Regine Velasquez (left) will portray herself in SRO Cinemaserye Presents' upcoming story of Eva Castillo's (right) life. Eva and Regine used to be rivals during their amateur singing days.

Photo: Noel Orsal

Regine Velasquez's role in the rediscovery of former arch-rival Eva Castillo continues. This time around, Asia's Songbird will portray herself in GMA-7's upcoming SRO Cinemaserye Presents: The Eva Castillo Story, which will premiere on July 23.

Eva and Regine had a long history together as the two were considered the toughest rivals during their amateur singing days, with the former emerging triumphant on most occasions. Regine turned out to be more successful, however, in entering mainstream show business. In contrast, Eva's troubled personal life doomed what was supposed to be a promising singing career.

The two were reunited recently when Regine staged a homecoming concert in Bulacan, titled Roots to Riches. Instead of renewed rivalry, friendship between the former stage competitors was rekindled with Regine helping Eva to regain her childhood dream.

"Sinusuportahan ko talaga siya [Eva], sa career niya, sa ginagawa niya. Sana magtuluy-tuloy talaga. I've heard na maraming mga tao ang interesado talaga sa kanya," Regine told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Press) and other entertainment reporters earlier today, July 17, at the presscon of SRO Cinemaserye Presents: The Eva Castillo Story.

For someone who knew Eva during the time she was actively showcasing her singing talent, Regine confessed feeling sad when she saw her former stage nemesis again after years of constant struggle.

"'Yong mga unang kita pa lang namin, lagi siyang umiiyak," she said. "Pero ngayon, nakita ko, I always say nga na the first time na nagkita kami after ilang years I can really see how sad she was—ang baba talaga ng self-esteem. But now after Roots to Riches, I came home from the States nakita ko siya sa SOP and iba na siya. Meron na siyang glow, nagti-twinkle na ang kanyang mga eyes."

HAPPY FOR OGIE. Regine couldn't contain her happiness either for the current success of boyfriend Ogie Alcasid's acting career, both in television and the big screen.

Ogie's upcoming movie, OMG (Oh My Girl), will be shown this coming July 29.

"Natutuwa ako kasi successful siya sa kanyang movie career ngayon. Natatandaan ko kasi medyo pinag-uusapan namin 'yan lagi. Kasi, di ba, dati mas nag-concentrate siya sa pelikula? Mas marami nga siyang movie sa akin, e. Nag-movie siya with Bong [Revilla], Daboy [Rudy Fernandez]... ang dami niyang pelikula before. Sila pa noon ni Michelle [Van Eimeren], sila ni Michael V, ang dami-dami niyang movie, and then I think he got tired and then he wanted to concentrate on singing.

"Tapos ngayon naman na parang okay na siya sa singing career niya, he wanted to go back to movies. Pero parang he's feeling bad, kasi 'yong tamang project, hindi dumadating sa kanya," Regine said.

All that changed last year when Ogie was cast in the second installment of Regal Entertainment's Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Desperadas 2, along with Ruffa Gutierrez, Iza Calzado, Rufa Mae Quinto, and Marian Rivera.

Curiously, Ogie's role in OMG! somehow resembles his Desperadas 2 character since the talented comedian-singer will once again assume the role of a woman.

"Kaya lang, nakakatawa kasi puro babae 'yong role na napupunta sa kanya! Sabi ko, 'Puwede 'yong next role mo, lalaki ka naman?' Baka naku-confuse ka na!'" chuckled Regine.

"But I'm really happy for him. Sana panoorin ninyong lahat 'yong OMG!. It's a beautiful love story more than anything else but it's also very funny," said Asia's Songbird, who has a cameo role in the movie.