousands, or on the Wish Bus; keep working on your goals, do everything with passion and determination, believe in yourself, and pray! To Chinggo, who deserves everything he is enjoying now, congratulations! Thank you for passionately pursuing your dream. You are an inspiration to Kagay-anons! Keep it up, ‘dong!