Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez will be very visible inGMA-7, at least for the next two years after signing an exclusive contractwith the Kapuso Network.
Aside from her regular musical-variety show SOP, Regine hasalready started taping for her second primetime series with the Kapuso Network,the Pinoy version of the hit Koreanovela My Name is Kim Sam Soon. Her first wasForever in My Heart. But before Kim Sam Soon, Regine will mesmerize late-night viewerswith her amazing vocal prowess through her own musical show aptly titledSongbird.
Songbird is a weekly musical show where Regine will singsome of the most popular songs and compositions of some of the world's bestsingers and composers. This will start airing on May 15, Thursday, after theTelebabad block of GMA-7.
"I'm very thankful to GMA for trusting me, for giving me theopportunity to do what I love to do most, which is singing. I've always dreamedof having a show like this and I feel very, very blessed na ibinigay po ng GMAsa akin itong napakagandang show na talaga naman pong pinagkakaabalahan ngaming buong staff and crew," Regine began during the press conference ofSongbird held last night, May 9, at Melo's restaurant on Bohol Ave., QuezonCity.
Regine told the entertainment press about the concept of hersolo show.
"Nakakatuwa po siya, kasi thematic po siya," she said."Every week, there's a different theme, we feature different artists,songwriters, genre; we even do movie themes. So every week is different. We alsohave different guests for each week depending on what theme ang meron sa weekna ‘yon. Ibinabagay rin po namin ang aming guests."
REGINE'S STAGE. Aside from the unique concept of Songbird, Regine is alsovery proud of her show's stage design.
"Well, napakaganda ng stage! Pinagkaabalahan ang stage,hi-tech ang stage. Pangmayaman!" she said laughing. "Nagulat nga ako, e. Hindi,natuwa nga ako, e, kasi when we were meeting for this show, in-explain nila saakin na this is what's going to happen, na ito yung magiging hitsura ng stage...Actually nung nag-taping na kami, nung first taping day, naiiyak ako kasiparang, ‘Ah, may budget ang show, pinagkaabalahan. Hindi napunta lahat sa talentfee ko!'" Regine laughed again.
"No, like I said," she continued, "it's been my dream tohave a musical show. Maipagmamalaki, kasi nga it's been a long time na rinsince walang musical show. Hindi siya variety show talaga, it's a straightmusical.
"Tapos yung kine-cater pa namin siyempreng market, medyolate na, so siyempre yung music na maririnig mo, hindi naman yungpumapalahaw-palahaw ako na magigising ka. Hindi naman ganun. So magagandangkanta lang talaga ang madidinig mo... Mga [Barbra] Streisand, we will feature[Barry] Manilow. We're going to feature siyempre mga OPM [Original PilipinoMusic] din, mga OPM songs, writers, and composers.
"Ako, sa akin, having a show like this is something to beproud of. Kasi siyempre, bihira na itong naibibigay sa mga singers na katuladko. And GMA actually picked me to have this kind of special every week. I am very,very proud to be given this opportunity."
So does this mean viewers won't be hearing Regine beltingout songs?
"Meron ding konti, meron din," she clarified. "Kasitinawagan na ako ni Mariah [Carrey], e, umaapila na siya. Sabi niya, ‘Songbird,it can't be,' sabi niyang ganun. Sabi ko, ‘Don't worry, you'll be there.'Sinabi ko, ‘Friend, next season ka pa,'" Regine said in jest.
SONGBIRD'S CHOICE. Each week, Regine will also get the chance to sing a songonly a few are familiar with.
"Kasi ‘pag nag-feature ka ng isang artist, like BarbraStreisand, yung mga alam ng tao. Understandable naman kasi yun ang ini-expectng mga manonood. But I also requested na may isang kanta na hindi masyadongkilala ng mga tao. Ako lang ang may alam!" she joked before adding, "Peromaganda. Something that they would appreciate also. Like yung naririnig n'yokanina, yung ‘Who Needs To Dream,' that was a Manilow song, that was includedin the soundtrack of Copacobana. Not everybody happens to know that song, and Ihappen to love that song very much."
