Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez faced the entertainment
press, including PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), at the
launching of her first album with Universal Records (UR) titled Low Key. The
launch was held on the 9th floor of Universal Tower in Quezon Avenue
yesterday, November 14.
Compared to her previous albums, Low Key has Regine singing
mellow songs—all covers. Some of the tracks include Terri Gibbs's "Tell Me That
You Love Me," Don McLean's "And I Love You So," Rita Cooldige's "I'd Rather
Leave While I'm In love," Katie Irving's "I Never Dreamed Someone Like You
Could Love Someone Like Me," Orsa Lia's "No Walls, No Ceilings, No Floors;" Cat
Steven's "How Can I Tell You," Dennis Lambert's "Of All the Things," Dan
Fogelberg's "Longer," Janis Japlin's "At Seventeen," Christopher Cross's
"Never Be the Same," and the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever."
Noticeably, Regine's rendition of the songs is more
restrained, a far cry from the usual belting that she does in most of her
"Yeah, that's why it's called Low Key, 'cause it's more
relaxed, more laid-back," she agrees. "Hindi naman talagang pinigil, ‘no, but
the songs are mellow din kasi, e. So, ang hirap namang magtititili ako na... It doesn't
really call for it."
Who chose the tracks in the album?
"UR, of course, helped with the selection of the songs,"
says the Asia's Songbird. "Pero pinili ko talaga yung mga songs na I'm very
familiar with. And most of these songs talaga are my favorites, the songs that
you hear on the radio... Pag nag-iisip ka ng kantang favorite mo, parang
kinakalimutan mo na. But when you hear it, you'll just say na parang, ‘Oo nga,
alam ko ang kanta na ‘to.' And you sing along with it, di ba?"
PEP asked Regine why she decided to do an all-covers album
again, like her last album with Viva Records, Covers 2.
"Kasi uso na naman siya ngayon, e," she replies. "Hindi
pa ako nauubusan ng kantang ire-revive, e. I would really love to record naman
an all-original album, kasi I haven't done that in a while.
"Yung panahon din
ngayon, people like to hear something that they are already familiar with. So,
sa akin, okay lang din naman to give our audience what they want. Plus, I
happen to like naman all the songs. It's an opportunity for me to do
this also kase these are the songs I used to listen to on the radio, and wishing
that one day, I'll be able to have my own version. It has come true na.
"Pero like I said, I also would like to record original
songs. Anyway, kapag gumagawa naman ako ng pelikula, gumagawa rin ako ng
soundtrack. I'm able naman to do that, e. Like the theme songs, usually
ginagawa nang original. Kung hindi man yung theme song, may ginagawang kanta
especially just for the movie. So, nagagawa ko pa rin naman ‘yon," explains Regine.
Regine also reveals that she has songs in the album
dedicated to her parents, Gerry and Tessie Velasquez. For her father, Regine recorded Dan
Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band" while she picked Billy Joel's "She's Always A
Woman To Me" for her mom.
What about a song for her special someone, Ogie Alcasid?
"Actually, if you listen to the whole album, halatang in
love ako!" laughs Regine. "Halata talaga, kasi sabi nga ni Ms. Kathleen Dy ng
Universal, very emotional yung album. So ‘yon, yun lang ang maiko-comment ko
REGINE'S NEW LEADING MAN. Before the start of the presscon proper, the music video of
"Tell Me That You Love Me," Regine's first single in Low Key, was shown. In the
music video, Regine was paired with half-Brazilian, half-Japanese model Akihiro
Sato, who is one of the Top 10 Cosmopolitan bachelors this year.
What can she say about her leading man?
"Ang cute-cute niya," Regine says with a smile. "He's such a nice ‘boy.' No, he's such a
nice guy. I hope something happens to him. Gusto niyang mag-artista. Nag-aaral
managalog. He's very handsome. And I really, really hope that something really
good will happen to him. Kasi he's only 25, and I think he's got potential.
