EXCLUSIVE: Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Is Back Home And Ready For The Next Step In Her Career
"Asia's Songbird" Regine Velasquez-Alcasid on the cover of Metro.Style | Regine in a black asymmetrical long dress by Rajo Laurel, black thigh-high boots by DSquared, and jewels by Mixgems Fine Jewellery
After more than three inspiring decades in the music industry, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid doesn’t just continue to push herself to fly to ordinary heights. Asia’s Songbird has her eyes set on touching the heavens, soaring upwards and upwards until her melodies serenade the stars themselves.
“It’s very important for artists to always have something new,” begins the songstress, as she applies the finishing touches on her lips in preparation for the day’s shoot.
“Kaya lang, at the same time, I’m also the type of artist who likes to be with people whom I know. I like familiar places, familiar faces,” she continues, while a final pucker and pout show that she’s satisfied with the glamorous look she created herself.
Regine might not have envisioned a major career change at 48 years old, yet here she is, settling into her new role as a Kapamilya artist after wrapping up two decades of fulfilling a previous role. It’s an unnerving jump to make, she admits, yet one that she couldn’t be more excited about.
She’s a hundred percent sure about the direction she’s taken, and besides, the professional move brings her closer to her husband and fellow singer Ogie Alcasid, as well as many lifelong friends she’s missed dearly over the years.
“[The feeling is like] I transferred to a new home. 'Diba, minsan, when you do that, parang namamahay ka? You don’t get to sleep properly, everything is different kasi hindi mo pa masyadong kilala. But everyone has just been so welcoming,” she gushes.
Regine in a gold dress by John Herrera and jewels by Mixgems Fine Jewellery
It certainly helps to have been welcomed so warmly on her first day at work (i.e.: having a red carpet rolled out for her, her swarm of fans armed with balloons to wave as she walked by) and surrounded by artists who have been nothing but enthusiastic about her presence.
Only a little over a month has passed since Regine officially embraced the next step in her career, but already, she’s moving full speed ahead. Much can be expected of her in the coming months, including a series of concerts, a sitcom, a role as a judge on a music competition, and regular appearances on ABS-CBN’s ASAP. (In fact, the very next day after she signed her contract, Regine flew to Sydney to join the ASAP stars for their Australian adventure).
But even with the depth of experience tucked under Regine’s belt, her projects will be unchartered territory, most of which are new undertakings that will tap into new sources of inspiration and creativity. Though she admits that the twin of the eagerness she feels about doing new things is inevitable stress, she remains unfazed. It’s the true mark of an artist who’s earned her spot on top, one who’s learned success’ truest meaning in the process.
“I’m very happy… I’m happy that the excitement hasn’t gone down yet. I like to enjoy the feeling of being excited. I just like to enjoy that bago ako ma-stress, kasi eventually, mapupunta talaga doon. But my creative juices [are also flowing]. Kahit medyo ma-stress ako, basta madami ako maiisip, it’s a good thing for me,” she smiles.
And as her biggest fans will tell you, when Regine smiles, so does everyone around her.
The next stops
Much thought went into Regine’s decision to become a Kapamilya, but most notably, one of the stones to tip the scales was her desire to work with the wealth of talents in her new home.
“I’m looking forward to working with Sharon [Cuneta], the people that I haven’t worked with and a lot of young people. I’m looking forward to working with Sarah [Geronimo]. Next year, I’m doing a concert with Vice Ganda. Even with movies, there are more actors I can work with,” she reveals.
The opening of new possibilities—the stimulating novelty that the creative in her craves—is something she can’t wait to embark on.
First on the list is her three-part concert, "Regine at the Movies," to launch on November 17 and continue on the 24th and 25th. Slated to take place at the New Frontier Theater, the concert will be unlike the many sold-out arena shows she’s done in the past. Intimacy with her audience, rather than attracting a crowd of thousands, was her goal this time around.
She explains, “I like seeing people’s faces when I perform. Mas nahihirapan ako 'pag malaki. 'Yung ibang artists, they prefer the bigger venues because they don’t have to see the faces kasi mas nai-stress sila when they see the reaction of the people. 'Pag maliit 'yung venue, mas nakikita mo 'yung emotions. 'Yun 'yung gusto ko. I like concentrating on just one person, and eventually, I sing to the entire audience. That’s what I like. I like seeing their expressions. Bihira 'yung artists na ganun.”
