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Article 13



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Ready for Regine?

Zsa Zsa Padilla sings with so much feeling because she's in love (with Dolphy, as if you didn't know!). And so do Sharon Cuneta (with Francis Pangilinan) and Kuh Ledesma (with Louie Gonzales).

How come Regine Velasquez sings with as much, even more, feeling when she's not in love (except maybe with herself)?

"Secret!" says Regine who is launching today on S.O.P. (GMA 7) her latest album (Viva Records), R2K.

On Dec. 3, 4 and 11, Regine goes back to the Music Museum for her Regine 2000 and for sure, she'll sing up a storm as usual as if there were no tomorrow.

Tomorrow. Come to think of it, what's in store for Regine, career-wise and in her private life, in Year 2000 and beyond?

Two weeks ago, Regine sat with Conversations at the newly-opened Uva Restaurant (ground floor of the Century Imperial Palace Suites, Timog-Morato Rotonda, Quezon City) and candidly opened her heart for the whole world to peep in.

So what`s new?

"I just finished doing the R2K album. That`s what`s new with me." I have no idea kung pang-ilang album ko `to, pang-10th ba o pang-11th? It`s definitely my last album for the millennium. May choice ba? May time pa ba to do another one? It`s my first produced album, ako talaga ang producer. It`s my second album for Viva (Records)."

That seems to be the trend. Sharon (Cuneta) has produced her latest album and Nora (Aunor) is producing her latest album.
"Sa stature nila, I think it`s the right thing to do. Even in the States, `yung mga big-name artists produce their own albums."
What`s the name of your label?

"I don`t have my own label. Kumbaga, I`m just producing the album for Viva. Ayoko munang magkaroon ng label. Mahirap, e. Kumbaga, that`s another responsiblity that I have to think about. Ayoko muna!"

You don`t want to sort of branch out yet?

"Actually, I`ve been doing other things -- other than singing. I also directed by newest, my second, MTV like the first one I did a year ago. Discover and manage other artists (like what some singers are doing)? Ayoko muna. Hindi ko pa kaya. I`m more of an artist than a businesswoman."

How different is R2K from your past albums?

"It was Jackie (Regala, a Filipino journalist based in L.A.) who gave me that title when I saw her in L.A. where I did a concert. Magandang title, di ba? Regine 2000! Ganda, `no? In this album, I think mas mature ang pagkanta ko. I guess that next year, mawawala na ang revivals so I want naman to catch maski ang tailend of the trend."

How did you choose the songs for the album?

"The songs are revivals pero varied. Mga pop, ganoon. Nag-survey kami. We put up a portion on S.O.P. (where she`s a co-host) where fans could write in their requests. Kung ano `yung pinaka-maraming requests `yon `yung songs that we included in the album. I was very happy because the response was, wow, ang dami-dami! Which was just as well because R2K is an album dedicated to my fans. Some fans requested for so many songs, from No. 1 to No. 100! Some of the requested songs not included in the album, kinakanta ko na lang sa S.O.P."

Did the 17 selected songs jibe with your own choices?

"Yeah, they did! Actually, all of the songs they requested, madalas ko nang kantahin in my concerts, but they wanted them recorded, like Don`t Wanna Miss A thing (by Aerosmith, theme song of Armageddon). I always sing that in my concerts and the fans wanted it included. Also On the Wings of Love, In Your Eyes, `yung mga `yon."

Of the 17 songs, which is your favorite?
"In Your Eyes. That`s kasi my winning piece in Bagong Kampeon, kaya may sentimental value sa akin."
What`s your favorite line from that song?
"All the lines! I relate to a song not because of any particular line but to the totality of the song."
Aside from Regine Velasquez, who`s your favorite singer?

(Pouts in mock dismay) "Hindi ko nga favorite ang sarili ko, e. Antipakita daw ako!"
Dati `yon. Ngayon hindi na!
(Breaks into a wide smile and flies kiss to four corners of the restaurant) "Thank you, thank you!"

Okay, your favorite singers. . .