"Pero ang cute niya, he's a gentleman. The whole time, medyo
nanginginig siya, pero game siya. Kasi nga, he's not naman from here. I think
he's been here for like six months lang, so hindi niya ako kilala. Naririnig na
niya yung mga kuwento about me, ganun-ganun. So parang, ‘My God, I'm so honored.' Di lang niya alam,
pinagsamantalahan ko na siya!" laughs Regine.
Regine also had some kissing scenes with Akihiro in their music video. Does Ogie knows about this?
"Sanay na siya, e," says Regine. "Hindi ko na nga
pinapaalam. Nakikita na lang niya. Sabi niya [Regine makes a face], ‘A, may ganyan
pala.' Parang yung movie namin ni Piolo [Pascual] yata, akala niya isa lang.
Kasi normally sa last lang... Parang binibilang niya, ‘Ba't ang dami na?' Parang
kumota na raw ako. Pero ganun lang naman ‘yon."
She then added, "Pero siya bawal siyang makipag-kissing
scene. Unfair, ano? Basta ‘yon. Yun ang rules and regulations!"
MAJOR FIGHT WITH OGIE. Ogie mentioned in a separate interview that he and Regine
had a major fight recently when he forgot about their fourth anniversary as a
couple last November 11. Ogie was shooting scenes for the movie Desperadas 2 at the time. (CLICK here to
read related story.)
"Siya ba ang nagsabi no'n? E, gago pala siya, e! Minura
talaga!" quips Regine when we asked about her reaction.
"Hindi ko naman inaway, bonggang-bonggang hindi ko lang
pinansin! Hindi, kasi usapan namin, anniversary namin, dinner. Akalain mo, nag-shooting!
Inis na inis ako! Pero okay na ‘yon, nakabawi naman na siya nang
bonggang-bongga. Binigyan niya ako ng cash!" she says in jest.
Was she supposed to prepare anything, like cooking a meal
"Yeah, pero nag-pancit pa rin kami!" Regine laughs. "Long
life, pancit... Hindi ako nagluto kasi na-depress na ako, nag-pancit na lang
kami... Hindi naman, nakabawi din naman siya. At saka ano naman ako, uto-uto.
Madali naman akong ma-uto. Yun kasing talent fee niya sa movie niya, mapupunta
sa akin ‘yon!"
Does she have any plan of doing a "Regine Sings Alcasid"
"I really would like to do that," she says. "Sharon [Cuneta]
did it, and he was so honored. It would be nice if mabigyan din ako ng chance
to sing his songs ‘cause he's got beautiful songs. And most of them are
dedicated to me!"
What happened to the movie that she was supposed to do with
"Hindi ko nga alam, e," says Regine. "Kasi hindi na kami nagtagpu-tagpo sa
schedule. Kasi nung time na puwede ako, siya naman yung hindi puwede. Nung
puwede na siya, gumawa na ako ng soap [Ako Si Kim Samsoon]. Hindi na kami
"But I talked to Boss Vic [del Rosario, Viva Films top
honcho], he still wants to do it. Hindi lang kasi nagtutugma yung schedule
namin ngayon, e. Next year, I'll have a lot of out-of-the-country shows, so
hindi nagtatagpo. Pero maganda naman kasi he's [Ogie] now doing his own thing. He has
a movie [Desperadas 2] na girl siya, nakakatawa... Uy, may kissing scene din siya,
ha! Sa lalake! Boy din! I'm excited for him.
"Hopefully magawa namin. Kasi maganda talaga yung story
no'n, sobra! Ang cute-cute nung story no'n. 'Tsaka parang bagay talaga sa amin.
Kasi romantic-comedy, e. But in the meantime, gagawa muna ako ng Totoy Bato.
Ako yung ‘bato'!" jokes Regine about her next soap in GMA-7.
REGINE, THE TV STAR. Before talking about her new primetime series, Regine first
thanked the press and the people who supported Ako Si Kim Samsoon. The romantic-comedy series did very well at the ratings. In fact, its
last episode even topped the ratings game.
In Ako Si Kim Samsoon, Regine played an overweight single woman in her late 30s who fell in love with a younger man (Mark Anthony Fernandez).