For those who have yet to purchase their tickets to the show, it's noteworthy that a whopping 60 songs are in the repertoire. Each show date will showcase a different set list, but rest assured that any night will be memorable on its own.
Regine in a red one-sleeved dress by Martin Bautista and jewels by Mixgems Fine Jewellery
Never the kind of woman to rest on her laurels, Regine is already fired up and ready for the second undertaking on her ABS-CBN to-do list as early as now. A show that puts her alongside her husband and Ian Veneracion is in the works, and it’s definitely going to be one for the books. Though still untitled, the project will be a musical sitcom—an endeavor that combines two of Regine’s greatest gifts of music and acting.
Following that is another outlet for Regine to showcase her musicality, albeit from a different angle. She won’t be the one behind the mic stand; she’ll be judging instead. The "Dadalhin" singer is all set for a seat on Idol Philippines, a singing competition that will round up the best of the best emerging talents from around the country.
Contrary to popular belief, after three decades of being a pillar in the music scene, Regine has never judged a singing contest. It wasn’t that she was never interested, she always was; she’s always just been worried about being the cause of a singer-to-be’s disillusionment.
Regine says, “I’ve been practicing my face not to react too much. But I was told that they actually want [that]. What you don’t want is the artist or the singer seeing you like that, with a disappointed face. You don’t want that. That’s what I’m trying to practice, na hindi ako maging masyadong giveaway.”
It’s a truth that she speaks from the heart; being a singer who began her career in her teens, Regine knows the fragility of emotions rookies carry with them. Recalling the time when she was once a young artist prone to frustrations and letdowns, she hopes not to be a harsh voice in this new role as a judge, but a sincere mentor instead.
“I think with my 32 years in the business, I’ll be able to help them as far as performing, singing, technicalities, and all that. More of [mentoring] ang iniisip ko rather than the judging,” Regine adds.
Last but certainly not least is something the most hardcore Regine fanatics won’t be able to get enough of: appearances as an ASAP mainstay that will give Regine the wiggle room not just to do what she does best, but to flex her comedic muscle, too.
With all that Regine is capable of doing, it’s no wonder why she’s been able to defy all challenges of time.
Regine in a white polka dot dress by Cheetah Rivera and jewels by Mixgen Fine Jewellery
A change of pace
Despite being a self-professed workaholic who claims that a brief period of rest feels like years of forced solitude, Regine admits that her priorities have changed over the years. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
While she was once a career-centric woman whose sole mission was to carve a name for herself, today, her happiness flows from that of her husband, son Nate’s, and step-daughters Leila and Sarah. When she knows they’re doing just fine, all is right in Regine’s world.
“When I got married and had a child, I settled down. Before, it felt like I was always running after something, even as I got older.
“My definition of success now is having a good family life… I find myself letting go of things because I prioritize my family. I guess, for women, that comes naturally, but I like it. I like that I'm able to let go of things because my priorities are Nate and Ogie,” she reflects.
Family comes first these days, but even so, singing will always be hot on her heels as a close second. Regine came to that realization when she gave birth to Nate seven years ago and voluntarily went on a two-year hiatus. The pregnancy was an extra special one for Regine and Ogie as they had lost their first child in a still birth, so this couple took all the precautions to ensure that they would have a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
“I can't remember any time that I rested that long. Two years is a long time for me, because with just one month, I'm already bored. Although those two years, I actually enjoyed them. First, I was pregnant and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed waiting for my husband to come home. Finally, when I gave birth, I didn't want to go anywhere! But when I came back, I remembered missing it; I just wanted to sing,” recalls Regine.
Sing she did then, and sing she will continue to do until her voice permits.
At 32 years and counting as a singer, it’s clear as day. Regine doesn’t just sing; to some extent, she is the song herself—a living anthem of dreams coming true and of the rewards of persistence and unfading passion.
When her work for the year is done, Regine can look forward to the family time she values like no other. A wintry Japanese holiday is set for her family come Christmas, while a classic Filipino New Year’s Eve celebration will soon follow.
Regine, by all means, is a woman fulfilled, an artist reinvented—no longer just a songbird, but a phoenix, reborn.
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Creative direction by Chookie Cruz
Makeup by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid
Hairstyling by Chris Rodil
Styling by Raj Rivera of V Style Team
Liaison editor: Francis Simeon
Shoot assistant: Cara Tirona