Regine Velasquez: Music and Memories
By Tinna Bonifacio-Mauricio
Woman Today, May 17, 2000

Summer has always been a special time for Regine Velasquez for two reasons: one is her b-day, which falls right smack in the heart of summer, on April 22; the other is her anniversary in showbiz, which she recently celebrated with a successful two-night major concert at the Araneta Coliseum-her first in 14 years to be mounted in a venue that seats 17,000 people.

Sure, producing her triple platinum album R2K (which was also the title of the show) became a major source of stress for her, but it was nothing compared to her concert at the Araneta Coliseum. While working on the album, Regine lost a lot of weight. Preparing for the concert, meantime, gave her allergies and sleepless nights; after all, she was not just the star - she was also the director of the show.

This was one of the most triumphant moments of her career. Contrary to her fears, the venue was filled , and the show was successful. It was a triumph for her both as a concert star and as a director. "It was my baby, and I was very happy at the turnout," said Regine at a party held later to celebrate her triumph. "I was very tense and pressured, but it all turned out for the best."

Now that it's all over, Regine can heave a sign of relief. By the time you read this, she may have already returned from a well-deserved trip to Hong Kong. Several weeks before the concert, she talked about going to Hong Kong to celebrate her b-day and Holy Week there.

Hong Kong is one of Regine's favorite destinations, being a haven for shopaholics like her. A real fashionbug now, she also likes Los Angeles (particularly the Melrose area) and enjoys combing its boutiques for bargains - she once bought a Prada gown on sale for the incredible price of $50!

It's enjoyable seeing how Regine has changed from the simple hometown girls she was 14 years ago to the sophisticated, well-traveled singer she is today. "That's why I say I have the best job in the world," she says. "I get paid to do what I love, which is sing, and I get to travel for free." In the course of her career, she has bought her family a house, had their old house in Bulacan fixed, sent all her brothers and sisters to school and even taken them traveling.

Their most cent trip was to the States, which was their first time to travel as a family. Individual members of the family have been with Regine o her trips to do shows outside the Philippines - like the time she, Cacai and their twin sisters Deca and Diane went to the states about four year ago and when their brother Jojo accompanied her on a trip to Australia. This was the first time though that they all traveled together.

On this trip, they went to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, visiting places like the San Diego Zoo. "It was really fun," says Regine. "I've always wanted to take them abroad, for them to see what I've seen. We've also been to Hong Kong together. Those are really good times for me!"

These are the moments Regine treasures the most. In fact, throughout her career, she has made sure that her family is always close by. Her two sisters, Deca and Diane, act as her personal assistants while a long-time friend, Patty Mayoralgo, is her road manager and was associate producer for her R2K album.

Her father, Mang Gerry remains a fixture in her pictorials, interviews, press conferences, concerts and album launchings. Mang Gerry is a delight to have around, especially during interviews. His anecdotes of Regine prove invaluable in understanding who she really is.

Regine, of course, has always admitted she is a "Papa's girl"; in fact, she recently guested on an episode of Today with Kris Aquino entitled, "Daddy's Little Darlings". The show delved on fathers and daughters, and the other guests-besides Regine-included Maegan Aguilar, Ciara Sotto, Rufa Mae Quinto and Gladys Reyes, all talking about themselves and their fathers.

Regine's other treasures are her two pamangkins, Hanaah, daughter of Cacai and Raul Mitra, and Tristan Troy (affectionately called Titot), son of her sister Diane. When Regine is at home and not busy, she takes the time to play with them. "Hanaah is so girly-girly," she laughs. "Girly-girly, pero maharot-parang ako noong bata. Si Titot naman, barumbado-lalaki talaga. Ang likut-likot! But they're both very malambing."

Regine herself, however, has yet to consider marriage. While she has just turned 30, the thought is far from her mind. She admits that l'affaire Ariel Rivera greatly affected her life--- "I don't know if it is bad or good, I can't really say" - but it's all over. Now she looks forward to what is yet to come-be it a new love (who knows?), international success as a singer or something else that she'' been wishing for all her life. One of her wishes is to finish her studies. Her brother Jojo will graduate dentistry course next year, so maybe it will be Regine's turn to study. "Gusto ko rin naman na may matapos ako, so that when I have kids, I can tell them to finish their studies and point to myself as an example. I want my kids to be proud of me."

It would be good if she did that. Nevertheless, her family has always been very proud of her. In her 14 years in business, she has achieved things beyond her wildest dreams, "I've never dreamed of being a singer," she says. "It just happened."

She has many fond memories of those 14 years, like the time she won the Asia Pacific Singing Contest in 1989, when she was just starting out. It was her first time to represent the Philippines abroad and her first contest in a long time since Bagong Kampeon days. It was actually five years since she won on Bagong Kampeon. "I was already a professional singer back then. Napapansin na ako, nagkakaroon na ako ng pangalan. So there way already pressure. sabi ko, 'Kaya ko kayang panindigan ? I was so nervous. Isa lang ang kinanta ko, but it felt like a two-hour concert. Pagod na pagod ako after the song, pero noong tinawag ako as the winner, parang Ms. Universe ang feeling!"

It was, again, a cause of celebration in her family because her victory coincide with Christmas. "Kaya ang saya saya ng Noche Buena namin."

Doing that concert at the Araneta Coliseum last April 7 & 8 brought back memories of her first major concert in her career at the Folk Arts Theater, held in 1990, a full decade ago. All Regine remembers of that show is that she kept crying in the end, when the audience gave her a standing ovation-again a first in her career. "Ang weird pero iyak ako ng iyak kasi natuwa ako," laughs Regine. "Natuwa ako dahil ang dami ng tao. I couldn't believe it, especially when they gave me a standing ovation!"

There will doubtless be more standing ovations for her as she goes from success to success on the concert stage. As they say in the music business, the show has just began. there will be many more songs for her to sing-the songs to her life.


Summer's Child
Mr. & Ms. Magazine, March 21, 2000
by Calvin Murphy Neria

It's summer and just when people are hitting the beach or heading cooler climates, guess what Regine Velasquez is doing?

She's working. With her next big concert less than a month away, Regine - one of local music's a most workaholic artist - is busy rehearsing for the show she will not only be staring in, but also directing. The show is called R2K - The Concert after the double platinum album that she produced herself and released under Viva Records. By the time this article sees print, Regine will probably have her triple platinum award.

But Regine, for all her workaholic tendencies also knows how to have fun, especially during summer. She remembers with fondness the summers she spent as a kid growing up in her hometown of Balagtas, Bulacan. "I was such a tomboy. Kapag summer lagi akong nasa labas, that's why I was so dark," she laughs. Her favorite place to play was the house of a neighbor that had a big backyard with various kinds of fruit-bearing trees. She and her friends would run around and climb trees, "Kaya laging may sugat ang tuhod ko!"

