FIRST READ ON PEP: Regine Velasquez still undecided whether to switch channels or not

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"I happen also like to work with ABS-CBN. But at the same time, I'vebeen with GMA for a long, long time. They also took good care of me.Kaya lang kasi, as an artist, minsan you want to experience somethingelse. You want growth, you want to be challenged. And since nangyayaripo itong [network] war na ito, kami pong mga artist, hindi lang kamimakapagsalita. But actually, kami po yung nagigipit," explains Regine Velasquez about rumors saying that she is mov


"I'm happy where I am now," panimulang sagot ng Asia's Songbird na si Regine Velasquez sa usap-usapan ng paglipat niya diumano sa ABS-CBN mula sa GMA-7. Ipinahayag ito ni Regine sa solo presscon na ibinigay sa kanya ng Kapamilya network kaninang tanghali, February 16, for her second appearance sa Maalaala Mo Kaya na ipalalabas sa February 22.

Wala pa raw talagang desisyon si Regine kung lilipat na siya sa ABS-CBN o mananatili sa GMA7. Pero inamin ni Regine na may offer talaga sa kanya ang dalawang giant networks.

"Alam ninyo, kasi mahirap yung totoo," banggit niya. "Wala talaga akong desisyon right now. Ang hirap kasing magitna sa [network] war, ganun. As an artist, it's very, very hard because, actually, ako, I find it very, very difficult because I also have friends here in ABS-CBN.

"I happen also like to work with ABS-CBN. But at the same time, I've been with GMA for a long, long time. They also took good care of me. Kaya lang kasi, as an artist, minsan you want to experience something else. You want growth, you want to be challenged. And since nangyayari po itong [network] war na ito, kami pong mga artist, hindi lang kami makapagsalita. But actually, kami po yung nagigipit. That's the thruth, di ba?



"It's really sad because our industry is very small and as matter of fact, it is even dying. And then, in the midst of all these things, nagugulo pa tayo ng war...itong war ng two networks. I personally don't understand because dapat po, ang artista wala na...wala kaming kinalaman. Wala naman talaga kaming kinalaman. Hindi naman po ako ang may-ari ng network. Kung ako ang may-ari, e, di ang sasabihin ko sa inyo, 'Malaki na ang pag-aari ko!'" natatawa niyang sabi.

"Siyempre, ayaw naman naming sumabay," patuloy ni Regine na seryoso na ang tono. "But like I said, you know, gusto mo makipagtrabaho rin once in a while here, sana makagawa rin ako ng something dito. At the same time, sana may mabalikan din ako dito. Kasi artista ka, e. You should be able to do that. Ganun naman yun, e.

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"Artista ka, so puwede ka dapat kahit saan, kung ano yung feeling mo and challenge for you as an artist. Kasi ako po, hindi sakim. I think I have proven that many times already. Kasi sa akin, I love working. I love to work. Pero hindi rin po ako natatangay sa pera-pera lang. Kasi yung pera po madali pong kitain. Pero yun pong dignidad mo as a person, you cannot buy that.

"So, I'm telling you now the truth. I have no decision yet. Hindi dahil hinihintay ko kung sino ang mas may malaking presyong ibibigay sa akin, although this is my bread and butter, and I'm telling you that's also being considered, of course. I mean, hindi ako magiging plastik. Sasabihin ko talaga ‘yan na kinu-consider din ‘yan [money matters].

"Ang feeling ko, merong growth na mangyayari sa akin, improvement, you know. If there is a challenge for me na magkakaroon ulit ako ng drive, then doon ako pupunta. But right now, wala pang final for anything. But both networks naman, kumbaga, nagpapahaging naman sila pareho. So, ang haba naman ng hair ko!" biro ni Regine.



CONSIDERING OGIE'S FEELINGS.
May lumalabas din na balita na kaya raw hindi pa makapagdesisyon si Regine na lumipat sa ABS-CBN ay dahil pinipigilan siya ng kasintahang si Ogie Alcasid. Totoo ba ito?



"Yung totoo, I also siyempre have to consider his feelings," pag-amin ni Regine. "Siyempre, mahirap naman yung parang hindi na kami masyadong nagkikita because of our schedule. And the only time we would be able to see each other is only when we work [together].

"Maraming factors talaga. I also need to consider his feeling. But, alam ninyo kasi, the thing with me is that hindi kasi ako masyadong...mahirap akong utuin!" sabay tawa niya.



"So, kung ano ang desisyon ko, yun na ang desisyon ko. But I'm not saying that na inuuto ako ni Ogie. I'm just saying na kinu-consider ko din yung feelings niya, of course. But my decision is my decision. After all, nung naging kami, ‘eto naman na yung career ko.

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"Actually, marami nga akong nababasa, a lot of negative things na parang kapag lumipat ako, parang mukha akong ingrate, yung mga ganun. Maraming mga ganun, like wala akong utang na loob. But like I said, kasi nga ang mga tao, hindi naman nakikita yung position namin as an artist. Napa-frustrate rin po kami sa nangyayaring situwasyon dito sa ating parehong network na medyo hindi nagkakasundo ng konti.