"Siempre Barbra Streisand. I love everything that she is and she does -- the songs that she sings, the way she phrases her songs, the way she presents her songs, vivang-viva! But lately, ever since Mariah (Carey) came out, `yung kanyang unplugged album, parang mas naka-relate ako sa kanya. I don`t know why."

Is it Mariah`s voice or style?

"Not the voice, not the style, because I don`t think magka-pareho kami. Basta, ang galing-galing niya! Medyo malayo ako sa kanya. It`s her personality. `Yon! I can relate to her personality better than I can relate to Streisand. Also, rugs-to-riches din ang estorya niya; parating inaapi, kawawa."

Celine Dion`s story is also rugs-to-riches.

"But in the case of Celine Dion and Jewel, another rugs-to-riches girl, they became confident already. Ang feeling ko, si Mariah is not yet that confident."

Regine, what about your movie career? Your last movie, Viva Films`Dahil May Isang Ikaw (with Aga Muhlach), was very good. It made money; you were good in it. Maganda ang mga reviews.

"Ang original plan was for me to do two movies a year. But with my singing commitments at mga gimik-gimik -- alam mo naman ako, mahilig gumimik -- I couldn`t finish two movies a year; isa lang ang kaya kong gawin. But that`s good enough so I won`t be over-exposed naman. I do S.O.P. once a week, I do concerts very often. so okay na ang exposure ko."

Sayang naman ang kikitain sa movies.

"In singing kasi, in gimik-gimik, I can earn in one month half of what I can earn from a movie. Less work pa. You put on the Minus One and you sing and that`s it. Less pagod."

Sayang naman your team-up with Aga.
Is it true that you and Aga are still seeing each other?
"Who said so? Actually, I haven`t seen him for a long while!"

Is it true that you sometimes drop by his place in Ayala Alabang?
"Ano!?!" (Recovers self and smiles) "Ayoko. May multo daw sa bahay na `yon!"
"Yeah! Aga told me about the multo."
Who does the multo look like, Dayanara (Torres), Melissa (Fernandez) or Regine (Velasquez)?

"I don`t know! Actually, I`ve never been to Aga`s house. I don`t know how it looks like. Kinu-kuwento lang niya sa akin."

Did Aga try to court you?

"Ewan ko sa kanya! Padinig lang siya nang padinig, wala namang ginagawa!"
Meaning you`re waiting for him to make the right move?
(Joking -- kunwari?) "Ayoko ng padinig lang. Gusto ko may action! Joke only!"
You hardly have any lovelife. Is work all that you`re doing? Remember, all work and no play makes Jack(ie) a dull girl.

"I don`t really go out; I rarely go out. But I love to watch concerts, something which I can`t do these days. But when I`m not busy, sumi-segue ako sa show ni Jaya, sa show ni Martin (Nievera). Or Side A. Everywhere Side A has a show, sinusundan ko sila. I`m fond of watching concerts."

What do you like about Side A?

"`Yung songs nila. I`ve been a Side A fan from way back. Even when the Side A was only performing at Calesa Bar, I used to go there with Papa (her father, Mang Gerry) who`s also a Side A fan; nakiki-jam ako sa kanila. Sila lang `yung lagi kong sinusundan."

What about disco?
"Ay, ayoko ng disco! I`m not fond talaga sa disco."
Have you got used to city life (after living since birth in her native Bulacan)?

"I`ve been staying (in Quezon City) for two years. The only change in my life is that I always get sick. Pollution, you know. Sa Quezon City yata, matindi ang lead content ng air. I always suffer from colds, nawawalan ako ng boses. In Bulacan, when I sleep, I really sleep. I wake up at 4 o`clock in the afternoon. Here, I can`t sleep very well. At 10 o`clock in the morning, napaka-ingay na ng paligid. Brroommm! Mga motor! In Bulacan, ang gumigising sa akin huni ng ibon. Very soothing, di ba?"

With your sister Cacai now married (to theater actor Raul Roxas, who played The Engineer in the German version of Miss Saigon, by whom Cacai has a child) and living away from you, don`t you feel lonely living alone in your condo?

