Regine is Favorite MTV Filipino Artist
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - February 4, 2002 - 12:00am

• Guess what is to a foreign-bred TV host what a "security blanket" is to Linus (Peanuts, remember?)? Oh, yes, perfume. Perfume? Yes, perfume! Funfare found this out not so long ago during a press junket for a boyband composed of goodlooking guys. Prior to the interview, the TV host fidgeted nervously. He was insecure (first-time jitters, maybe?). So he excused himself and sprayed perfume all over himself. When he sat back before the cameras, he felt confident, ready to shoot! Now, what had the perfume got to do with it (restoring his composure and self-confidence)? Check out Freud and you’ll know the connection.

• Reader Beverly Contreras e-mailed this correction to an item in Funfare’s article on Korina Sanchez four issues ago: I am a Filipino based in San Francisco. I would like to make a correction on the name of Korina’s favorite actor whom Funfare identified as "Emil" Harris (who played the director in the Jim Carrey starrer The Truman Show). The actor is Ed Harris, not "Emil." Please tell Korina that my eight-year-old daughter adores her. She’s not fluent in Tagalog but she tries very hard to imitate Korina. She said that when she grows up, she’ll be a TV journalist like Korina.

• Meanwhile, here’s another contest tie-up between Funfare and HBO on the forthcoming telecast of the Tom Cruise starrer Mission: Impossible 2. Question: On what date and on what movie channel will you see Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 2? Send your answer(s) to: Funfare, The Philippine STAR, Mission: Impossible 2 Promo, P.O. Box 512, Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Entries must be postmarked not later than Feb. 8. M:I2 T-shirts will be given to the senders of the first 15 correct answers. Hurry!
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A resounding congratulations to Regine Velasquez for winning as Favorite Filipino MTV Artist at the first-ever MTV Asia Awards held in Singapore last Saturday night. Regine beat four other Filipino artists, namely Lea Salonga, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Freestyle. Very clearly, if you watched the coverage, you must have felt like hugging Regine for doing all of us proud. Regine shone with a sparkle all her own despite the presence in the event of such international artists as Enrique Iglesias, Ronan Keating (of the Boyzone) who hosted the event, Mandy Moore (who rendered a duet with Regine who, in my personal opinion, sang better than Moore) and BMG artist Westlife who romped off with the Best Pop Group award.

Regine, who also presented one of the awards, was so overwhelmed and so excited when she delivered her acceptance speech in Tagalog that she forgot to thank her home company (Viva Records). But I’m sure that Regine, now that that singular honor is starting to sink in, will make up for it in her TV appearances for her Valentine movie, Viva Films’ Ikaw Lamang Hanggang Ngayon, with Richard Gomez.

Among the foreign artists who flew to Singapore for the MTV Asia Awards, it was the Westlife who got the most and the best media mileage. I should know because I was among the five media people invited by BMG Pilipinas, Inc. (in cooperation with the Singapore Tourism Board, STB) to interview the group, along with Inquirer’s Leah Salterio and Bulletin’s Shirley Pizarro.

Aside from gracing the MTV Asia Awards, the Westlife went to Singapore to promote their latest album, World Of Our Own, their third after the self-titled one and Coast To Coast. The five Westlifers (popularly known even by their first names: Shane, Nicky, Mark, Bryan and Kian) were a hit everywhere they appeared, starting with the one-on-one sessions with dozens of TV interviewers from all over Asia at a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel, to the presscon at the Zouk Disco, to the showcase also at Zouk which was packed full with (besides the media guys) fans, some of them Westlife radio-promo contest winners flown to Singapore from various Asian countries (the two from Manila weren’t able to make it because their passports were not released on time).

For almost one hour before the showcase started, while the Westlife’s MTVs were being flashed on the giant screen onstage, the mostly young female fans (many of them carrying World Of Our Own CDs, now platinum-plus, meaning with more than 50,000 copies sold so far – and still selling!) were screaming their hearts and lungs out in an ear-splitting pitch, so L-O-U-D that some (us including) were covering their ears.

When finally the Westlife appeared onstage and, seated on stools, kicked off what turned out to be a mini-concert with Uptown Girl (from a previous album), the screaming grew even louder and wilder, many of the fans now dancing and swinging their arms in the air. It was a beautiful experience in musical madness.

Good news to Westlife fans: The quintet plans to make its third visit to the Philippines soon to promote World Of Our Own and, possibly, to mount another concert (like they did on their second Philippine visit last year).

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