Of course, the way she spent her summers started to change when she became famous. Being a diva brings fame and fortune, but that doesn't come without a price, and for Regine, that price is the loss of privacy. Right now, there is probably no place in the Philippines that she go without being recognized, whether it's down in Boracay or all the way up to Baguio, and that's one thing she misses about the summers she used to have when she could wallow in anonymity and enjoy summer. And these days, more often than not, she is usually busy with a concert, an album, interviews and pictorials that it leaves not me to just laze around, which is what people normally do during summer.

So Regine has learned to improvise by turning each work trip board into a vacation, especially when she finds herself travelling abroad during summer. In the 14 years that she's been in the business, Regine has been all over the world - to the U.S., Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, even Europe. For instance, during the US tour of Power of Two to San Francisco and New York, Regine managed to relax between shows by going shopping. She and Kuh Ledesma wold scour flea markets, shopping malls and boutiques, enjoying the privacy that they could never have here.

Sometimes, Regine travels with her family. During one concert in Australia, she took her only brother Jojo - who had never been to Australia before - with her, getting work and vacation in at the same time. "I am glad that I can do things like this for my family," she says. "I think that one of my biggest achievements is that I have been able to provide a comfortable life for the people who matter the most to me - my family."

But make no mistake about it - Regine loves summer. In fact, she was born at the height of summer almost 30 years ago. Regine's birthday is on April 22, which makes her Taurus. Taurus is an earth sign whose number-one characteristic is the love for nature. Taureans love everything about nature: the sea, mountains, blazing sunsets and flowers blooming in colorful profusion. It always seems that they can never get enough of it, though. They also love the so-called "earth colors" - all shades of brown, green, blue and white.

Regine is no different. She used flowers and plants to decorate her townhouse in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City, and loves driving to their house in Bulacan when she can. Being in Bulacan brings her back to nature and lazy summers, and those are some of the most relaxing moments of her life.

And in Regine, you see the truth of the saying that you can 'take the girl out of the probinsya, but never the probinsyana out of the girl." She may have acquired an outward veneer of sophistication, but when it comes to her values and her love for nature and summer, you can see the small-town girl in her. And that small-town girl will always be there, come what may. All the fame and fortune in the world could change the person that Regina Encarnacion Velasquez is.

This is not to say though, that Regine does not love her career. She often tells journalists who interview her that "My career and my life are one." Regine started in the business she was just 16 years old - a dark, skinny probinsyana who didn't know a thing about fashion and whose only asset was her powerful voice that seemed too mature for someone her age.

After 14 years in the business she is about to celebrate her 14th anniversary in showbiz and her 30th birthday that are happening at the same time - Regine has learned to love what she does. Her career is now part of her. She is grateful because it gives her an opportunity to do what she does best, which is to sing. She has even developed a style all her own, whether it comes to fashion or the way she delivers her spiels onstage.

But it is the way she sings that has really touched the people. Her voice has matured considerably from her single, Urong Sulong to her latest recording, the album R2K Regine considers her latest album to be one of the highlights and milestones of her career.

"It's memorable for me, because it was my first time to produce an album and I lost a lot of weight because of it! says Regine. "Talo ang Bangkok pills!" Though she has recorded a lot of albums, doing R2K was different because as a producer, she was responsible for the whole project from beginning to end. She chose the song, whether it was acoustic jazzy or soft, and to top it all, she had to record each song. Regine's personal manager Patty Mayoralgo remembers how they would find themselves in the recording studio until 3 AM just working on the album!

On April 7 & 8, Regine's involvement in R2K: The Concert at the Araneta Coliseum. Believe it or not, Regine has never done a concert at the Big Dome before and kept putting it off because she was nervous and wondering whether she could actually fit Araneta Coliseum which has a seating capacity of 17,000 for a concert.

"I decided that finally, it's time - but that doesn't change anything, kasi kinakabahan pa rin ako," says Regine, and I reply with an incredulous look on my face. I ask her, "You? You still get frightened by things like this?"

The reply comes quickly, "Of course I still get frightened. I've done Folk Arts Theater, CCP before, but Araneta is the biggest venue I've ever done, tapos two-night concert pa! This will be the biggest concert I have ever done in terms of venue, the concert and production-wise," says Regine who has come up with a concept into four major segment, each dealing with a different aspect of her life and career.

As the concert date draws near Regine is starting to feel the pressure. Then we talk about summer and she wishes she could escape for a while go back to those easy, lazy days when she wasn't so busy and life wasn't so complicated. It is a wish that she just might fulfill one day - in the meantime, concert stardom awaits.


Regine On A Roll
Tsisma, April 4, 2000
by Earl Blue

Kapag dumaan kasa may EDSA sa may Guadalupe, kapansin-pansin ang mga naglalakihang billboards doon ng mga iba't ibang produkto. Naglalakihang mga litrato ng mga artista na pawang mga image models ng sari-saring consumer products.

But amidst all of these giant billboards kapansin-pansin na kakaiba ang isa dahil hindi produkto ang ineendorse ng nasa larawan kundi isang show, "R2K: The Concert" on April 7 & 8. At nasa litrato - Regine Velasquez.

First time nangyari ito sa history ng concert scene sa bansa. Hindi biro ang gastos nito dahil umaabot sa halos kalahating milyon ang cost para mag pa put up ng billboard. But Viva Concert knows na sulit sila dito.

Kaya naman ang pressure na nararamdaman ni Regine ay ganoon katindi. Halos lahat ng apeto ng kanyang show ay inalagaan at ginastusan to ensure na hindi lang commercially successful ito kundi artistically rin.

"Ewan ko ba, parang lalo ata akong hindi makatulog nito," bungad ng Asia's songbird. "Habang papalapit ang concert ay lalo akong kinakabahan. I know that a lot of people are expecting something new from me kaya naman doble ang ginagawa ko para mapaganda ang show, lalo pa at concept at direction ko ito."

Ang R2K Concert ay ang pinakamalaking concert ni Regine this year sa Araneta Coliseum pa. What is more nerve-wracking here is the fact na dalawang gabi gaganapin ang concert.

What mader her say yes to a two-night concert? "Matagal na akong may offer to do show sa Araneta pero palagi kong tinatanggihan. I felt I wasn't ready yet. Katunayan yung "Retro" show ko sa Folk Arts Theater ay dapat sa Araneta na pero ayoko pa rin that time. Ngayon nga , Viva insisted dahil it's about time raw na magshow na ako sa ganitong kalahing venue. Hopefully sana maraming manood.

Sunod-sunod ang magagandang nangyari sa career ni Regine. She's really on a roll. From her successful album na R2K na ni lauch last year ay siya pa ang napiili to represent the Philippines last Millennium Countdown na napanood sa buong mundo.

She also had a series of shows sa Music Museum, sa ballroom ng Shang-ri La at Phil. Plaza Hotel. Ngakaroon din siya ng "R2K TV Special" and to top it all, double platinum na ang kanyang "R2K" at balitang nearing triple na ito.

She is also doing a movie with Robin Padilla for viva Films, of course, at ito na naman ang patutuunan niya ng pansin after her Araneta concert.

"I'm really belessed kaya naman hindi ako nakakalimost sa Kanya," ambit niya. "I couldn's ask for anything more talaga. I'm also lucky to have friends who are always there to support me."

