Inside Regine Velasquez And Ogie Alcasid's Home On A Hill
Welcome to the 1 Walker house of Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid and the All-Star Worship Band that they formed to raise funds for a good cause.
“Home is where the heart is” is never more true than in the Alcasid family home. Which is why “1 Walker” means something special to Ogie and Regine.
First of all, it’s the address of their modern home in an exclusive subdivision in the North. It was always Regine’s dream to have a house on a hill when she bought the lot back in 2003 and finished building the house in 2007.
Initially, Regine was the only one in charged of it. Ogie shared that he took over when they started remodeling in 2013 and eventually finished in 2015. “The original house is still there but this is her vision. So when I took over and remodeled it, pinahaba at pinalaki lang namin.”
Regine always wanted to have a modern house full of clean lines with no separations within the interior spaces, just wide open areas. In envisioning her dream house, she had no idea that there was such a thing as an “Open Concept” home where the open floor plans amplify the space of the house and combine areas such as the kitchen with the dining. “I didn’t know back then na uso pala 'yun. Basta sa'kin sobrang gusto ko ito, 'yung puro glass tapos maliwanag and you can see through all the rooms. Now that we have Nate, it’s very convenient because, for example, if I’m cooking, I can see where he is all over.”
Even if the house was Regine’s vision and aesthetic, she made sure that the style she chose would not be “girly” in deference to her husband Ogie. “Kasi diba pag mag-asawa na kayo, tapos ikaw nalang ang nasusunod, kawawa naman ang guy kung gawin mong pink 'yung room (both laugh).
The power couple opted not to use an interior designer when they decided to remodel. Ogie says, “After the architect, kami na. So I chose many of the pieces and then she complemented it with whatever.”
Regine shares how very involved and hands-on Ogie was during the two-year long remodeling stage. “He was so involved up to the very last detail. Meron pa siyang Excel File and every night he would check it, and he would also be calling people personally to check on things. I never knew that he could be like that! Kasi ako, tawang-tawa lang ako sa kanya eh.”
Ogie shares, “That was because I had to make sure of some things. For example the wood here (on the terrace outside) is teak from Indonesia and it’s anti-termites etc. but it took so long.”
“And then when the first batch arrived, parang kinuha sa kung saan lang (laughs). Maliit. It had to be returned. Renovating is harder than building from the ground up.”
Regine and Ogie share that they renovated from the ground up, down to changing the flooring and even manually having the basement dug-up. “Basically it’s still like this pero mas maganda siya ngayon kasi before, 'yung dining namin maliit tapos hindi mo masyadong ma-appreciate 'yung view. Kasi itong part na ito (where we are seated in their long dining table) deck na ito”, Regine explains.
Their house on the hill sits on solid adobe rock and workers had to use huge drills for the basement and foundation. Ogie explains, “Coming into our house, if you see the level of the other houses compared here, ganun talaga kataas ang height ng bahay namin. So the entire house was dug but the foundation is stuck into the adobe. So you could say that this house is built on a rock. Literally.”
Favorite spots in the house
Ogie says, “I’m working always downstairs in my Music Room. We’re there on the piano or listening to my records. Of course, the bedroom. The Family Room is also nice, that’s where we watch our movies, where we’re all together. When we have parties, this (the dining room beside the terrace/deck) is our favorite spot. My wife wanted that every part of the house is utilized.”
“Funny thing is, the building never stops. In your mind, you’re always like, ano kaya ang p'wede pang gawin? I didn’t even know that my daughter was going to come home, so now if we have more guests, where will they stay? As I said, the building never stops. Nakuha ko 'yan sa Tatay ko eh. My Dad always remodeled eh.”
But for Regine, she believes that this is how you maintain a house. “Akala ko kasi noon pag may bahay ka na, 'yun na 'yun. May bahay ka na, tapos na. Hindi pala. Maintaining it is actually harder. Kasi bago mo malaman na may something ang bahay it will take you at least a year or two kung merong leak dito or what. So it’s a forever thing na you have to keep building. Ganu'n talaga siya.”
Since she bought this lot 14 years ago, is the present house what she always wanted? “Oh yeah. But more than that, it’s my family. Kasi parang if I was by myself, this would be useless to me. “Oh, eh ano ngayon?” So more than the house, it’s because my family is here. My husband is here, and our children are here. This is what it is.”
1 Walker also has another special meaning for Regine and Ogie, it’s also the name of the eclectic worship band that they formed with their friends from the music industry, all of them from different religious denominations. “It started out as an idea here in our home on 1 Walker because we have a Friday small group here which is a Bible study. And that was me, Regine, and Jaya and some friends and sabi namin, “Let’s sing for the Lord.” Sabi ng wife ko. 'Sige, buo tayo ng banda'.”
Regine smiles as she says, “We love it! When we sing, parang iba kami doon. When we perform kasi for work, we try to entertain the audience. Pero 'yung “1 Walker”, we’re singing for the Lord so it’s really different. Iba ang enjoyment na nakukuha namin eh. Iba ang nararamdaman mo sa soul mo after. You feel closer to the Lord after.”
The “1 Walker” band is comprised of Ogie, Regine, Jaya plus eight singers who are their friends that the couple has worked closely with through the years, together with their band members who joined them too.
For Ogie, “We’re two individuals who are parents, and are romantically-involved as husband and wife, but we also have another dimension to us and we are so blessed that God gave us that opportunity to be able to do that. And we’re singing together on stage and when that happens I feel like I’m in heaven. And it feels like, this will be my job in heaven (laughs).
While they were remodeling their house, Regine and Ogie prayed for their house to have another purpose when it was finished. Other than being their family home, they wanted it to be able to bless the people who came into it. And so 1 Walker band was born.
Regine says, “We are an outreach band and we do benefit shows for the church so the main objective is to spread the Gospel but if we can help people at the same time, we would love to do it. Singing is the highest form of worship and I think the reason why He invented singing is because he loves music.”
With the 1 Walker band, Ogie and Regine continue making heavenly music together, with friends they love and who share the same passion for singing for the Lord.
This story was originally published in StarStudio magazine.
Photographs by Jar Concengco