"We didn't expect that it would be [a hit]. Siyempre comeback ko
‘yon, e, plus deglamorized ako, di ba? You know what's funny? When I'm in the
fat suit, parang I'm so confident na magsayaw ng gano'n. Wala akong pakialam.
Pero ‘pag wala, parang nahihiya ako. Sobrang thankful talaga ako sa Kim
Samsoon," says Regine.
And now, GMA-7 has given her another soap, Totoy Bato, a TV
remake of the Carlo J. Caparas novel. Totoy Bato was first made into a movie in 1977 and then a sequel followed in 1979, both starring Fernando Poe, Jr.
Regine will play the leading lady of Robin Padilla in Totoy Bato. This will be their third time to work together, but first time
in a soap. They starred in the movies Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw (2000) and Till I Met You (2006).
Although Totoy Bato is primarily a dramatic series, Regine's
role will still be on the comedy side.
"Comedy pa rin ako," she says. "I mean, romantic-comedy na
action, na may konting drama. Kasi parang tanggap na somehow ng mga tao na
gano'n ako. Nakikita nila akong umiiyak, pero gusto nila na bumabawi ako na
nakakatawa pa rin. So I think GMA doesn't wanna veer away from that genre na
somehow I am falling [into]."
Regine will play a singer in Totoy Bato, about which she says,
"Parang mahirap nga kasi very... Parang I've never played a singer before. Parang
it's so out of my character. So, it's challenging." Obviously, Regine is just
Will regine also be doing action scenes in Totoy Bato, since
Robin's past TV projects required all his leading ladies to do some stunts as
"Right now, nagte-train ako," she reveals. "Twice a week,
meron akong boxing. Kasi ina-anticipate ko na yung mga action scenes. Kasi
gusto nilang gumawa rin ako ng konting action. Ayoko naman na to be in a
situation like that tapos wala man lang akong form. Kasi medyo lanky ako, e. Gusto
ko medyo believable naman ako.
"Now I'm training twice a week, and also to lose the pounds
I gained from Kim Samsoon, from eating all the pastries. Bilang ako si Kim
Samsoon, nilunon ko lahat ng pagkain. Nagkakagulo pa sila sa braso ko ngayon!"
Mac Alejandre will direct Totoy Bato, which will start
taping January next year.
DIVAS 4 DIVAS. On December 6, Regine will join Kuh Ledesma, Zsa Zsa
Padilla, and Pops Fernandez in a major concert at the Araneta Coliusem. Billed
as Divas 4 Divas, four of the top female singers in the country will perform
together for the first time.
"Pinaghahandaan namin ‘to nang bonggang-bongga!" exclaims
Regine. "Siyempre, bago yung apat kami. Kami ni Kuh nagsama na kami, kami ni
Pops nagsama na kami. Pero hindi ko pa nakasama si Zsa Zsa talaga sa isang
concert. So, exciting na kaming apat.
"Siyempre magulo ‘yon, kanya-kanyang ideas
bilang iba-ibang personalities. Pero somehow we jive, e. So expect a really,
really good show."
Who chose their repertoire?
"Kami lahat, ang gulo nga, e!" laughs Regine. "Kasi nga kung
anu-ano ang gusto naming kantahin. Pero excited din kami to be on one stage
together and to perform together. Siyempre kapag may performance, may
rehearsal, may kung anu-ano. Excited kaming magsama-sama kaming apat.
"This has been Kuh's dream to do a concert like this.
Matagal na namin ‘tong binabalak talaga. Hindi lang natutuloy dahil sa schedule
Since the four of them are considered divas and the best in
the music industry, who does Regine thinks will shine?
"Each of us, we have our strengths, e," she answers. "Like ako, I'm more of
a balladeer. Si Kuh naman does soulful and ethnic songs, Zsa Zsa sings sultry
songs, and Pops is good with dance music. So, maganda yung mix."
Regine says they will have no guests in the concert. She
added, "Bawat isa will have one solo, but most of it will be production numbers
or duet with ganito, trio, tapos quartet."
What about the billing?
"According to age!" she jokes. "Hindi, seniority: Kuh, Zsa
Zsa, Pops, and me. Hindi na issue ‘yon. We just wanna have fun. We're beyond