Regine recalls career beginnings
Regine recalls career beginnings
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For Regine Velasquez, seeing a number of talented individuals aspiring to clinch a spot in a singing tilt never fails to bring back memories of her amateur singing contest days. She once again got to reminisce on those “tough yet sweet moments” during the latest round of auditions in Naga and Pampanga for GMA 7’s reality talent search Bet ng Bayan, which she is set to host with Alden Richards beginning Oct. 5.

“Every time I would host a talent search, it’s like going back to the days of how I started as a singer, especially now that my father (Mang Gerry) is gone because those days were our time together,” says Regine. “We were struggling but we had so much fun traveling to far-flung places na tipong sa sobrang layo pawala na ng pawala ang daan.”

Regine can’t help but smile looking back on how she was able to get through that phase in her life, considering that she tried her luck in every barangay singing competition there was at an age when most children would probably still be potty training.

“I was six when I had my first (televised amateur singing competition The Tita Betty’s Children Show where she won third place) and I was 13 when I won in Ang Bagong Kampeon (hosted by Bert Marcelo and Pilita Corrales).”

The seven-year experience in different contests prior to carving a niche in the music scene ultimately proved beneficial. “Those contests helped my being a performer now since I’m already used to singing in front of many people at sa tagal kong ginagawa ang mga pag-sali nahasa na din ang boses ko. Iba din yung excitement na nabibigay sa yo ng contest di gaya ng performance lang na pag maganda papalakpakan ka. In a contest, your goal is to win so the excitement is there and your adrenaline is high since you have to give your best.”

She, too, admits finding some similarities with the young hopefuls of Bet ng Bayan.

“It’s very seldom to meet contestants who are financially stable and do great in life. Most of them come from low to middle (social) standing. So it means, these kids have big dreams in life just like me, nag-umpisa ako ng wala; I started from scratch.”

But the singer says it is much easier now for reality search winners to achieve popularity given the many platforms available where they can showcase their talent. “Everything seems easier now for the winners because the (TV) network’s support counts a great deal and the social media also means a lot. Unlike during my time when I won I really have to work on my own and there was no YouTube yet. But I think the process of joining in a contest is practically the same. You also have to work hard on your (song) piece.”

Asked about the formula of selecting the winners for Bet ng Bayan, Regine says it’s a big relief to be confined to the hosting duties “because it’s hard to choose a winner since I can relate to those kids who aspire to be on top. What’s good here is that we have three categories — singing, dancing and extraordinary performance.”

Bet ng Bayan is the latest Kapuso reality talent search that serves as an avenue for Pinoy talents from across the country to show what they’ve got — from dancing to singing and extraordinary performances. It encourages viewers to root for a specific Pinoy talent into becoming the nation’s best.

Does she think every contestant needs to belt out high notes at the end of a performance? “I was also one of those people wondering why it’s always important to make birit when you can give something different. But somehow in a contest parang yun ang qualification and here in the Philippines almost everybody can actually sing so ano pang hahanapin mo yung kakaiba at di laging nagagawa.”

Of course, everyone knows that it was Regine who started the birit fad among singers. “I have no comparison but myself. If you notice I don’t sing birit right away, I reserve that for last (part) to get that little excitement from your audience.”

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