Matalik na magkaibigan sina Mikee Cojuangco at Regine Velasquez. Nagsimula ang friendship nila noong nagkasama sila sa pelikulang DoReMi (with Donna Cruz) ng Viva Films noong 1997.
Hanggang ngayon ay nagpapatuloy ang kanilang pagkakaibigan lalo pa nga't tulad ni Mikee, tumutulong din si Regine sa kampanya ng presidential bet na si Noynoy Aquino, pinsan ni Mikee.
"You know, the first time that Regine ever came out for a political candidate, it was for Dodot," pahayag ni Mikee, referring to her husband, Robert "Dodot" Jaworski Jr., na dating representative ng Pasig City at tumakbo rin bilang mayor sa naturang lugar noong 2007.
That time, hindi ganun ka-visible si Regine sa pangangampanya kay Dodot, unlike ngayon kay Noynoy.
"No, not that visible kasi local [campaign]. So she made a couple of appearances for him, mga miting de avance, ganun. Pumunta siya twice and malaking bagay yun kasi nga never niyang ginawa [sa ibang kandidato]. So that's something that I'm really, really very proud of and very grateful to Regine dahil tumaya siya, di ba? And Dodot was the first in her many, many years of being an artist.
"Pero ito, yung kay Kuya Noy," patuloy ni Mikee, "I know how much it means because I know Regine. Walang ano 'yan, ha, I never spoke to her about it. It had nothing at all to do with me. It has only everything to do with Regines's own personal conviction, and I'm so happy about it.
"I'm happy to be on the same side as my friend, for one thing. And second, dahil alam ko na ang pag-endorso niya is very rare and very special, very precious to her. So, malaking bagay yun. Ako, I'm one of those people who understand how sacred an endorsement is and how sacred the whole process of election is.
"So, para sa akin, the fact na talagang she came out in full support is really such a big thing. Of course si Ogie [Alcasid, Regine's boyfriend] din kasi yung amount of work and creativity and time that Ogie has put in. Siyempre, silang pareho. Pero si Ogie talaga, kahit yung mga behind the scenes, the song, the video, even the production side, tumutulong din siya.
"And I'm so happy and I'm so touched, not because naiisip ko na may koneksiyon ako dun sa ginagawa nila. Not at all. But because... masaya lang ako na kung sino yung talagang mga close friends ko, we're together."
GETTING INVOLVED. In an interview, sinabi ni Regine na kaya siya pumayag na mangampanya ngayon ay dahil "we needed to get involved" at "maraming nangyayari na alam mong puwedeng itama."
Ano ang reaksiyon ni Mikee sa sinabi ng kaibigan?
"I hope a lot of people would begin to think and feel that way because it's very true," sagot niya. "Sa puntong ito ng kasaysayan ng bansang Pilipinas, hindi na puwedeng basta manood na lang ang Pilipino at maghintay kung ano ang susunod na mangyayari. It's time to be involved. It's time to realize that if you want to have an opinion and express it, you have to have made a contribution."
Si Mikee ba ay walang planong pumasok sa pulitika?
"I've considered public service from the time I was a little girl," sagot niya. "Naging SK Chairman ako, naging Provincial Board Member ako ng Tarlac, and then I got out of it, and then I get into show business.
"You know, it's something that will always be dear to my heart. But I know that public service can and should be done or can be done without being in an elected public office. So yung pagtulong ko sa asawa ko, yung pagtulong ko kay Kuya Noy, para sa akin, that's public service and hindi yun maliit na bagay, di ba?
"So, sa lahat ng mga nag-iisip na gusto nilang makatulong at gumawa ng mabuti para sa bansa natin, they don't have to look so far as to think that they need to seek public office to be able to achieve that. All they have to do is look around their community and try to determine, 'Ano bang kulang dito? Ano bang maitutulong ko? Ano bang taglay ko para makatulong?'"
Sinabi rin ni Regine na during the typhoon Ondoy, maraming artista at ordinaryong mga tao na hindi naman pulitiko ang tumulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo.
Sinag-ayunan ito ni Mikee.
"You know that's true," sambit niya. "Alam mo, noong Ondoy, umuulan pa nun, e, Sunday, andun sila ni Ogie sa bahay, nag-deliver sila ng dalawang truck ng relief goods. And they never asked to be acknowledged for it, di ba?"
Kaya naniniwala rin si Mikee na hindi kailangang maging pulitiko ang isang tao para lamang tumulong.
"And I think that's really a mindset na dapat palitan natin, and we can only start with ourselves. We have to realize that each of us has the special talent or skill na wala sa iba and yet all of those are necessary for a well-balanced society."
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