For each episode, the Asia's Songbird will be singing sevento eight songs. "And then minsan, meron kaming medley na about five minutes,ganyan. Para siyang concert talaga," Regine added.
GUEST LIST. Regine also revealed that she has a hand in choosing her guestlist.
"Usually, ako nga ang pinapapili nila kung sino ang gustokong guests, depende sa concept," she said.
One of Regine's guests on the pilot episode of Songbird isRichard Gomez, her leading man in the movie Pangarap Ko ang Ibigin Ka and thedrama series Forever in My Heart. A member of the press asked how they wereable to convince Richard to sing a duet with Regine.
"Naku, hindi na naming kailangan i-convince! To tell youfrankly, kami pa ang tinawagan!" Regine laughed. "You know Richard, he's such agreat friend, sobrang reliable friend. Saka hindi n'yo po naitatanong, siRichard po, akala niya ho talaga kasi, concert artist siya. He loves to sing.As a matter of fact, ‘pag Sunday, di ba, ‘Wala ba akong SOP?' No, he reallyloves to sing. I'm really happy na kasama siya sa Songbird."
MOST DIFFICULT SONG. It seems that Regine has no trouble singing any kind ofsong. But if there's one song that she finds very difficult to sing, it hasto be the Philippine National Anthem, "Lupang Hinirang."
"Hindi nga, totoo nga... Hindi naman po dahil sa hindi akoproud sa ating National Anthem. Actually, I'm very proud... It's a beautifulsong, but it's one of the hardest songs I have ever sung in my life. I don'tknow, maybe because it's long and iba-iba yung lyrics niya. 'Tsaka nakakatakotna magkamali. That's the hardest song ever to sing," she explained.
The last time Regine sang "Lupang Hinirang" in public was during Manny Pacquiao's 2004 boxing match against Thailand's Narongrit Pingrat in Taguig.
FREE CONCERT. Now that the viewers have the chance to see and hear Regineperform on TV free of charge, isn't she worried that this would somehow affecther concert ticket sales?
"Nowadays, actually kahit naman before, I don't really do alot," she clarified. "Di ba, I usually do one major concert a year and then oneseries? Yun lang naman talaga ang ginagawa ko. And then the other times, mgaraket-raket, pupunta ako ng abroad or I'll do a movie.
"I've always wanted to do a TV show na talagang magagawa koyung... Kasi ang concert, ilang kanta lang din yung magagawa mo. Ito [Songbird]kasi andaming puwedeng gawin. Yung mga kantang hindi ko nakakanta sa concerts,puwede kong gawin dito, di ba? Like kung Madonna, Madonna lang, yung ganun. Saconcert, hindi ko naman puwedeng gawin na puro ganun lang; or kung Canseco,Canseco lang. Kaya excited na excited talaga ako dito.
"I don't think magsa-suffer yung concerts kasi like I said,I don't do it naman as often. Like for this year, I'm only going to do one. Andbesides, the show is not naman three hours. Actually, it's only 45 minutes, somedyo bitin pa nga ng konti. So, aabangan nila yung next, parang may itutuloykinda na thing.
"Sa ngayon, sobrang happy ako kasi I've always wantedto do a show like this. Pero I never really asked naman for it. Because at thattime, kasi nga I felt iniisip ko rin na baka mag-suffer yung concerts, that'swhy I didn't ask for a musical show. I was also thinking, I was already doingSOP...
"Kasi nowadays, wala nang ganito. Kasi nung mga panahon ng Vilma!,Sharon...lahat may ganun, di ba? May Manilyn [Live!]...lahat! Sabi ko, ang ganda, taposngayon wala na, naubos na talaga. So sabi ko, baka naman puwedeng ibalik yun,"Regine explained.