Sa gitna ng napakaraming kompetisyon ngayon, how does she cope up with it? "Ever since I was a child, kung ano ang gusto ko ay pinagtatrabahuhan ko. I work hard on everhthing basta alam kong makakabuti sa akin. Pero never akong nakipag compete kahit na kanino. If ever na maging competitive ako, I'll compete with myself. Kasi kapag nakipag compete na ako sa iba dhail na insecure ako, may halong inggit na iyon. Eh hindi naman ako ganun," mahaba niyang pahayag.

Regine is one the rare artists sa bansa in terms of humility. Never talagang makakarinig sa kanya ng masama against other artists. She knows where she stands sa industriya and she welcomes new comers sa music industry. Alam niyang maraming talented singers tayo sa bansa. Galing siya sa ibaba at alam niya ang hirap na daraanan ng mga baguhang singers.

What's in store for Regine this new millennium? "I'll take everything one at a time. Mhirap kasing magplano tapos hindi naman matutuloy afterwards. Kung ano ang dumating, lalo kapag maganda ang offer, then I'll grab it. Pero yung sabihin o na by middle of this year ay ganito dapat ang mangyari at sa end of the year ay ito naman, malaba yata yun. But one dream I have na hanggang nayon ay pinagdarasal ko ay ang maka-break ako sa international scene. Of course, malaki na ang pasalamat ko na nakilala ako kahit paano sa Asia. Iba pa rin talaga kapag napenterate mo ang American music market. Alam kong mahirap yun pero I'll never stop dreaming about it. Lhat naman kasi ng singers, yun ang pangarap. Kung hindi man ako, malay mo yung iba pa nating mga singers na magagaling."

Ture to her word, ni katiting na insecurity ay talagang walang makikita kay Regine. Ito marahil ang kaibahan niya sa ibang singers. Walang inggit. Hindi madamot.

Kaya naman ganoon siya kamahal ng marami. Name it from A, B, C, D crowd ay hatak niya. Cinderella story kasi ang buhay niya and people love her for what she is. World-class singer. Kapag nag-spiel na ay masang-masa. Walgn ere. Kung babaguhin niya ito, hindi na si Regine Velasquez yun.



Regine Velasquez: 14 Years of Memories
By Mich Velez
Vanity Magazine, April 5, 2000

After 14 years in the business, Regine Velasquez has built up plenty of beautiful memories. But she says that the best is yet to come.

"I have a lot to look forward to, and that's definitely a good thing," says the lovely singer who, incidentally, is turning 30 this year. And one of the things she has to look forward to is her biggest production ever-her first concert at the Araneta Coliseum on April 7 & 8, billed "R2K, The Concert."

It's her biggest show ever. For the Rajo Laurel costumes alone, Viva Concerts, which is producing it, spent between P250,000-300,000. For the huge billboard along EDSA near Guadalupe, they had to shell out half a million pesos. And dig her guests -a handful of stars led by her sister Cacai Velasquez, Gabby Eigenmann, DC Montero and the Hotlegs, will be there too. Viva is obviously sparing no expense to make this a special concert.

Finally, it is her biggest production in terms of venue. But would you believe that Regine, who has conquered every stage from New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall to the venerable CCP, was afraid of doing a concert at the Araneta because she was afrad she couldn't fill it? "I usually do a concert at venues like Folk Arts, at laging okay ang turn-out," says Regine. "I've been avoiding Araneta for the longest time because I always thought it was too big. Imagine 17,000 seats o fill per night - I didn't know if I could do it."

Well as they say, there's no turning back. With barely days to go before the concert. Regine - who conceptualized and is directing herself in this show - is going crazy trying to assure herself that everything will be okay. She's breaking out into rashes from the nervousness she feels. "How am I feeling?" she asks. "It's everything combined basically. I'm nervous worrying if everything is gonna be okay at kung mapupuno ko ang Araneta. I've never thought I could do one night at Araneta. Imagine, now I'm doing two nights! I'm very excited especially since it's going to be a celebration of my 14th year and my 30th birthday."

Regine is 14 years in the business have been very fruitful. She has many special memories of those 14 years, starting with the time she met her former manager, Ronnie Henares. Ronnie and his wife Ida were instrumental in giving her new sophisticated image. "We all know naman why Ronnie is one for the people whom I consider important to my career. He saw the potential in me. A lot of people were discouraging him from trying to manage me kasi I was thin, dark and unsophisticated. Pero ipinaglaban niya ako. Ronnie was the first person who believed in me." explains Regine.

She has cut her ties w/ Ronnie but they remain good friends. Today, in managing her own career, Regine applies many of the lessons she learned from Ronnie. They helped a lot, especially when she was producing her latest album, "R2K." It was Regine's first time to produce an album, but she was vindicated when the album did so well (it's nearing the triple platinum mark) and when Viva decided to produce a concert inspired by it. "It was my first time to produce, I was so tensed!" laughs Regine. "I lost a lot of weight dahil sa tensyon - daig pa ang Bangkok pills! I became more critical because it was my album and I wanted it to be perfect. It was my baby. Kaya pinagisipan ko talaga bawat kanta. I had to explain to the arrangers exactly how I wanted each song to be done."

Regine says she wasn't out to prove anything by trying to produce her own album. "It was just an artistic thing. I also wanted to fulfill a dram and it's what I wanted to do. I'm very happy at the way the album turned out."
She feels a great deal of satisfaction over how her 14 years in the business have turned out. Through her career she has been able to provide for her family. "I think it's my biggest reward," says Regine. "More than all the awards, what makes me happy is seeing the fruits of my labor and being able to see my family na comfortable ang life and with no worries."

Regine herself doesn't have much to worry about these days. Her place in the industry is secure. She counted right up there with Kuh Ledesma, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Jaya, Lani Misalucha, Vernie Varga, Sharon Cuneta and all the other divas. Nearly every album she has recorded has turned gold platinum. Her Asian albums, "Listen W/o Prejudice, My Love Emotion, and Retro" were international hits, which led to her being dubbed "Asia's Songbird." She is the only Filipina singer to have dueted with Hong Kong pop superstar Jackie Cheung, and American superstars Paul Anka and David Hasselhoff of Baywatch fame.

The latest feather on Regine's cap was when she was chosen to perform composer Danny Tan's historic millennium song last December 31 on the rooftop of the Peninsula Manila Hotel, with her seven-minute performance broadcast to the entire world. She is multi-awarded, and has played to SRO audiences in the Philippines and abroad.

When she looks back to where it all started, Regine can't help but be nostalgic. "I have fond memories of those times. For instance, I remember joining the Asia Pacific Singing Contest in Hong Kong way back in 1989. That was my first international contest, and my first contest in a long time," recalls Regine. "It was also my first time out of the Philippines. That contest was five years after I won Bagong Kampeon, and I was already starting to make a name for myself, that why I was so pressured. Napapansin na ako. So sabi ko, "What if I lose?" Nakakahiya! But the thrill of representing my country was enough to make me want to go and try, bahala na if I win or not."