"E, actually, kami pong mga artista, akala nga nila, kapag kunwari mga taga-SOP, kapag nagkita kami nina Gary [Valenciano] sa ASAP, akala nila magbabayangan kami. But actually, all of us are friends. We're always happy to see each other. We're just waiting for the right time for all of us to perform together, kasi actually, dream din namin yun, e.

"Like ako, I enjoy that, e. Kaming mga singers, to work together. Because we haven't been working with each other because of this thing [network war]. It's really really hard for us. Dapat nga, we shoud be able to work together.



"Sa akin, thankful lang ako I was invited by ABS-CBN, by Maalaala Mo Kaya to do this beautiful episode, and I'm also very thankful to GMA for allowing me to do this. Kasi hindi rin naman po ito mangyayari kung hindi rin ako in-allow ng GMA," mahabang pahayag ng Asia's Songbird.



FREELANCER. Kung si Regine ang masusunod, mas gusto na lang daw niya ang maging freelancer.



"Actually, dati naman, yun naman talaga ako, e," paalala niya. "Right now, I am, and nae-enjoy ko nga ito. But apparently, there's no such thing. It's either you're here or you're there. Apparently, both networks wanted me to commit—exclusive. But both of them, hindi naman sila arogante, you know, they're asking me, ‘You know you have to decide or otherwise pulutin ka kung saanman.' It's not like that.

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"May sari-sarili silang presyo and offering, and I'm very, very flattered, of course. Kasi hindi mo naman ini-expect na meron silang ganitong need. So, I'm very, very flattered. Kaya lang nga, yun ang mahirap sa akin. Sa totoo lang, ako yung tipo ng tao na I don't like to be in just one place. I don't like to be tied down.

"And that's the reason why I have no contract with Viva, and yet I'm working with Viva all the time. Kasi meron akong...I'm very loyal. But at the same time, kaya gusto ko na walang kontrata so that I can also work with Star [Cinema], na willing naman to work with me. Gusto ko naman yung ma-experience.

"Kasi bilang artista, gusto mong makasalamuha ng iba't ibang production, ibang artista, ibang mukha. Gusto mong ma-experience yun and for just the experience alone, masarap yun, e. But with what's been going on, I don't know... I hope that this doesn't sound negative or I hope that this won't put me in a weird situation on both channels. This is just my opinion as an artist. It's really hard na gusto mo rin maka-experience makalabas dito [ABS-CBN] without causing a commotion, kumbaga. Kasi, hindi ba, every time kasi may ganun, parang it's such a commotion na parang, di ba, it shouldn't be naman?

"We should be complimenting each other. After all, ang laki-laki naman ng Pilipinas. Parang ano ba yung number one and number two? What does that mean? I don't actually understand.

"My point here is our industry... The truth is, our industry is very small and it's dying. And we have to be able to do something to, you know, parang mabangon natin ang industry natin. And don't you think that it is about time that we just help each other instead of making away each other and making a commotion every time na lumalabas ako dito?

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"I hope that doesn't put me in a weird situation. Kasi ayoko rin namang maka-offend. Siyempre, ayokong may ma-offend. Ayokong may masaktan. Ang sa akin lang naman, e, yun lang. Pero thank you talaga sa chance na makaka-guest ako sa mga shows ng ABS-CBN, like Maalaala Mo Kaya," lahad ng singer-actress.



NO CONTRACT. Usually, ang isang prized talent ng isang network ay nire-renew na agad ang kontrata bago pa man ito mag-expire. Sa kaso ni Regine, inihayag niya na wala siyang kontrata sa GMA-7.



"Nagkaroon lang ako ng kontrata dahil for visa purposes," paliwanag niya. "So, all the time that I have been with GMA, wala akong kontrata. Maraming tao nagkukuwestiyon, kinukuwestiyon ang loyalty ko. Ganito yung situwasyon namin for the longest time.

"Nung nag-start ako sa SOP, wala talaga akong kontrata. Because I didn't want to be tied down nga. Yun naman ang ano ko talaga...so that I can also do things here and that's what I did. Kaya lang, for the past two years, I was given another show. Siyempre, nakakahiya naman na parang hindi rin appropriate na rin na walang ganun [kontrata]. So, tapos nag-umpisa na yung [network] feud, di ba?"

Ikinuwento rin ni Regine na every now and then ay nakikipag-usap siya sa isang executive ng GMA-7 at tinatanong kung ano ang gusto niyang show. Pero hindi pa rin daw siya sumasagot sa naturang executive.

RAMIELE MALUBAY. Samantala, nakarating na kay Regine ang balita na idolo siya ng Filipino-American na si Ramiele Malubay na nakapasok sa Top 24 ng American Idol Season 7.

"Ang cute naman!" bulalas ng Asia's Songbird. "E, di happy ako. Good luck. Sana makapasok talaga siya. Sana siya ang manalo. Ipagdasal natin para masaya at meron tayong Pinoy na winner doon."

Meron ba siyang mensahe para kay Ramiele na maaaring magbigay inspirasyon sa kanyang pakikipaglaban sa American Idol?

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"Sana pagbutihin mo talaga. Sobra, bonggang-bonggang pagbutihan mo. We support you. The whole Philippines is supporting you," pagtatapos ni Regine.


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