Regine Velasquez-Alcasid has gone techie to ease her two-year-old son into the digital world

IMAGE Allan Sancon

Baby celebrity Nate Alcasid is much too young to care about public expectations, but already his mom Regine Velasquez-Alcasid is decided not to add more pressure on him when the time comes. "Whatever he wants to do with his life... he can be an astronaut for all I care... Ang sa aming mag-asawa, all we want is he be God-fearing. God first, and then we're good. Everything else will follow."

First-time mom Regine Velasquez-Alcasid is more relaxed now after going through the sudden changes in her life.

At her recent contract renewal with home network GMA, held October 15, at the Manila Golf and Country Club in Makati, the Songbird talked about the marked shift in her priorities, and how she finally managed to keep herself on balance.

She is back on her feet and accepting more acting jobs: "This time I am ready naman na, kasi mag-tu-two na si Nate.

"So, I'm gonna be back na talaga for the usual—mag-so-soap ako ulit, tamblingan ulit," she quipped.

Regine also explained that she and husband Ogie Alcasid have worked out their schedules.

"Ang usapan namin, if one is doing a soap, one shouldn't be doing a soap rin, kasi somebody has to stay home.

"Kasi ang soap talaga it eats up your schedule.

"Ang galing ni God kasi parang sine-schedule din niya yung life namin."


A MOTHER'S MANY FIRSTS. Regine said the past months had been especially trying for her as a mother.

"Siguro yung experience ko lang, kasi everything is first time.

"Siyempre isa lang naman siya. Nakakataranta na first time magkaganito, magkaganyan.

"Siyempre, I don't know what to do."

Regine does get help from her more experienced siblings and, naturally, from her husband who has two older daughters with his ex-wife Michelle Van Eimeren.

"Although tinuturuan ako ng mga kapatid ko, and yung asawa ko din... kaya lang yung mga na-e-experience ko ngayon, di rin naman na-experience ng asawa ko.

"Iba rin naman yung experience niya with his kids, kaya talagang first time, first time lahat.

"Everyday is new, it is so exciting now, at his age," she said about her two-year-old boy, Nate.

She shares, "nagco-converse na siya, e... trying to.

"Tapos lahat ng sabihin mo, sasabihin niya. Buti nalang kaming mag-asawa, we don't curse, kasi grabe, ang bilis!


"Yung akala mo they are not paying attention, but they are!" she exclaimed.

She also added that Nate can recognize and say the name of her sister and manager, Cacai Velasquez-Mitra.

DIGITAL MOM. As a mom in the digital age, Regine is cognizant of the debate whether parents should expose their children to technology at a young age.

Nate, as Regine had posted in her social media accounts, already knows the basic functions of the iPad.

"Nowadays, parang you can't control that anymore.

"And kawawa naman if, kunwari, I keep him from that, tapos sa school lahat tablet," she expounded, observing that sooner, rather than later, books might become obsolete in favor of digital formats and files.

She said, "I might as well prepare him for it. Mayroon naman limitations na ibinibigay," such as choosing what shows her son watches and the time he spends on gadgets.

She shared that Nate has become a big fan of the character Barney, and even knows how to look for specific videos on Youtube.


On television, Regine said Nate's favorite is the Weather Channel.

She also credited her son's quick development to educational videos, where he learned how to read his ABCs and count 1 to 10.

"When he was three months old, we made him watch Baby Can Read. Everyday, everyday... kinakatulugan niya yun. Tinatandaan niya yun. It relaxes him."

At the time, she said, many people reminded her that videos have no effect on the child's development because these are mere sight reading or memorization exercises.

But Regine felt, "Sa akin, the brain was being stimulated.

"Now, he can recognize hanggang Z... zipper! Visual sila, e. They absorb everything.

"Itong age na 'to, masarap sila turuan, hanggang age seven."

Regine said visual aids, even in the form of technology, are useful, a practice opposed by parents who are traditionalist.

"Kaya my son naging quick yung mind niya, pinapanood ko siya ng video, e. Stimulant kasi ang kailangan niya."


NATE'S FUTURE. Having very successful parents, Nate is expected to follow their footsteps when he grows older.

Regine said she has always known it will come to that — people will expect her son to become an accomplished musician or singer or songwriter.

"It's normal for people to do that, kasi anak siya ng parehong singer.

"That is why, I don't want to put pressure on him," Regine said.

"Whatever he wants to do with his life. He can be an astronaut for all I care!"

When asked what her dreams are for Nate, she said, "I have none. Kasi I want him to do that [for himself]."

Regine added, "I will be here to support him if he wants to study.

"Kasi ngayon, hindi na rin ano yung... Dati kasi, it is a must na matapos mo yung college.

"Ngayon kasi there are other options na.

"Ang sa aming mag-asawa, all we want is he be God-fearing. God first, and then we're good. Everything else will follow.


"Kapag nakilala niya si God, mayroon siyang relationship with God— mabait ka, masunurin ka, loving ka, you follow his commandments..."

Regine was at ease talking about all and joking. When asked if she is ready to send Nate to play schools already, she jibed:

"Siguro pag 35 na siya, ready na ako sa first day of school niya."


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