Regine sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "And I am telling You." The contest was so nerve-wrecking that when her name was finally called as the winner, she couldn't believe it. It was a "Miriam Quiambao" moment for her, so one that she'll never forget. Dalawang kanta lang yon, pero ibinigay ko lahat, so at the end of it, felt like a two hour concert...I'll never forget that tired feeling in my life," says Regine. "After my song, I was so drained and so tired that my father practically had to carry me offstage. You should have seen me - halos gumagapang na ako. But when I won, ang sarap ng feeling. Parang nanalo ka ng Ms. Universe!"

What made the victory doubly sweet was that the contest was held in December. By the time Regine and her entourage got home, it was Christmas Eve. "It was such a nice Christmas present for me and my family," says Regine. "Ang saya-saya ng Noche Buena namin." Another "memorable moment" from her 14 years in the business is when she recorded her Asian albums, "Listen Without Prejudice" and "Reason Enough". Both hit the top of the Asian charts ang gave Regine gold and platinum awards. "It was nice, because I never thought that other people to me was amazing."

There have been, and will be more moments to remember for Regine. It has been a good 14 years, and she's looking forward to more. That's why this concert at the Araneta Coliseum - her biggest - ever is a milestone for her. I'm very much overwhelmed by everything's that's happened to me in 14 years," says Regine. "I'm very lucky and very blessed. Not everyone has been given the chance I've had. There's a lot of pressure now, and people will be expecting a lot, but there's a good side and a bad side to that. I'm just going to try my best.

Regine doesn't believe that the all-out support being given to her means she is being treated any more special by Viva that the other divas it has on its roster, namely Kuh, Jaya, Sharon, Zsa Zsa, Pops and Lani. "At first ganon ang reaction ko, but then I realized that we're all being treated the same. In a way, ako rin ang humingi ng tulong from Viva to produce this kasi ang hirap mag-concert ngayon because of the economic crisis. And Boss Vic has been saying na the next time I have a concerts, sa kanya ko na daw ibigay. Matagal na kasi siyang hindi nagpo-produce ng concert. All out talaga sila." she says.

And why not, as she is one singer who definitely deserves it. For 14 years, she has brought her audience untold joy through her music, and this will be an occasion to celebrate that joy.


Moviestar Magazine, April 5, 2000

"Hindi ako pakawalang babae pero gusto ko talagang magpatattoo" - Regine

It will be a great challenge to me and a dream come true na rin kung mapupuno ko ang Araneta Coliseum sa concert ko, " kabado pa ring pahayag ni Regine kung ano ang pakiramdam niya sa nalalapit niyang konsiyerto sa April 7 and 8. Ito ang R2K, the concert na siya mismo ang magdidirek at magko-conceptualize. Ngayon pa nga lang daw ay hindi na siya mapagkatulog dahil ilang araw na lang ang bibilangin for this big event sa kanyang buhay.

Fourteen years na si Regine in the business ang ipinagtataka nga lang ng lahat ay kung bakit ngayon lang isya mag-a-Araneta Colisuem. What made her accept the challenge at dalawang araw pa siyang magkokonsiyerto sa nasabing venue?

"To entertain more people siguro. I'm not out to prove anything talaga. Gusto ko lang talagang magbigay kasiyahan. Actually, I'm still afraid kung mapupuno ko nga 'yung venue. Sana naman. I'd be happy kung mapupuno ko ang Araneta.

"Actually, matagal nang ino-offer sa akin na mag-perform sa Araneta. Na kay Ronnie Henares pa ako na dati kong manager but I always refuse dahil feeling ko hindi ko pa kaya. I guess, wala na rin akong kawala kung tanggapin and I'm happy naman with my decision." dagdag pa niya.

Aliw na aliw ang mga press na dumalo sa kanyang press conference. Napakakikay kasi nitong sumagot at diretso. Kung saan-saan na nga napunta yung topic. Maging ang tattoo niya sa paa at likod ay pinakialam na ring tanugin. Well, Regine has her own story behind the tatto sa kanyang paa. "I always wanted to have one noon pa. Nagkataon lang na when Ariel and I broke up, na-heartbroken ako kaya nagpa-tattoo ako. That's the reason, pero sinamantala ko lang 'yon dahil gusto ko naman talagang magkaroon noon. Hindi ako pakawalang babae. Sorry for the term. I should not have used that pero gusto ko lang talagang magpatattoo. Hindi rin naman ako ex-convict. Maki join lang ba sa uso. I have no plans to remove it. If in the future matagpuan ko yung guy in my life, he should accept me and my tattoo. Ngayon kung ipapaalis niya yon, it's like telling met to change my personality, huwag na lang.

"Actually, my father disagreed na mapa-tattoo ako. Kaya nga when I had it, sabi ko sa kanya sticker lang yon. Nagtataka siya dahil one year na pero hindi pa rin naaalis yung tattoo."

The way Reigne talks and the way she answers questions, malaki na nga ang ipinagbago niya, maging sa kanyang pagkanta.

"I think I am more at east with myself now. I know how to carry myself now kasi nag-mature na rin ako. Mas naging confident ako at comfortable with what I am doing unlike before. As a singer, mas may puso na ako. I know what to do on stage although minsan ay nakakalimutan ko yung ibang lyrics, but that's part of it. As a singer, I can say na mas effective na ako. Unlike before na pag kumakanta ako ng mga love songs, I had to give effort para lang ma-feel ko yung song. Unlike now na I've gone through a lot of experience in life kaya hindi na ako umaarte. It comes naturally dahil mas nararamdaman ko na yung song.

As a singer ano ang comment niya at bakit pulos revivals na lang ang kinakanta nowadays ng mga singers including her. Does it mean na hindi na kaya ng mga local artist ang mapasikat ng mga original songs?

"Yun kasi ang trend. Kung ano lang naman ang gusto ng mga tao, yung lang ang ibinibigay namin. I still believe that we still have a lot of good composers. In fact in my next album pulos original songs na ang included. "Yun lang kasi ang trend ngayon."

To give you an idea or glimpse sa magaganap na konsiyerto ni Regine espesyal niya mga panauhin sina KC MONTERO, GABBY EIGENMANN, JANNO GIBBS, OGIE ALCASID, CACAI VELASQUEZ AT JAYA. Imagine, three hundred thousand ang kanyang budget para sa costume na gawa ni Rajo Laurel. Most of the songs na aawititn niya ay kanyang paborito kung saan included ang mga ito sa kanyang album. She will also sing personal favorite song na Butterfly ni Mariah Carey at magkakaroon siya ng medley of movie theme songs. Kung hindi ba naman gan'um kabongga si Regine siya pa lang ang kauna-unahang local artist na may concert billboard sa EDSA.

Walang duda na kikita ang R2K concert na ito ni Regine because she deserves naman to be called the Millennium Diva at wala ng iba pa, diba?


