The showstopping international songbird takes flight anew with a potential hit album Drawn.
The camera has seen her grow up and change from a gangly, unassuming barrio lass to a womanly, showstopping international songbird. The changes (the dolled-up face, the chic hairdo, the designer dresses) are just for the camera, mind you.
True, the girl once called Chona (painfully shy and diffident) is so different from the songbird named Regine Velasquez (self-assured, gregarious, and quick-witted). Deep down however, Regine is still the same wistful, starry eyed Bulakena. Despite the colegiala English, the true Tagala sometimes pipes in. (Case in point: She describes her dawn in poetic Tagalog: "Nag-aaway ang liwanag at dilim") ("The light and the dark is in battle")
For public appearances, she may be all dressed up and glamorized. But off-stage and off-camera, she goes around town in comfy white tee and khaki shorts.
Although now she gets to work with such American pop stars as Paul Anka, David Hasselfhoff, (and for her new album) Shanice and Micheal McDonald, she insists she is essentially the same Imelda Papin fan and aspiring singer who joined, and won, countless amateur singing contests all over the Philippines before hitting it big with the TV talent show Bagong Kampeon. (New Champion)
Her journey from small-town contests to international fame has become stuff pop legends are made of. (Remember her vocalization exercises neck deep down in sea water?) But Cinderella is all grown up now.
Regine says that, with her new album Drawn, she wants people to see "the other side of me." That seldom-seen side is Regine the artist - not recording artist, but visual artist. Regine, in her spare time, loves drawing and doodling faces - especially women's faces - on her notebooks, even her music and lyrics sheet.
"I like sketching women's eyes and lips," Regine explains. "It's because a woman's features are softer and more delicate than a man's." In fact, she has often expressed in the past that she wants to take Fine Arts should she go back to school.
(By the way, Regine, who "paints" her own face for concerts and pictorials, is also a whiz with the makeup brush.)
For close friends, she gives hand-painted shirts she has rendered herself. Regine's drawing hitherto limited to gift-giving, now makes its commercial debut as the CD cover of her latest album aptly titled Drawn.
"It could mean two things," Regine explains, "as in drawing or as in attracted."
A compilation of old and new love songs, the new album, under Viva Records, was launched with a four-night series concerts at the Music Museum (November 27 and 28, December 4 and 5). On stage and on records, "I want people to see the real me" - vibrant and colored with contrasting and complementary hues and shades.
If Regine were painting, she'd surely possess all the colors of the rainbow.
1. What visual image enters your mind when u hear the word love?
Maybe, flowers. Roses, usually. Lots and lots of red roses.
2. What are your mom's/dad's traits that you see in urself?
I don't know if I have it, but one trait of my mom (Teresa) that I would like to have is her strength. She is very stable; she doesn't panic easily. She's cool, calm, which is the opposite of my father (Gerry). My dad is a panicker. But my father's trait I'd like to acquire is his being caring and loving to his children. He has always been there for us.
3. Which would u sacrifice first: sense of sight, sense of hearing, sense of humor or common sense?
That's a hard question. Probably, sense of humor. That's the least important to me. But then again if I don't have a sense of humor, my life would be downright corny. I won't get my friends' jokes. But that's what I'd rather give up. I don't want to be blind, deaf or to have a low IQ - that's not nice at all.
4. Would u rather live a colorful, rollercoaster life filled with amazing successes and setbacks, or an eventful, but stable life?
You know what, my life has always
been a rollercoaster ride ever since I joined showbiz. A lot of people have
asked me if I would change anything. If I had a choice, would I go back
to where I came from? If I could have the easy way out, would I choose a
simple life? I usually tell them I wouldn't want to change anything. I wouldn't
be where I am now if not for the past, if not for all the choices I made
in the past.
It is actually exciting to have a rollercoaster life. If your life were a painting, you'd have plenty of colors. When you look back, you can tell yourself: I have done so many things in my life. I have no regrets because I've learned so much from all my experiences. Also, I'm the type who'd get easily bored with a stable life. I guess that is the reason why I chose this path.
5. In the spirit of the Eric Clapton song: if you could change the world, what are the changes you'd mandate?
Well, no matter how corny or cliche'-ish
it may sound: world peace.
