'Hindi ko pa panahon': Regine Velasquez on calls to name her National Artist

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
'Hindi ko pa panahon': Regine Velasquez on calls to name her National Artist
'Asia's Songbird' Regine Velasquez
ABS-CBN / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Singer-host Regine Velasquez admitted she was flattered by calls from Filipinos to name her a National Artist, although she believes others are currently more qualified to receive the recognition.

Calls to consider Regine a National Artist erupted after she was honored with the Powerhouse award for her 37 years of making Original Pilipino Music at the inaugural Billboard Philippines Women in Music Awards last month.

Meanwhile, she then responded to the prospect of becoming a National Artist when she attended a surprise birthday party for her "Magandang Buhay" co-host Melai Cantiveros-Francisco last week and was interviewed by entertainment reporter MJ Felipe.

"Parang nahihiya ako, parang there are artists who are more qualified," Regine admitted. "I don't think I'm qualified yet."

Some of the artists she wanted to see given the recognition instead were Pilita Corrales and Jose Mari Chan, reiterating that it is not her time yet.

Related: 'My son is my legacy': Regine Velasquez receives Women in Music's Powerhouse award 

While she personally believe she has a long way to go, Regine is still grateful for those pushing her for the recognition.

"Pero huwag muna kasi maraming mas iniisip ko na sila dapat. Those are the people who should be there and sana malagay sila habang buhay pa sila," Regine ended, noting how it took years before Nora Aunor was finally named a National Artist in 2022.

Fourteen of the 81 Filipinos that have been named National Artists were recognized for their contributions to music including Ryan Cayabyab, Levi Celerio, Ramon Santos, Jovita Fuentes, Felipe de Leon, Antonio Molina and most recently Fides Cuyugan-Asensio.

The most recent batch of National Artists included Nora, Fides, Ricky Lee, Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Salvacion Lim-Higgins, Gemino Abad, Tony Mabesa and Agnes Locsin.

RELATED: 'Oh my gosh!': Belle Mariano thanks Regine Velasquez for praising her voice

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