Untouched 'Reginity'
Star Studio Magazine
Musikat, April 15, 2000 (First Issue)
By J. Hanzel M. Villafuerte

After 15 years in the business, Regine Velasquez has very little left to prove except perhaps, that she can find the right man at last

After watching a Coco Lee show in Hong Kong, a Filipino journalist remarked: "She (Coco Lee) is good, but Regine is a much better performer. If Regine wold only be given the same breaks, she could definitely make it in the international scene."

A Filipino journalist saying that about a Filipino singer? Perhaps taken with a grain of salt, yes. But no matter what anyone says, Filipino or not, Regine Velasquez is definitely a talent to reckon with. After 15 years in the business, she has very little left to prove.

She is one of the country's most popular female singers, a known hit-maker, concert artist, TV host, and actress. She has recorded more than a dozen albums, some of w/c chalked sales abroad. Her last two albums, 1998's "Drawn" and 1999's "R2K" copped platinum awards within months of their release.

She is popular concert performer both here and abroad, and is one of the few Filipino artists who have set foot in the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. Her concerts here are sold-out affairs; any free concert she stages (like her recent Valentine's Day show at the Glorietta) draws hordes of people. And her forthcoming major concert this year at the Araneta Coliseum, produced by Viva Concerts, set on April 7 and 8 will most likely set a new record in the local concert scene.

She is also a trendsetter and trailblazer. She was one of the first local artists to try and direct her own concerts and videos. She's also one of the first to produce her own album "R2K." It marked the first album by a local artist to have a companion VCD (video compact disc) with videos of six songs from the album, including the carrier single "On the Wings of Love," and its own full-color magazine with photos of Regine taken by the country's noted photographers like Pancho Escaler, Jun de Leon and Ronnie Salvacion.

Moreover, Regine is one of the few singers who have successfully crossed over the acting arena . Regine's entry into the movies sealed whatever gap there was between her and the masa. She has done several movies with some of Philippine cinema's most talented actors for leading men-the likes of Drama King Christopher de Leon and Aga Muhlach. Being a singer, she is most at home with musicals, but her cheerful, happy personality makes her a natural for comedies and light romance-dramas such as "Wanted: Perfect Mother" (with Christopher de Leon and "Dahil May Isang Ikaw" (with Aga Muhlach).

But perhaps the most amazing thing about the phenomenon that is Regine is her staying- all 15 years of it. Starting as a 16-year-old ingenue a decade and a half ago, she has truly come a long way. Originally known as a belter, Regine has learned to control her powerful voice to be able to interpret songs that require sensitivity and vocal artistry.

Regine believes in the adage that when you stop being better, you stop being good. Whether it's her music, acting, concertizing, or recording, she never does anything half-heartedly. If there's a way of doing anything better, trust that she'll do it that way. "I think that's the artist in me," she says. "I love to do things, to create and to make things happen. I'll try anything at least once. I guess that's why I've lasted this long in the business."

Neither will she rest on her laurels. Her plans include writing songs and producing albums for other artists, starting with a song she is planning to write for young singer-actress Antionette Taus. She also has in mind her younger sister Cacai. "I see this as the next logical step after producing my album," says Regine. "After proving to myself that I can do it, I want to try something else naman also because I'm not getting any younger."

For Regine, it's all about sharing her talents. "I'm very blessed to have been given so much. Through my singing, I've gained so much that I feel I have to help others as my way of giving back what I have received."

Inevitably, the subject turns out to her love life for as she herself says she's "not getting any younger." With a blank stare she replies: "Next question, please."






Regine Velasquez: Celebrates 15 showbiz years
Mirror Weekly, April 3, 2000

By Ruby V. Asoy

This year is a momentous year for singer Regine. As she turns 30 this month, she is likewise celebrating her 15th year in show business.

She's making those events with a concert dubbed "R2K The Concert" which will be held at the Araneta Colisuem on April 7 & 8. The concert is also a celebration of the success of her album R2K, her 10th and the first she produced, which has turned platinum.

Regine herself will direct this concert (which she also conceptualized), in cooperation with musical director Mark Lopez and stage designer Jo Tecson. Directing and conceptualizing shows are not new to Regine. She has also directed her previous concerts "Drawn" and "Retro" and other events, like "Isang Pasasalamat." But "R2K The Concert" makes her jittery because for the first time she's holding it in a venue w/ a capacity of 17,000.

In this concert, she'll be supported by sister Cacai, the SOP co-stars Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, along w/ hunky rap artists KC Montero and Gabby Eigenmann, plus, the Hotlegs dancer.

Regine relates that the concert is not only a feast for music lovers but fashion aficionados as well. Noted fashion designer Rajo Laurel has done a marvelous set of post-modern outfits for her for the concert. Spectators are expected to see Regine metamorphose from a sexy seductress in black leather cat suit to a hip and cool trendsetter in a psychedelic miniskirt over a netted blouse. She will also wear sophisticated gowns that exemplify both elegant and high style. The concert will veritably appear like a fashion show for Asia's undisputed songbird.

A gigantic billboard featuring a sexy and sassy and hip Regine (the very first of its kind) which now stands along Guadalupe corner EDSA in Makati, serves as one of the concerts promotional strategies. The billboard affirms that she's the premiere trendsetter in the entertainment industry.

Regine has learned to show off some skin in her manner of dressing partly on the advice of designer Louie Mamengo, who taught her to be more fashionable. "With my age I should be over my pa-sweet and pa-cute image." she says.

Regine appears amenable to receiving and advice or two regarding clothes but as far as makeup is concerned she does it all by herself. She does her own makeup and maintains a traditional ritual in keeping her skin smooth and flawless. She applies Lana (an oil extract from a young coconut) during weekends. And if you think she frequents the salon to maintain her look, you're in for a surprise, because she does all her beauty regimen at home. "I prefer doing it at home so I can feel comfortable and not to be obligated to dress up. Another reason is that I don't want to hear any chismis." This way, she says she is free from the prying eyes of other people.

Longtime Dream

Becoming an international star has remained her longtime dream. Slowly, she's working on that. If it will push through that would be heaven, but if not, she has still a career here to keep busy with.

"It's really hard to make it there. A face and talent could not guarantee you can make a foothold in that market," she says. "As it is, it's not easy to make it here also. I'm hoping that at least, I could record even one international album and I would be happy if it happens.

Having established a name for herself, Regine has decided to manage herself. She used to be managed by Ronnie Henares, whom she conceives as his second father up to this day. "As far as decision making, I know I can already handle it. But I also hired people to work for me on a per project basis. What they do is that they talk to producers and other concerned individuals," she tells.

In a way, managing her own career has worked for her advantage. It makes her knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the business.

"I consider it as part of my growing up process. Eventually, I hope to master the ropes of the trade. The past two years hat I tried it on my own I have been learning a lot," she explains.

Temporarily, Regine has put her movie career on hold. Her first priority has been her singing career. The last movie she did was opposite Aga Mulach (Dahil May Isang Ikaw) under Viva Films. She relates that the original plan was for her to do two movies a year. But with her busy singing commitments, she couldn't finishes two pictures a year. "But that's good enough for me so I won't be over exposed," she says.