"Another sister is now living with me. I hired her to be my PA (Production Assistant)."

Ah, so you don`t have any chance to, well, be naughty in your condo?
"Nice girl ako, `no!"
Besides, you`re not capable. Wala sa personality mo.
"Sana nga capable ako, e!" (Joking) "Gusto ko kasi, sweet and saintly ang image ko."
Don`t you think that you`re missing out on something, on anything?
"Not really. I haven`t tried whatever it is, so why would I miss it?"
Don`t you miss being, you know, courted by guys?                                        
"You know what, hindi ako lapitin ng mga guys, e! The ones who approach simply say, `Hi!,' and then wala na."
Maybe they`re scared or intimidated because you`re Regine Velasquez.
"I don`t know!" (Still joking) "Hoy, kayo riyan, huwag kayong matakot. Lapitan n`yo ako!"
Mukhang na-trauma ka or nagka-phobia after your experience with Ariel (Rivera, now the husband of Gelli de Belen).

"Not really. Hindi naman masyado. The truth is that I`m keeping myself busy because I haven`t really found the right guy, `yung taong talagang ipo-pursue ako. During my time with Ariel, busy rin naman ako, but I really made time for him. When you`re in love, you make time for your loved one. You can attend to your career and be in love at the same time, di ba?"

So you`re not missing out on anything?

"I don`t think so. I`m living a fulfilled life. Okay ang career ko. I have friends. I have my family. It doesn`t mean that when you`re not in love (with a guy), hindi ka fulfilled."

What are you looking for in a guy?

(Still joking) "Kahit ano, puwede!" (Turning serious) "Actually, at my age (29) I should be married already. Ayoko namang just because nasa edad ka na, maski sino na lang. That`s not me; hindi ganoon ang personality ko. I don`t mind even if it takes me a long time to find my true love. I don`t want to force myself dahil napre-pressure ako, o kaya magti-30 na ako at hindi na ako magkaka-anak."

When you fall in love, you really fall hard, di ba?                                  

"Hard, talaga! I`m romantic by nature. Isn`t it nice for a relationship to start in friendship? You know, getting to know each other very well before becoming sweethearts. Mga ganoon."

By the way, are you aware of the blind items putting your friendship with Kuh (Ledesma) in a, well, "different" light?                  
"Yung nag-aaway daw kami lagi?"  "No something else."                                                          
(Getting the message) "Hay, may ganoon bang blind items? Please, puwede ba! Kuh is one of my friends, although not the type, unlike Pops (Fernandez), na tinatawag-tawagan mo. I still look up to Kuh as my idol. Medyo nahihiya pa rin ako sa kanya, but we`re friends. My friendship with Pops goes back a long way, since 1985 pa yata. I call her and she calls me. Only once did something happen na hindi kami nagka-intindihan and we had a tampuhan. But during a trip to Europe, we were able to sort things out."

Who are your good friends in showbiz aside from them?

"Not that many. Kuh is almost like an ate to me, always giving me (pieces of) advice. Ang mga payo pa nga niya sa akin tungkol sa boyfriend-boyfriend, e! She told me kasi that she couldn`t survive without love. Di ba she and her husband (Louie Gonzales) had a problem before? Hindi daw siya makakanta!"

Ikaw, even without love, you really sing with all your heart -- and lungs. What inspires you?

"Well, not necessarily a guy. It could be a song, or a relative, or a fan, or even a stranger who touches me in a way. Or if I watch an interview on TV at magaling ang mga sagot n`ung ini-interview, nai-inspire na ako sa ganoon. Mababaw, `no?"

What do you expect in the next millennium?                                                  
(Face lighting up) "A Millennium Papa! Hi, Papa! Whoever you may be!"
If you were a song, what would it be?
"A ballad. On The Wings of Love! Yon! I love the feeling of being in love. Masarap, di ba? Sana, ang aking Millennium Papa ay ganoon din. Romantic. Sana, huwag siyang maging Millennium Bug!"

If you're were a song
It would be a instant classic. 

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