Especially now with the Spratly crisis. People tend to pass on everything - all their responsibilities - to the government or to just one person, the President. Making peace with everyone is not just the job of one person. We all have to do our share. I don't think we can achieve world peace if we don't live it. It's not a gift that would be handed down to us on a silver platter; we have to work hard for it. Hopefully, there will come a time when we can all accept and respect each other's differences.
6. If there would be one thing about urself that you could change, what would it be?
My face. (Laughs). Probably I want to be more intellectual.
7. Why? Do you consider urself more emotional?
Not really. Just right. My biggest frustration is not being able to finish college. Among my sisters, I'm the only one who doesn't have a degree. My brother Jojo is taking up dentistry. The twins Decca and Diane finished HRM; Cacai, Marketing.) It's not yet too late; I can still go back to school.
8. If this Saturday, you could do ANYTHING you wanted, what would you do?
Sleep and eat and not gain weight. I know I should diet, but I am so tired. I have been working every day for the past I-don't-know-how-many-years. I flew back from the US last night (Nov. 10), but until the end of December I am fully booked. So if I could do anything this weekend, I'd just sleep, eat, veg out and not have anyone bother me, even for a day.
9. After all that you have achieved, is there anything else you would want to do? Is there any dream still left unfulfilled?
Right now, I really cannot ask for anything more. God has given me everything that I've prayed for. With extra. Times are hard now, that's why I'm thankful that I still get a lot of projects, that people still trust in my talent.
10. What song reflects your present state of mind?
"You Made Me Stronger" (from the 1995 album, My Love Emotion). Because all the things that have happened in my life - some good, some not-so-good, some really, really bad - all these have made me stronger person, made me a whole person.
11. What do you enjoy most about singing?
Performing in front of people. I also like recording and doing movies, but doing concerts is different. You get instant feedback from the crowd. You can easily see the reaction of the people - if they enjoyed and liked the show. I've always loved to perform. As a child, I was a performer.
12. Multiple choice: Do you still
(b) all worked up and excited
(c) nervous on opening nights?
All of the above. Goosebumps, butterflies
in my stomach, the works!
That's adrenaline. I get nervous for all the shows I do - whether big or small. Even singing live on TV makes me jittery. In fact, when I'm at east, I look for something that will make me nervous. It gets corny if you don't get tense; your energy level goes down.
13. What is your favorite time of the day?
Dawn and dusk. When I get to wake up early, I like watching the sunrise. The light and dark lights are in battle. The air smells different, really fresh.
14. Who are the women you look up to?
My mom is on top of the list. Then Kuh Ledesma; she's my idol. She's so generous. When I was just starting Kuh produced my very first concert (Regine at Seventeen). Pops Fernandez. I have many idols. My best friend Grace Reyes (a non-showbiz person). My sister Cacai. Even though she is younger than I am, she is my confidante.
15. As a performer, do you have a security blanket, in whatever form?
The microphone. Hours before the show, I insist on holding on to the mic. Even if it's not yet my turn to go onstage.
16. If u could live out a Hollywood movie, which would you choose?
Ever After. And I'd be Cinderella. I want to look like Drew Barrymore. I saw it twice in the States.
17. How would you want a man to treat a lady?
With respect. Not to force her to do anything she doesn't want to do.
18. How would you want a woman to handle a man?
I wouldn't know how to deal with men. Until now I am still trying to figure them out.
19. If u could take a trip in a time machine what era would you go to?
The younger years of Robert Redford. (smiles)
20. What is your dream honeymoon destination?
Hawaii. It's really beautiful out there.
21. Would u rather go for a walk or watch TV?
TV! I like watching movies on TV. All kinds: romantic comedy and mystery movies.
22. What goes on in ur mind when you think of the past?
How lucky I am that I was given a wonderful family. How fortunate I am I've been given the chance to be an entertainer, a performer.
23. What goes on in ur mind when you look forward to the future?
Being able to finish school.
24. Since most of the songs in ur new album are love songs, is Drawn a reflection of your present state of mind?
25. Two of your sisters are already married. Do you feel pressured to get hitched urself?
It's okay. I'm in no hurry. One thing about me: I don't want to miss out on anything. Before, I almost went into that (a major commitment). Then when I thought about it, I freaked out. I realized, I wasn't ready. There are still so many things I want to do. There are still so many things I can do. Anyway, it's good that I get to travel a lot. I get to meet so many guys - with different personalities, from different nations. That's fine with me already. I get really excited and perked up.