Hopeless romantic

As far as love life is concerned, Regine doesn't want to be pressured just because she will be turning 30. "There's no rush really," she says. "I don't know, but guys are sort of intimidated by me. But if I want to do it my way, I want my relationship to start in friendship."

She admits she's not really missing out on anything. What more can she asks for if she's living a fulfilled life?

"My career is doing good. I have a very loving and supportive family. I have friends...But real friends? I can count them in my hands. Real friendship needs proper nurturing, like taking time and effort be with one another."

Regine has been living in a condominium unit in Quezon City for two years now with her younger sister, who she has hired as production assistant. She used to live in her hometown in Bulacan with her family.

She has lost her privacy she says, because of her job. "But you know, I've sacrificed little compared to what success has given to me," she intimates. "Because of my career, I've helped my family and we are now living a comfortable life. I was able to travel for free. I don't have any complains at all.

"What I have become has surpassed even my expectations. I've never expected that I would last this long, that I would continue singing up to this day. I've no regrets at all. My career has been running smoothly. And if I decide to retire, my songs will always be there - my legacy to my fans and supporters. But I'm not ready to slow down. Not yet. I'll continue to test the waters," she concludes.



Rajo Laurel Creates Regine's New Look
PDI, March 24, 2000

Regine Velasquez will hold "R2K: The Concert," on April 7 & 8 at the Araneta Coliseum, and surprises seem to continuously flow.

Designer Rajo Laurel made postmodern outfits such as black leather cat suit to a hip and cool trendsetter in a psychedelic miniskirt over an animal print tights to utter sophistication in gowns that exemplify both elegance and high style. "R2K: The Concert" is also some sort of fashion show fit only for Asia's undisputed song goddess.

Aside from the fashion the audience will see, they can also expect Regine to be at her very best as she would sing a lineup of her favorite songs, including several cuts from her platinum album "R2K," released by Viva Records.

Tickets are available at all SM Ticketnet Outlets or at the Araneta Ticketnet Office (tel. 911-5555)







Regine and Robin to do a film inspired by 'Notting Hill'
by Lea Salterio-Gatdula
PDI, February 15, 2000

Don't look now, buit after being paired with the likes of Christopher de Leon (Wanted: Perfect Mother) and Aga Mulach (Dahil May Isang IKaw), Regine will team up with local cinemas erstwhile "Bad Boy," Robin Padilla.

It will be a 'Notting Hill' -type of movie, where Regine will play a singing superstar who falls for a street-smart guy played by Robin.

Regine is excited no end about her latest project becasue, for the first time, seh will play a rich girl on the big screen.

"When they told me about it, I was thrilled because I never got to play rich in my moview," Regine said. "Laging marhirap ang role ko. I would ride a jeep or a tricylce or drive a run-down pick-up truck. Dito sa movie namin ni Robin, for sure they'll make me ride a Benz and they'll dress me up."

The comedy-romance filcik produced by Viva Films, will be megged by "Dahil May Isang Ikaw" director Joyce Bernal.

Yesterday, Regine celebrated a no-frills Valentines Day by holding a free concert for her fans at the Gloreitta Entertainment Center. She dished out retro tunes from her latest album, "R2K," which has been certified double platinum.

It has been years since Regine had someone special for Valentine's Day. Yes, she's still loveless, but she makes no fuss about it. She doesn't go around searching for a guy and simply waits for the right one to come.

It has become quite a "tradition" for Regine to hold free concerts. She performed live before a crowd of thousands during the millennium party at Ayala on New Year's eve, where she sang the millennium song, "Written in the Sand," composed by Danny Tan.

On her birthday last year she performed for her fans at Makati Coliseum. A few years before that, she gave a free concert, "Isang Pasasalamat" at the UP Sunken Garden in Diliman, Q.C.

But on April 7 and 8 Regine will hold a major concert, not free, at Araneta Coliseum.

She woul would like to have megastar Sharon Cuneta as one of her special guests.


Regine (sigh!) is loveless
written by Ricky Lo
Funfare-Phil. Star-02-12-2000

Donated by Romina Perocho of RV mailing list..THANK YOU!!!

Would you believe that Regine Velasquez has been loveless for six years
now (her last boyfriend having been Ariel Rivera, now the husband of Gelli
de Belen with whom he has a son)? How does Regine cope with this barrenness
in her lovelife? Is she so choosy that, after Ariel, she hasn't found a new
love worthy of her heart(never mind her body, not yet anyway)?

"I'm okay," said Regine who shuns doing Valentine shows (and, if she has
time would rather watch Martin Nievera and Zsa Zsa Padilla's Divine Madness
show at the Araneta Coliseum tomorrow, Feb. 13, among the dozens of
Valentine shows lined up this weekend). "I've lasted six years loveless but
I hope I won't be spending the next six years still loveless.

So instead of having a bongga Valentine show, Regine will sing for free at
the Glorietta at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14, as her special gift to her
fans. It's not her first time to be doing a free show. Last year, Regine
celebrated her birthday by giving a free concert at the Makati Coliseum
and, the year before last, she also did a free birthday show at the UP
Diliman Sunken Garden.

What Regine is looking forward to are two big projects, one of them a movie
with Robin Padilla inspired by Notting Hill, to be produced by Viva Films
and to be directed by Joyce Bernal (who also megged Regine's last movie,
Dahil May Isang Ikaw, with Aga Muhlach).

"For the first time," said Regine,I'll be playing a rich-girl role, a
singing superstar, so I'll be wearing nice clothes. Buti naman. I won't be
driving a truck (like in Dahil); instead, I'll have a chauffeur. O, di ba?
Si Robin 'yon."

It's a known fact that Robin is a fan of Regine and he never misses any of
Regine's concerts. What if Robin would court her on the set?

"Would he?" asked Regine.

Shooting of the yet untitled movie will start end of February.

On April 7 and 8, Regine will hold her first major concert for 2000 at the
Araneta Coliseum and she hopes to add Sharon Cuneta to the glittering array
of guests (confirmed ones include KC Montero, Janno Gibbs, Gabby Eigenmann
and Ogie Alcasid).

It's perhaps not a known fact that Regine is an avid fan of Sharon and she
has seen all of Sharon's movies (dare her to name all of them and Regine
will rattle off the titles in a minute).

"The first song that I memorized without anybody teaching me is a Sharon
Cuneta song, Mr. Deejay, when I was 6," recalled Regine who has yet to
personally and formally invite her Idol to be among her guests. "It will be
a dream come true for me," added Regine.

Asked what her three favorite Sharon songs are, Regine mentioned Sana'y
Wala Nang Wakas, Ikaw and Sana'y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan.

And her three favorite Sharon movies?

Bukas Luluhod ang mga Tala, Bituing Walang Ningning and Dear Heart.



