Regine: The ups and downs
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda () - February 13, 2004 - 12:00am
Regine Velasquez has never looked this beautiful. The first thing that you’ll notice when you see her in person is how much weight she has lost. She started dieting in 2002 and has steadfastly held on to the discipline, prompting Viva executives to offer her the role of Darna in Bong Revilla’s Captain Barbell. Viva was so pleased with the outcome that it is wooing the Songbird to do a full-length Darna project.

"I’m still thinking about it. Yung sandali nga lang akong nag-Darna hirap na hirap na ako e what more kung full-length movie na? You know me naman, lelembot-lembot ako. Saka parang mas-feel kong mag-suot ng mga gowns kesa mag-action scenes," confides Regine.

That may be one of her two Viva projects for the year. But it will have to come after her reunion movie with Aga Muhlach which starts shooting this May. "It will be a love triangle with Judy Ann Santos. The working title is I Love You, Goodbye. Who ends up with Aga? You’ll have to watch it to find out," she says.

In the meantime, she’ll be having her first back-to-back concert with Ogie Alcasid billed as The Songbird and the Song Writer....Journey of Love... Music to Remember tonight (Feb. 13) and Saturday night (Feb. 15) at the Araneta Coliseum.

"I’m really so excited with this concert because this is the first time Ogie and I are performing together. Before kasi pa-guest lang kami in each other’s concert. Ogie and I conceptualized the show. Kami rin ni Ogie ang magdi-direct so exciting talaga," she gushes.

This Bulakeña has really come a long way. Before, she used to borrow clothes from Concert Queen Pops Fernandez. Now, her closet is bursting with designer outfits and she has become a fashion icon herself.

Being famous, however, has its downsides. For one, there are the piercing looks of strangers who sometimes make her feel so unwelcome. "That happens when I’m in bars in Makati. Yung para bang, "Ah, she’s Regine! So what’s she doing here?" Kung minsan ang hirap kasi meron na agad paghuhusga sa ’yo," she shares.

She has no regrets though for the profession she has chosen. Her celebrity status has allowed her to provide well enough for her family and herself. Though her privacy is limited, she swears she doesn’t feel deprived. In fact, last year, she was able to go out with friends more often.

In the entertainment field, Regine reigns supreme. She is on TV every Sunday hosting GMA’s SOP and every Saturday in Search For A Star. Her movies have become blockbusters. Concert tickets sell because of her. She is also considered as one of the few artists who are keeping the industry afloat.

The other side of getting so much attention is being the subject of ugly rumors. People keep linking her to her very much married concert partner.

"Napipikon pa rin po ako sa mga intriga,"
she admits, obviously referring to stories of her so-called love affair with Ogie. "But now, at least I’ve learned to speak up and defend myself, unlike before when I would just keep mum about the issues hurled at me."

Though she has weathered enough storms in her career, Regine confesses quitting has crossed her mind more than once. What keeps her going though is the warmth and support of an appreciative audience. "It’s when I hear the people cheering me on that I realize that there are more people who like me than those who want to put me down."

But even those who like her see Regine as a tragic figure – the poor little rich girl who has everything but a man who loves her. No interview with the attractive singer is complete without being asked why, in her 30s, she is still single.

"I’d really be happy kung meron na akong boyfriend ngayon pero wala pa talaga eh. What can I do? I don’t want to enter into a relationship naman just to stop people from asking me that question," she says. "Besides, I’ve waited for so long to have a boyfriend so why would I settle on just anybody? I want someone I deserve. Yung taong gusto ko talaga. Hindi yung: ‘Pwede na eto kasi cutie naman or rich naman.’ I’m not like that."

She is definitely a good daughter though. The dutiful Regine goes home all the way to Bulacan until now to be with her parents. Her sister Cacai and her family (husband Raul Mitra and kids) currently stay at the UP Village townhouse Regine used to consider her halfway house.

"Yes, I could live by myself if I wanted to but I‘d rather stay with my parents since they’re already old. Right now, it’s just me and my brother who stay with them since all my sisters are married. I like it there because it seems so separate from my work. Every time I go home, I’m just me."

AGA MUHLACH ARANETA COLISEUM BONG REVILLA CAPTAIN BARBELL CONCERT QUEEN POPS FERNANDEZ DARNA FEB OGIE AND I REGINE YUNG
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