She has been called a “has-been,” “blimp,” “shrieking diva,” and even more stomach-turning names in many chat rooms and fora in the Internet.
The bloggers and chatters who wrote these didn’t think their comments would reach her. Didn’t think it would wound her.
But they did.
In an exclusive interview with Manila Bulletin Online, Songbird Regine Velasquez finally addressed her detractors in the Internet:
“I have kept silent about this for so long, but I think it’s time that I speak up.
“It’s okay to have an opinion…okay to criticize. Pero minsan ay may mga nababasa ako sa Internet about me na below the belt na. Na tipong gusto ko na lang mamatay dahil sa sakit. Or they make me feel as if I am so inadequate…as if I amount to nothing.
“I’m not taking these things against them. Siguro 'yon lang ang way nila nang pag-relate sa tao. Or yun ang outlet nila; yun nga lang, at my expense. Sometimes, they make it seem as if I have no right to be in this business. Kahit na ba yung iba sa kanila, di pa ipinapanganak ay kumakanta na ako.
“It’s really sad. Obviously these people don’t know me – don’t know the real me. Sobrang nakaka-break ng heart kasi some of them don’t even know ang mga pinaghirapan ko to get to where I am. Ang alam lang nila ay di sila naniniwala sa akin.
“Yung career ko, okay lang yon kung di sila naniniwala dun. If they don’t think I’m a good singer, that’s fine. It’s a matter of taste. Kahit papaano naman ay meron ding naniniwala that I’m a good singer.
“Yung pesonal na tira ang masakit. They’re so negative. Tumaba lang ako ng konti, titirahin. Minsan, pati pamilya ko, dinadamay na din. Masakit.
“The Internet is such a powerful medium. Pag may naisulat ka doon, hindi mo na matatanggal 'yon at pwedeng mabasa ng lahat. At pag nabasa na ng lahat, nasa ulo na 'yon ng tao, kahit na hindi totoo.
“Ang laki-laki ng power ng Internet. There’s this one episode in ‘The Tyra Banks Show’ na ikinalungkot ko after kong mapanood. It’s about this girl who met a guy through the Internet. Dahil hindi mataas ang self-esteem nung bata ay she believed everything the guy told him.
“Then one day, bigla na lang tumigil ang pag-email sa kanya nung guy. When he finally emailed again, ang sabi niya ay ayaw niya na dun sa girl kasi pangit daw yung girl at saka mataba. Kaya later, nung naiwang mag-isa yung girl sa bahay, nagpakamatay siya.
“Which brings me to my point: Why would you want to be responsible for somebody’s death? Or hurt feelings? Why can’t you be responsible with what you say or write? Pwede naman.
“Do we really need this negativity? With all the bad things already happening in the world – do we really (need) this? How sad.
“Yung mga reporters na nagsusulat ng ‘negative’ sa akin, naiintindihan ko dahil trabaho 'yon. They’re just trying to hype up a project or to cast their articles from a catchy angle. Trabaho 'yon at hindi lang dahil gusto nilang gawin.
“Do I sometimes feel the need to defend myself when I read such comments in the Internet? Minsan, oo, gusto kong depensahan ang sarili ko. To tell the truth and set the record straight. Pero hindi ko ginagawa. Para ano pa? What I say won’t matter to them. It won’t make a difference because they’ve made up their minds to bash me.
“Sa mga mahilig naman mag-compare ng mga artista in a negative way, please think about this: Sisikat naman ang alaga o iniidolo mo kahit wala kang hilahin pababa. Kung yun ang destiny niya at magaling naman talaga siya ay sisikat siya.
“Let’s be responsible bloggers or chatters kasi di natin alam kung sino ang nagbabasa ng isinusulat natin na lumalabas sa Internet. At kahit na ba totoo ang isinulat mo, we should know where to draw the line kasi baka nakakasira na tayo ng buhay.
“Sana mag-encourage na lang tayo ng tao. Sana piliin natin na maging positive kesa ang maging negative.
“Again, I am not taking it against these people. I also don’t think they are bad people. I just think they are not fully aware of what they are doing. Or they don’t know any better kung pano mailabas ang saloobin nila responsibly.
“Lahat naman tayo, bilang matitinong tao, ay ayaw makasakit ng ibang tao. But we sometimes do so kahit na ba unintentionally or unknowingly.Ang tanong, gusto ba talaga nating maging ganoong klaseng tao?”
By JOJO P. PANALIGAN
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