Bongga ang launching ng R2K album ni Regine sa SOP
Moviestar Magazine, December 15, 2000
by Reggee Bonoan


Totoo talaga ang kasabihan na kung namumulaklak ang career mo ay tiyak na zero ang love life mo or the other way around. Ganito ang drama ni Regine Velasquez sa buhay, paganda nang paganda ang kanyang singing career bukod pa sa mainstay siya ng SOP, pero wala naman siyang inspirasyon sa buhay dahil wala siyang boyfriend.

Nananatili pa rin siyang Soltera hanggang ngayon bagay na hindi naiwasang itanong sa kanya during her album launching na R2K sa Sobrang Okay Pare ng GMA 7.

"Yung sinasabi nilang wala akong inspirasyon, e, diyan sila nagkakamali dahil marami akong inspirasyon. I have my family as my inspiraton, my friends, my fans and all the people who helped me kung nasaan ako ngayon.

Kung inspirasyon sa puso ang tatanungin, e, talagang zero dahil hindi ko pa rin nahahanap ang aking Mr. Right. Kung Soltera pa rin ako hanggang ngayon, okay lang. E, wala pa akong amkita, alangan namang ipalagay ko sa ads na wanted boyfriend? I'm happy mana maski na wala akong boyfirend nakangiting sagot ni Regine sa amin.

"Kung may boyfriend si Regine ay tiyak na hindi rin siya ganito kapalad sa career dahil tiyak na mas priortiy niya ang love life, tama ba? uling masaktan, lalo na ngayon. Kaya munang career ko ang priority ko," katwiran uli ng Asia's Songbird.

Bongga ang R2K album ni Regine dahil maraming sponsors. Masyadong mataas ang tema ng last album ni Regine na Drawn at ngayon nman ay pang millennium kaya R2K, bakit R2K?

"R2K is my millennium album, pagsalubong ba at the same time pulos isya revivals na pulos request ng mga friends and fans. Marami kasi kaming nari-receive na request na kantahin ko raw yung ganito, gnayan at isama sa album. Since masa naman yung nagsabi, sibubukan namin at maganda naman ang resulta at umaasa akong magugustuhan nila ito like the previous albums I had.

"Hindi porke't mga revivals, e, mga lumlabas na iniba namin ang areglo kaya tunog millennium siya," sabi pa ni Regine.

Samantala, matatandaang banned si Regine Velasquez sa bakuran ng ABS-CBN dahil kay Ariel Rivera kung saan nagkaroon sila ng relasyon at biglang simpatiya kay Gelli ay may lumbas na balitang hindi puwedeng tumuntong si Regine sa Dos, bagay na pinasinungalinang naman ng singer.

At ngayon ay may balitang offer kay Regine for a new show with AGA Mulach dahil balitang mawawala na sa ere ang Oki Doki Doc, therefore, tutuntong na siya sa Dos? "As far as I know ay wala akong offer, wala akong natatanggap na talagang offer," muli niyang sagot.

At dahil dito ay maraming fans ang humiyaw na boto sila kay Aga for Regine. Na tinawanan lang ni Regine.
"Ipilit ba?" nailing na sagot ulit ng singer.

"Naniniwala ako na kung para sayo para sayo, hindi mo na kailangang hanapin pa, "dagdag pa niya.




Channels Magazine, February 2000

By Tinna Bonifacio-Mauricio

Kuh Ledesma was watching Penthouse Live when she first caught sight of a promising young singer named Chona Velasquez.


Kuh: I saw her sing on TV, and I called Sandra (Chavez, her manager back then). I told her, "Di ba naghahanap ka ng bagong talent? Buksan mo ang TV mo, manood ka ng Penthouse-may bagong singer na kumakanta ngayon, Chona Velasquez ang pangalan. Magaling siya, mukhang may potential.

Because Regine lived in Bulacan, Sandra didn't get to her fast enough. Ronnie did, though. The next thing Kuh knew, Ronnie had signed Regine up to a contaract and was introducing her s the next big thing to hit the local music business. Eager not to be beaten to the draw, Kuh produed Regine's first major solo concert, Regine at 17, at the Grand Ballroom of the Mla. Midtown Hotel.

Regine: When Ronnie told me that Kuh wanted to produce a concert for me, umiyak ako! Na-tense ako e! I kept saying, "Ayoko, ayoko..." Then I found out that Leo Rialp was going to direct the show-lalong ayoko, kasi nabalitaan ko na mabagsik siya. I was so afraid, kaya ang bait-bait ko. Everything Leo told me to do, I did. He'd tell me to go there sing this, move this way-I memorized everything sa sobrang takot ko. Hanggang ngayon, dala-dala ko 'yon. I still have this tendency to do everything my directors tell me.

Regine was intimidated bec. she had always considered Kuh someone to look up to. Kuh was already the Pop Diva when Regine was still an aspiring amateur singer. Regine used to sing Kuh's songs and had no clue that Kuh would not only be producing her concert for her but singing onstage with her one day.

Regine: The first time we performed together was in Awit a la Carte sponsored by OPM. I was only 16. Umiyak na naman ako kasi I was supposed to wear this certain outfit, but the designer didn't deliver on time. I remember Kuh telling me, "Huwag ka na umiyak...just go out there and sing" The other singers helped me. Joey Albert lent me one of her gowns. Ivy Violan lent me a pair of stockings. Ayun, awa ng Diyos, nakakanta naman ako. Buti na lang Kuh was so encouraging.

Kuh encouraged Regine bec. she knew from the start that the young singer would go far.

Kuh: From the time I saw her that first time on Penthouse, na kulot pa ang buhok niya, I knew that she would make it. And look at her now, she's really doing well.

Regine: Ako naman, I've always admired Kuh. Besides that, I consider her a friend. you can talk to her about anything. As a performer, I can't question her talent. I've been idolizing her since I started.

Today, Kuh and Regine are considered two of the country's top female singers, deserving of the lofty title "diva". One is called the "Pop Diva". The other used to be known as "Asia Songbird", but since that monumental seven-minute performance broadcast to the world last Dec. 31, she's become known as the "Millennium Diva".

How do you feel about being calle dby those titles?

Kuh: I've been in this business for 20 years. It feels good and flattering to be called a diva, but I also attribute to a lot of hard work on my part.

Regine: Ganoon din. I feel pressured, but it's very flattering. Actually, that song I did for the Global Millennium Day broadcast, I did it for free. It was my contribution to the celebration of the millennium. Ewan ko nga kung saan nanggaling ang balita na binayaran daw ako ng 500,000 pesos para sa isang kanta na yon-wala talaga akong bayad.

But more than just "divas", they are friends too. When Kuh was conceptualizing "Power of Two" concert series, Regine was her first choice for a partner. The series was so successful that it went on an extended 12-week run and a tour of major US cities like Reno and San Francisco. The two have many fond memories of being abroad together.

Regine: Twice na kami nag-US tour. And it's been really fun. During the last tour, she (Kuh) ws in the middle of fixing this place (The Republic of Malate). So tuwing lalabas kami, ang hinahanap niya lagi, furniture and antiques. Wala na kaming pinapagusapan kung hindi ano ang biblhin niya para dito-tapos pag-uwi, kahon-kahon ang dala niya!

