Regine plays the Alphabet Game
- Ricky Lo () - May 4, 2003 - 12:00am
At thirtysomething (she turned a year wiser last April 22, a Taurean), Regine Velasquez should be seriously thinking about settling down, right?

Wrong, exclaimed Regine.

"I don’t even have a boyfriend yet!"

Her father/mentor/protector, Mang Gerry, is worried, eager as he is to have a grandson from Regine who, friends surmise, might end up, horrors, a spinster!

"She should have a child to whom she can pass down her talent," added Mang Gerry who is the Galatea to Regine’s Pygmalion, the wind beneath Regine’s wings, the original music man who groomed Regine from the time she was a toddler to now that she’s a superstar, Asia’s Songbird no less.

Unperturbed by the apprehension of people close to her about her lovelife, Regine blithely goes on with what she loves doing most – singing. She and Martin Nievera have just completed a successful US concert tour called The 2003 Martin/Regine World Concert Tour which was staged Friday night at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu and will be mounted at the Araneta Coliseum on May 9 and 10, Friday and Saturday (8:30 p.m.) by the MaxiMedia (for inquiries, call 551-7777 or 551-8999).

She has also just launched the soundtrack of her new starrer with Christopher de Leon, Pangarap Kong Ibigin Ka, which is Viva Films’ entry to the Manila Filmfest next month; and she’s looking forward to more concerts abroad.

"See? How can I have time for love?" said Regine. "God has given me this gift (of music) so I might as well use it to the fullest."

In answer to insistent request from readers, Conversations is letting Regine play the "alphabet game." Find out how much more Regine reveals of her already over-exposed life.

A – Ariel
(Rivera, her first "serious" boyfriend), of course! I have nothing but beautiful memories of him. He was very nice to me, a perfect gentleman. I’m happy for him. We’re planning to have a concert together in September. Angels. Yes, I collect angels. My favorite is Gabriel. I’m convinced that I’ve been saved by an angel in several instances. I’m accident-prone, you know. People wouldn’t believe that I would come out of an accident with hardly a scratch, making them wonder, "Imposible namang hindi ka nasaktan doon!"

B – Boyet
(Christopher de Leon), my leading man in my new movie, (Viva Films’ Manila Filmfest entry) Pangarap Kong Ibigin Ka. He was my very first leading man (in Wanted: Perfect Mother). It’s nice to work with him again; ang dami kong napupulot na acting tips sa kanya. Boyet loves to share his "secrets" sa pag-arte. Bags. Besides angels, I collect bags. I have dozens and dozens of them! I don’t know kung ano’ng mayroon sa bags kaya karamihan sa mga girls mahilig sa bags. Louis Vuitton bags are my favorites.

C – Cacai
(her sister). No, there’s no sibling rivalry between us. Both her daughters (with husband Raul Mitra, a musical director), Hannah and Julia, are my godchildren. Para walang inggitan, di ba? So that when they grow up, walang magsasabing, "How come Tita Regine is only my tita and not my ninang?" Cacai is one of my best friends – the very first friend whom I really, really trusted. Kapatid ko na, best friend ko pa.

D – Deca
(her other sister who’s working with her), also my close friend. And Diane, another sister of mine.

E – Ecstasy?
I haven’t tried it and I don’t think I ever will. Exercise. I’m looking for a trainer. I’m slim, all right, but I’m somewhat flabby, so I need to exercise. Marami akong muscles na hindi nagagamit. The only problem is that I get tired very easily. I want to try Pilates one of these days.

F – Fears?
I don’t have any. Before, takot akong magka-giyera. Now, there’s war na nga. Losing my voice? No, I don’t have such fear. Ending up a spinster? Wala rin. My fears revolve around my family, not myself. If I lose my voice, e, di huwag nang kumanta! That’s my attitude. Frustrations? I have some but, as in fears, I don’t dwell on them.

G – My father,
(Mang) Gerry, who else? He’s my security blanket. And vice-versa. What’s the best lesson that I learned from him? His music. Galing ’yon sa kanya, e. He sings, baka hindi n’yo alam! That’s how he and my mother met. Yes, it’s true that when I was a kid, my father would give me training in voice on the beach. Doon ako nagbo-vocalize. At that time, I didn’t even know na training-training na ’yon. We were just swimming (in Leyte where her mother came from) at pakanta-kanta kaming dalawa. Training na pala ’yon! What many people don’t know is that my father and I argue a lot. In our family, we are encouraged to speak up but we do it still with respect for our parents. God. I have a healthy relationship with God; I talk to Him everywhere I go – talk as in talk, just like in a conversation. Gossip. How do I deal with gossip? I let it into one ear and let it out of the other ear. What’s the worst gossip ever spread about me? That I’m an adopted daughter? No, not that; it’s not true. It’s not gossip but unfair criticism of my performance. You know, ’yon bang critics who are only out to fault-find, ’yung nang-o-okray lang talaga. If the criticism is okay, written by somebody na talagang marunong, it’s all okay with me.

