Why Regine said no to Miss Saigon
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda () - November 25, 2002 - 12:00am
(First of two parts)
Regine Velasquez is undoubtedly today’s hottest female singer. She has a voice that soars. She is a powerhouse performer with scintillating showmanship. She croons like it’s nobody’s business. She belts out like no one else could. And in Regine Velasquez’s Songbird Sings at the Onstage slated on Nov. 29, 30 and all Saturdays and Sundays of December, she is poised once again to leave her audience breathless. Singing her signature songs, numerous high-energy dance numbers and a slew of her personal favorite ballads, Regine will display in great abundance of her vocal dexterity in this concert. Check out a conversation I had with her recently.

Boy Abunda: How does it feel? To be Asia’s songbird?

Regine Velasquez:
I’m not sure. Asia’s songbird, yun ang naging title ko for the longest time. Hindi siya superstar, bird lang siya. That’s ok. If it’s Asia, I’m no longer sure because I’m not known in Asia. Only in the Philippines.

With your status, is there anything you wish for?

Right now, I really can’t ask for anything else. Sana naging ganito... sana makapagconcert ako. I’m so blessed. It will be too much if I ask for more.

International stardom – do you pray for it?

No more. I’m flattered and happy a lot of people believe that I can make it.

What is your priority now?

Philippines pa rin! Because I’m here. It’s hard to penetrate the international scene pero kung may maka-discover, I’m very open.

Do you still remember your Miss Saigon audition in New York?

I never auditioned here. I went straight to New York. I was with Jamie Rivera and Dulce. Grabe si Dulce kumanta, grabe! But me, I auditioned there. After that, Cameron told me, "Miss Velasquez, don’t cut your hair short." I didn’t really think I could do so! Then they said, "We regret to inform you..." etc. Tapos, we received a letter that they want to train me in London!

Did you deliberate on it much?

Not much, actually. It’s just that I’ve never done theater before so talagang walang contest. That was a break but I said no. I can’t leave my family. I’m more familiar with concerts, not theater. I was also scared.

You’re a trendsetter, whether you admit it or not. Air Supply... Urong-Sulong... You cut your hair short... why so?

I was depressed. My concert was postponed and it was my 18th birthday. No one was buying the tickets kasi kasabay ng the Jets concert. Inisnab nila beauty ko! I was depressed so I cut my hair short. That was 1989. Then when I joined the Asia Pacific Singing Contest, the blessings came one after the other.

When it comes to fashion, a lot of people try to copy your style. How did you develop your fashion sense?

Sira kasi ulo ko eh!
Ha ha! I’m very daring when it comes to fashion. All I know is, I don’t want to be anyone else. So whatever is the trend right now, I don’t follow it.

You also became very daring, very sexy....

I like change eh. Like everytime I cut my hair short, some people try to copy it. I don’t mean to start any trends naman.

What’s the sexiest dress you’ve ever worn?

Yun’ sa Songbird Sings the Classics.
Maybe I got this so-called fashion sense from my Dad. He used to work in a tailoring... He would mix orange and green. Before, when I was just starting, he was the one making my clothes!

So fashion consultant mo din pala si Mang Gerry? What was the wildest you’ve ever worn?

One time when I guested in a variety show, I was wearing a gown with boots. Talagang pinaghalo ko yan!

How much do you spend in clothes?

I don’t really buy expensive clothes. If ever I buy, yung mga suits lang because I could use them in other occasions. I attended an MTV event, I wore a Rajo Laurel gown which I wore on MTB! Ha ha! That’s what I do now, sinusuot ko ulit. I recycle. Life is hard. Clothes are expensive. So it’s okay to recycle! find it weird that you buy a dress then you won’t be able to use it anymore after you wear them. What will you do with it? Just stare at it?!?! Ha ha!

How do you wear your clothes that they don’t upstage you?

You’re supposed to carry your clothes. If you wear them, panindigan mo. If you wear your clothes, todo project ka dapat!

Regine, how rich are you?

Ha ha ha! Nice question: Ikaw, how rich are you?

I work.

Uy, baka ma-
kidnap ako niyan ha! My family right now is living comfortably. We’re not extravagant. We’re okay.

Did you ever wish to be rich?

Lahat naman yata ng mahirap na tao, pinangarap yun.
I wished to help my family, send my siblings to school and I was able to do that. I’m really proud of myself for doing that. If I get the chance, I want to go back to school. I want to take up Fine Arts. I’m so happy for singers like Roselle Nava who were able to finish schooling and at the same time stay in showbiz.

Almost all your wishes natupad na. How about your personal life?

Yun’ nalang siguro...
my lovelife. I think it will come. I think my man is just lurking around looking for the perfect timing! Ha ha!

A lot of people are whispering around that you’re Noynoy Aquino’s type...

You know, we were linked to each other. I don’t even remember meeting him. It started when I left the country. When I went back, the rumors started. Nakakahiya nga kay Noynoy eh. (To be continued)

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