Kuh: I remember this one time, we were in New York and I lost my wallet in the dressing room. It was open and a lot of people were going in and out. Kaya siguro nawala. When we get back to the hotel, Regine knocked on my door. She had this really serious look on her face. Makikiramay daw siya sa pagkawala ng wallet ko. I was so touched.

Regine: Over ka naman! (Laughs!). Kuh's also very thoughtful. Almost every birthday, she sends something to me. Minsan card, minsan flowers. Sometimes she sends a gift. My favorite gifts are a skirt from her and laminates for my hair. Alam niya kasing mahilig ako mag-ayos ng buhok, e!

Kuh: It's easy to remember her b-day bec. she shares the same b-date (April 22) as my daughter Isabella.

Their most recent project was Regine's latest album, R2K. It was recorded at Bravo Records, the studio owned by Kuh based at her home in Pasay. There is talk that after a Valentime concert at Fort Santiago that they will both be starring in this month, the duo's next project will be another album by Regine, this time, of Kuh's hits, to be called Velasquez sings Ledesma. Regine will be reviving Kuh's hits, among w/c is a song called Wakas, her favorite of Kuh's song. (Kuh's favorite song of Regine is "You are my song"). The project is still being negotiated, but if it pushes through it would definitely be a coup. It would be the 1st recording of its kind, bringing together two of local music's divas who would normally be considered rivals for the same market.

Kuh: I've never considered her as a competitor. If I do, it becomes unhealthy. If we have that kind of attitude, we're not going to be happy. We should just support each other, knowing that we were created with individual talents and that her voice is different from mine.

Regine: Actually, it was my idea. Once, I told her, "I want to revive your songs-are you interested in producing it (the album?) We're talking about it, but we both have such busy schedules. But we both want to do it. On the point of our being considered competitors, it doesn't really matter. People will always have something to say. I'm just concerned about doing a good record.

Perhaps the talk about being rivals has to do with the fact that last year, both divas released thier own revival albums-Regine her R2K and Kuh's Akuhstic. Both released by Viva Records as part of its Viva's Divas collection, the albums both ride on the popularity of old hits. It was actually Regine who started the current craze when she released her first revival album, Retro in 1996.

Kuh: I love doing revivals. They've always been a part of my repertoire. The audience always relates easier to songs they are familiar with. I decided to revive If I Could Reach You because I used to hear that song a lot. It's nice and easy to remember, and a favorite of one of my very good friends.

Regine: It's not that we're not interested in doing original songs anymore, but it's hard to find good songs these days. We need new talents (in composers). ANd revivals are really popular. I did an album (1997 Drawn) that was mostly all-originals, and it had very good sales, but it didn'' do as well as R2K is doing. But I have nothing against original songs. In fact my next album will be all-original songs, to be produced by Ryan Cayabyab. I've always wanted to work with him.

Thier lives in and out of music have run along similar paths. Kuh has ventured into other things besides singing with her Republic of Malate-a three-in-one complex that houses a Chinese restaurant (The Good Earht Tea Room), a watering hole-cum-bar (Survival Cafe) and a dance club (Republika). Regine began working behind the scenes by diecting her own concerts and music videos. Pretty soon, she intents to start producing songs for other artists.

(some quotes from Kuh not relating to Regine were omitted)
Regine: It's a nice place. At masarap ang pagkain dito ha! (Regine says this while digging into a plateful of crab). Ako naman, I'm into producing. I produced R2K w/c we recorded at Kuh's studio. I did everything, from the concept to talking to the arrangers and telling them what I wanted. I hired the musicians. It was taxing, but very challenging. But for my next project I'll be working w/ Mr. C-it's also good to bring other people in nce in a while bec there are some things I can't see when I'm so close to a project. At saka maganda yung may ibang point-of-view, diba? That's why I got Louie Ignacio, my director on SOP to direct my videos for R2K. But there's something I'm really excited about, w/c is producing for other artists. I'm going to produce a song for Antonette Taus.

All throughout the pictorial, Kuh and Regine act like sisters. They laugh, they joke, they swap fashion and beauty tips-and they talk about men. They do that a lot, they say, especially when they're on concert tours abroad. Despite this, unkind rumors that more than friendship exists between them have persisted.

Kuh: Ay naku, the more we say something the more people will accuse us of being defensive. And it's ridiculous.

Regine: I can vouch that she's not gay. Alam mo ba, she advises me to go out and meet people, make more friends. She advises me pa nga to have boyfriends and not to be afraid of taking chances in love.

Kuh: Just look-she has become a better singer since (she broke off w/ Ariel Rivera). So I keep telling her, she should fall in love again! Kaya lang naman laging may tatay na nakabantay! (Looks at Regine's father, Mang Gerry, who is seated nearby, puffing away on a cigarette, oblivious to the conversation).

Regine: Hay naku, siter tama ka diyan! I agree 100% Mas nagkaroon ako ng personality (after I fell in Love).

The easy rapport is due to the fact that despite our perceiving them as rivals in the business, they consider each other friends.

Regine: Kuh is one of the most sincere persons I've known in this business. I've learned a lot of things from her, at enjoy na enjoy ako pa nagkukuwneto siya-kasi nakakarelate ako, especially when she talks about her beginnings as a singer.

Kuh: Ganoon ka rin naman, eh ! (Smiling at Regine). We're not naman super-close enough to call each other friends. And we work well together.

Regine: We can tell each other things too. Kinukuwento niya sa akin ang lovelife niya!

Kuh: Para mainspire ka at magkaroon ka rin (Dissolves into laughter).

Finally the photo shoot is over. As Regine gets ready to leave, she hands Kuh her belated X'mas present. Handshakes and hugs are exchanged, make-up kits and gowns are packed away and Kuh and Regine go back being wha they really are: two divas who just happen to be friends.



Brian McKnight to guest in Regine concert in April?
Manila Bulletin, January 23, 2000
by Shirley Matias Pizzarro

We talked to publicist Hanzel Villafuerte about a couple of days ago and he intimated to us that Regine Velasquez's major concert in April shall have no less than Brian McKnight and Sharon Cuneta as special guests.

Hanzel said that this is already confirmed, "the only thing that has not yet been confirmed is the title of the show. We're still thinking of a nice adjective to describe Regine beginning with the letter "R," he told us.

Anyway, this Regine concert will surely be something to look forward to. Brian McKnight is best remembered for his heart-rending song "One Last Cry."

* * *
But then again, a source has told us that this Regine-Brian McKnight thing has not yet been confirmed. Our mole, who refused to be named, told us that everything is till being worked out, but not for a concert, but for a duet.

The mole said a Filipina from Brian's recording company contacted them because Brian McKnight was actually looking for a Filipina he can have a duet with in his upcoming album. So they suggested Regine and they talked to Boss Vic (del Rosario) about it, who in turn, got so excited with the idea, he said, and informed Regine right away.

"Right now, everything is still at that stage. We're still going back to Brian's camp to give them Regine's name so I am not really sure about this Brian McKnight guesting in Regine's show," he said.