H – Heartbreak.
How do I deal with heartbreak? I cry and cry and then I’m all right again. Then, I move on. I don’t run away from a heartbreak or from a problem – I confront it. I don’t want to get stuck; I move on. Hero-worship? I don’t. I develop a crush on this or that actor but that’s the farthest it goes. Crush-crush lang. I worship only one Being...God. As far as I’m concerned, nobody is worthy of being worshipped or being put up as a hero or an idol but God.

I – What is my inspiration?
A lot of things inspire me. When I hear a song over the radio, I get inspired and I call up Ogie (Alcasid), "Please, gawan mo ako ng ganitong kanta!" When I watch a beautiful movie, I also get inspired. I am inspired by my mom, my dad, my sisters, my brother and my fans. I may be too busy but I always have time to read fan mails, although I must admit that I don’t have enough time to answer all of them. Nakakatuwa ang mga letters nila! Am I impulsive? No, I’m not. I’m a thinker. I think 10 times before I take action. Even when I feel bad about somebody, I think long and hard before I say anything about him. Niri-rehearse ko pa ang sasabihin ko. I believe that words are very powerful. They can break a person’s heart or they can inspire somebody. Once spoken, a hurting word lingers forever. I’m not perfect but as much as possible, as long as I can help it, I want to use words properly and carefully. Ideal man. I must admit that I’m choosy; pihikan ako. Kasi naman, I always compare every guy to my father. You asked me before what my ideal man is and I told you that he must have the sense of humor of Martin Nievera, the face and body of Richard Gomez and the personality of Ogie Alcasid. Mayroon bang ganoong guy? Kaya nga ideal, e!

J – Janno
(Gibbs)? Honestly? I miss him. I hope that he’d come back to S.O.P. soon (After a recent incident where Janno’s wife, Bing Loyzaga, bumped heads with Regine and other S.O.P. hosts – RFL). Was there ever anything romantic between Janno and me? Nothing. We’re just the best of friends. (Asked what she had to say about Bing, Regine simply said, "No comment!" – RFL).

K – What’s the key to my heart?
Simple: Talk to me. I don’t know why most of the guys refuse to talk to me; they don’t even want to come near me! Are they intimidated? Why naman? I don’t bite. I guess they are intimidated because they don’t really know me. The truth is that I’m very cheap – I mean, mababaw ang kaligayahan ko. I’m easy to please. But beware, complicated ang personality ko. I’m very complex. I’m not easy to read; hindi ako madaling basahin. But once you "read" me right, okey na tayo.

L – Love, of course!
I hope to find love soon. Maybe it’s just around the corner. Yes, I once said that sex without love is just lust. I’ll never do "it" without love. Anything naman that you do without love is boring, di ba?

M – My Mother
(Teresita). She’s funny ... she’s so funny! May kuwento ako sa’yo. One morning I woke up to my mother’s yelling downstairs. She was screaming I thought at somebody. Nagmumura ang Nanay ko; may Ariel na pinagmumura. At that time, Ariel and I had just broken up. My mother was shouting, "Layas, Ariel, layas! Lumabas ka dito, lumabas ka dito!" I was scared. I thought Ariel dropped by and my mother was driving him away. I went downstairs and guess who my mother was driving away – our pet pig. ’Yung baboy namin. Ariel ang tawag niya sa baboy namin. O, di ba funny ang Nanay ko? (Her mother has several other pet pigs but not one of them is named Gelli. – RFL). One time naman, my mother talked to me as soon as I woke up, "’te, kailangan bumili tayo ng intercon." I said, "Ha!?! Are they now selling the Intercon?" Sabi niya, "Yes, we have to buy an intercon!" Laging excited ’yon, e. So I asked again, "Bakit, Ma, kaya na ba natin bumili ngayon ng hotel?" And she said, "Hindi! ’Yung ganoon – hello-hello!" She meant, of course, intercom. O, di ba funny ang Nanay ko? Money? No, it’s not the be-all and end-all. You should enjoy your money. The reason why I went into showbiz was to make money so I’d be able to send my siblings to school and I was able to do that. Now, money for me is, ano lang, something to be enjoyed. Of course, you save some. I don’t let money rule my life.

