Regine Velasquez reaffirmed that she’s a solid Kapuso.
The Asia's Songbird said, “I’ve been with GMA for a long time. They’ve been really, really nice to me.”
Regine gave her statement two weeks after she co-headlined the #PaMore concert with Martin Nievera, Ogie Alcasid, and Erik Santos.
It was during that concert that Erik teased Regine that she might want to transfer to ABS-CBN, which is the current home network of the three male singers.
Regine jokingly replied that there’s no reason for her to jump ship given her big talent fee in the Kapuso network.
When asked to elaborate about it, Regine told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), “Ewan ko sa kanila! Kapag nakikita nila ako, palagi nila akong sinasabihan, ‘O, ikaw na lang...’ Hahaha!”
What's her response to colleagues asking her to transfer to a rival network?
Regine said, “Ganun? Huwag na tayong nanghahatak. Okay naman ako dito.”
PEP.ph and a select group of entertainment reporters interviewed Regine at the presscon of GMA-7’s regional tour, held at Forest House Bistro and Cafe in Baguio City last Saturday afternoon, February 24.
Rather than addressing queries about her talent fee, Regine pointed out how GMA-7 has taken good care of her through the years.
“When I got pregnant I was given time. Hindi naman ako minadali. So, the projects that I get are the ones that I like.
“I’m being given also the chance to get involved sa creative part of every show that I do. I’m just happy that they make me part of it.
“As an artist, when you’re here for a long time, siyempre meron ka na ring iniisip na gawin. I’m happy na they make me part of that.
“Nadidinig din yung voice ko. I’m very grateful.”
FROM CHONA TO REGINE. Then Regine reminisced about how she started her showbiz career in GMA-7.
Regine, whose real name is Regina Encarnacion Ansong Velasquez, first won as a singing champ on Radio Philippines Network’s Ang Bagong Kampeon in 1984.
In 1986, she appeared on Martin’s late-night show, The Penthouse Live!, which aired in GMA-7.
It was Martin who thought it would be better for her to use Regine as a screen name as opposed to her moniker Chona.
Regine fondly recalled, “When I won Ang Bagong Kampeon, TV na yun, e. Mahirap ka na rin sumali sa ibang contests kasi nakikita ka na sa TV, so hindi ka na rin isasali.
“I started singing in restaurants. And then I guested in Penthouse Live!, which is here in Channel 7.
“Ronnie Henares, my former manager, saw me and that’s how it all started.”
After 32 years in the business, does she still encounter difficult challenges?
Regine answered, “Yung challenge kasi na mae-encounter mo when you’re in the business, hindi naman nawawala, palagi namang may gano’n.
“It’s a different ball game. Hindi ka na nga nakikipag-contest, nakikipag-contest ka na ngayon sa sarili mo, e.
“Now, the challenge is what can I offer to the people na hindi pa naisip ng other artists? I don’t think you really overcome it. You’ll have it for a long time, or at least, for as long as you’re here.”
THE CLASH. Fast-forward to present time, Regine has come full circle with her latest TV project.
Asia's Songbird will be hosting The Clash, GMA-7’s upcoming search for the next singing superstar. She will be joined by celebrity judges Lani Misalucha, Ai-Ai delas Alas, and Christian Bautista.
According to Regine, one of the interesting components of The Clash allows contenders to choose their opponents.
“Kung feeling mo kayang kaya mong ilampaso, yun ang pillin mo. If you wanna challenge yourself and pick the pinakamagaling one, you can also do that.
“It’s more about the artist challenging yourself and how you really know your capacity as a singer.”
She went on to say that aspiring singers nowadays are fortunate because they undergo voice coaching before they appear on the TV show.
“Those things you’ll never get anywhere else—not just the actual performance and being on TV, yung experience of natuturuan ka ng proper way of singing.
“Kasi pag kontesera ka, kung ano lang narinig mo, yun na yun, e. ‘A, eto ok ‘to.’
“Pag sumasali ka ng TV contest, they help you. Even if you don’t win, you become a better performer.
“For me, it’s a win-win situation.”
ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE. As a former “kontesera” herself, Regine added that the combination of talent and self-confidence will help aspiring singers to get ahead in the competition.
“Bata pa ako nun, e. Kapag bata ka kasi, akala mo nilalaro mo lang, e. At least that’s how I experienced it. I didn’t feel pressured.
“I was really just having fun because I love to sing.
“Hindi naman ako kinakabahan... Makapal ang face ko, I guess.”
After the presscon, Regine went to Sunshine Park in Baguio for a mini-concert show in between the auditions for The Clash.
Watch her perform her hit songs "Araw-Gabi" and "Ako'y Iyong-iyo" below: