Regine feels right at home in Cebu
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Regine Velasquez-Alcasid had the Cebu leg of The Regine Series, her traveling musical extravaganza in partnership with PLDT Home of which she has been a longtime endorser, over the weekend. And it was a homecoming of sorts for The Songbird.

Regine proudly related her Visayan connection in her spiels (delivered in Cebuano no less) in between performing several of her biggest hits, covers of her own favorite artists like Adele and Nina, and her interpretation of the Visayan love song Usahay much to the delight of the Cebuano crowd that packed SM City Cebu’s Northwing Atrium.

As in her previous visits to Cebu, Regine never fails to mention that her mom is from the neighboring island of Leyte and part of her growing-up years was spent there that’s why “kasabot ug kabalo man ko mag-Cebuano (I can understand and speak Cebuano).”

The highlights of the concert included her surprise duet with husband Ogie Alcasid of Hanggang Ngayon (just one of the many songs that Ogie wrote for Regine apart from his latest album, Ikaw ang Buhay Ko, that’s entirely dedicated to her).

Ogie along with their son Nate, and other family members were also in the island-province with Regine to spend a well-deserved vacation following the end of her GMA romantic-comedy series Poor Señorita.   

Other concert treats were the guest appearances of Christian Bautista and the now Cebu-based Donna Cruz-Larrazabal. The latter gamely agreed to Regine’s impromptu request for a duet of I Can, the theme song of their hit 1996 film Do Re Mi (with Mikee Cojuangco). Two decades may have passed since the film’s release, but the friendship has remained as well as the feels of the now classic song, which had the audience joining in for a sing-along.

There was also a sing-like Regine competition, and it makes you realize how much influence she has made and continues to make on many an aspiring artist.

If anything, the concert made a good teaser for the bigger and more exciting show later this year, when Regine commemorates her 30th year in the entertainment industry.

Meantime, she’s thankful that The Regine Series nationwide tour, which commenced last year, continues to gather crowds wherever it goes. And her next stop is SM City Davao on Aug. 6.

“After being in the business for 30 years, I’m glad that people are still interested in me (laughs). I’m very thankful and I feel very, very blessed,” she said in a post-event presscon at Radisson Blu.

She announced some of her plans for the rest of the year. “It’s a milestone year. We’re going to do a concert in October. We’re working on a new album, and I’m very excited with this one because I’m signing up with Viva Records again and in line with my 30th anniversary, we’re thinking of recording 30 songs, including some new songs, representing my 30 years in the business.”

Her version of Usahay might be part of the new album. “It was beautifully arranged (by her music director Raul Mitra). I wanna record the song. I think it’s one of the most beautiful songs (I’ve sung ever). It’s my mom’s favorite.”

It has been a very busy year for Regine, no let-up on things to do that PLDT VP and Home marketing director Gary Dujali expressed his appreciation for her time and willingness to take on this project with them.

Asked if she ever felt like giving up in her three-decade career, Regine said that like any performer, she’s not immune to getting tired and burnt out at times, but she swears it never got to a point that she’d want to stop doing it.

“When I got pregnant (in 2011)… that was the only time I stopped working. I actually enjoyed being a pregnant woman and a wife, but after that I missed singing so much... PLDT gave me the opportunity to sing again because more than acting, this is my first love, performing and singing.”

“Hangga’t kaya ko (I will perform). It’s a gift from God and (I’ve read somewhere that) it’s supposed to be shared. Sayang (if you waste the opportunity to share it),” added Regine, who has also put up 1 Walker, a worship band with Ogie and some friends like Jaya.

Regine makes it no secret that she has had experienced vocal problems, but she draws inspiration from the fans to keep going. “It’s a different feeling when you’re on stage. Sometimes, I try to hold back because I don’t want to scream all the time, but I get so excited to sing… It (the reaction of the audience) is part of my adrenaline. Even when I’m very tired; there are times when I’m rehearsing I don’t reach the high notes, but when I’m onstage, the adrenaline rush is just so incredible that I reach all these high notes. You (the audience) are part of my performance, you give me that courage to sing and you also give me that energy on stage.”

Regine’s musical treat also served as the culminating event of month-long activities to celebrate PLDT Home’s market leadership in Cebu, according to Dujali.

Earlier, the leading broadband and digital services provider had implemented “massive on-ground activations” in Cebu. It also held the Famtastic Sale offering broadband deals that came with free DSL installation and WiFi modems. Subscribers who availed the newest Home and Away Bundle, which provides up to 10 Mbps of DSL speeds at home, also received a free 4G Smart Bro Pocket WiFi.

An exclusive event was also held at Radisson Blu Hotel wherein PLDT Home allowed guests to try out Smart Home devices like the home monitoring system Fam Cam; the PC in a stick TVolution Stick which comes with a free keyboard and mouse; and the Smart Watch, all of which were used with the Home Telpad and powered by PLDT Home Fibr.

Regine’s son Nate, Dujali confirmed, will soon be part of a campaign promoting the Smart Watch.

“PLDT Home has always been at the forefront of digital innovations and multimedia content offerings, and we want Cebu to be the first to experience the smart home. This is our way of thanking them for their invaluable trust and for making us their No. 1 choice for their broadband, digital and multimedia needs,” Dujali said.

As for future projects with Regine, Dujali said that with the inquiries they’ve been receiving, they’re open to resume The Regine Series after Regine wraps up her 30th-year activities. After Cebu and Davao, the 2016 tour will conclude at SM Megamall.

“We’ve always wanted to work with Regine on the stage. When PLDT Home relaunched itself, we thought no one else could best (represent) the modern-day mom. She has her own career, at the same time, she’s always there for her family. We’re just happy Regine took on the offer and became our brand ambassador.

 Photos courtesy of Yasunari Ramon Taguchi/Freeman and PLDT Home

 

 

 

 

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