N – Nothing.
I would be happy to just do nothing. That would be nice. If I had one whole day just to do nothing, I would spend it reading, preferably a book of poems by Pablo Neruda, my favorite poet. No, I don’t write poems; I just love to read them. I find Neruda’s poems very touching, talagang naiiyak ako! I would also probably study painting. I could spend the day doing a lot of things if I were given one day to do nothing - I mean, no work.

O – Obsessed . . .
Yes, I’m obsessed with my skin. I have very sensitive skin. Ma-rub lang ng konti sa rough surface dumudugo kaagad ’yan. But I do scrub myself once a week. I should go to a spa for it but I don’t have the time. So I do it myself at home.

P – Painting.
I really want to go back to school to study painting. And, yes, Paris, my favorite city. If ever, I want to study painting in Paris which was where I did an album with Michel Legrand (With whom she did a concert last February at the PICC. – RFL). I’m just saving for a property that I want to buy. After that, I’ll save again and study painting in Paris even for only six months.

Q – Q is for Queen.
Regine means queen (Her real name is Chona. – RFL). Feeling ko talaga royal blood ako, e! (Adding, tongue-in-cheek) Box-office queen, remember? Questions. There are many questions in my life that I haven’t found the answers to. But you know what I do? It’s like a game for me. When a question pops in my mind, I try my best to find the answer to it. I don’t want to leave it a question forever. I have to find an answer. But then, not every question has an answer, di ba?

R – Recreation . . .
Sex? Oops! I’m sorry! Mali yata ang takbo ng utak ko ngayon. Recreation pala ’yon. For relaxation, I watch DVDs and, every now and then, watch movies in the moviehouse. I listen to music – a lot!

S – Sex?
I have no idea about that . . . none at all! So how do I portray sex in my movies? Luckily, I don’t have to do it – not even a simulated sex act – but only tender kissing and some hugging. Yes, I believe in the existence of the soul. Otherwise, life loses its meaning. It’s the essence of everything, isn’t it? The soul, the life hereafter. Even our faith in God has something to do with the soul - you know, when you die, you hope and pray that your soul will go to heaven. If you don’t believe in the soul, doesn’t it mean that you don’t believe in God? Now, what’s my idea of heaven? It’s everything that’s wonderful - gold and diamonds, and sweets you can eat to your heart’s content without gaining weight . . .being forever beautiful and smart and funny. That‘s heaven for me. Ang babaw, ’no? Now, what is the Song of My Life? Butterfly (by Mariah Carey). It‘s not really about my life; I like it because it‘s about letting go. One line goes: Spread your wings and prepare to fly, for you have become a butterfly.

T – Truth?
I want to believe in the truth but in this kind of business you rarely hear the truth. Do I always tell the truth? Not all the time. At least, I’m truthful, sinasabi ko ang totoo na nagsisinungaling din ako kung minsan.

U – "Untrusting."
I must admit that I am not the trusting type; I don’t easily trust a person, it takes time for me to trust a person. But once you have my trust, nandiyan na ’yan forever - unless you betray me.

V – Values.
Those are the most valuable things that I’ve learned from my parents – values. My mom is conservative while my dad is open-minded, very liberal; I’m a cross between them. Tamang-tama ang mixture. In our family, we children are encouraged to speak up, without naman sounding disrespectful. When my mom or my dad feels bad about me, he/she tells me - and vice-versa. Vain? No, I’m not vain at all, although I pamper myself by scrubbing my body and applying all sorts of lotions. That’s not being vain, is it?

W – War.
As I was saying, in war nobody emerges a winner; everybody is a loser. Winner? Yes, I feel like a winner all the way, even if my lovelife is zero. Naman! Ang dami-dami kong blessings para mag-complain dahil lang wala akong lovelife. Wisdom. It comes with age, doesn‘t it? When I was younger, I realized that I had more insecurities. Ngayon, no more. I’m more confident with myself.

X – Mayroon akong isang "X"
– you know who! X-rated films? No, I don’t watch them.

Y – Youth.
Like everybody else, I’m a bit afraid but not really worried about losing it. Everybody grows old anyway, so why worry? Why be afraid?

Z – Zoo,
what else? I want to go to the zoo one of these days. I haven’t been there for a long, long time. Is the zebra still there?
* * *
E-mail reactions at: rickylo@philstar.net.ph

DON IF I KNOW MOTHER ONE REGINE TIME WANT WHEN I
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