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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pre 25th Anniv. Celebration: No More Sad Songs for Regine Velasquez

No more sad songs for Regine

It is probably every woman’s dream to walk down the aisle. Regine Velasquez, perhaps one of the most celebrated songstresses in local pop music history, is no different from the rest. The sheen and glitter of fame and stardom can only last for so long. Time will come when the fulfillment one derives from ma...terial possessions and personal achievements will wear off. And in the end, what truly matters is finding someone to share your successes and failures, hopes and aspirations with.

Yesterday, December 22, the woman who is simply known as Asia’s Songbird to generations of music, TV and film audiences exchanged vows with the man who goes by the moniker the "Songwriter." Does this signal the beginning of a fairy tale for the two well-liked showbiz icons? Personally, we no longer believe in fairy tales. We used to when we were young and shallow and didn’t know any better. Marriage is a serious matter that one should approach and enter into with a clear perspective.

In the days to come, reports on the Alcasid-Velasquez nuptials will dwell on the grandness of the Batangas ceremony, the reception, the red Monique Lhuillier gown, the star-studded entourage, the lavishness of it all. Adjectives will run out. Praises will sound redundant. We choose to turn an eye on the beginnings of this romance and how their individual tenacity has brought Ogie and Regine this far.

Admirers of the "Ang Bagong Kampeon" champion – who became the biggest singing sensation since Nora Aunor stoked the masa’s devotion in the ‘70s – can trace Regine’s romantic history to her much-vaunted yet short-lived romance with "Kilabot ng mga Kolehiyala" crooner Ariel Rivera in the early ‘90s. Didn’t Regine worshippers wish that Gelli de Belen, who eventually became the legal Mrs. Ariel Rivera, never existed? That time, the Regine-Ariel team-up, which developed into a full-blown affair after appearing in a musical showcase together, "Two Hearts, One Beat," was what publicity writers loved to drumbeat as a pair made in music heaven. They were both singers, young, fresh, and had strong chemistry.

Loyal fans of the love team could disregard the fact that Ariel’s relationships with Gelli and Regine almost overlapped. Who could ever forget that episode many years later in the defunct morning show "Sis" where Regine and Gelli decided to bury the hatchet? When Regine finished off a heartfelt monologue with "I also just fell in love," "Reginians" all over the country and elsewhere in the world were applauding the singer-actress for her sincerity and candor.

From the time Regine and Ariel parted ways, what followed was a guessing game as to who will be the next man to win the beloved diva’s heart? Will he be as dashing as Ariel? Will their combination bring kilig to dizzying heights? Who will the supersinger dedicate her songs to?

There would be reported dalliances, the noisiest of which was with the very much married Janno Gibbs. Both Regine and Janno strongly denied it but one wonders what could have triggered Janno’s wife Bing Loyzaga’s outburst against Regine? All, however, is now water under the bridge. And then in 2004, rumors of an Ogie-Regine affair started floating. The reports coincided with suspicions that Ogie was unhappy with his marriage to Michelle Van Eimeren. Pure fiction, Ogie said of the rumored l’affaire Regine. "I’ve clarified it a million times. It’s become tiring," Alcasid told StarStudio magazine in 2004.

Six years later, the couple doesn’t seem to tire of sharing their story to anyone who cares to listen. Now both in their 40s, it was even revealed that the two have been living under the same roof for three years without the benefit of marriage. Regine herself divulged this to media. This is not the shy, mousy Chona (later changed to the more diva-sounding Regine) Velasquez anymore but a confident, self-made woman who has amassed wealth, won admiration and gained respect in an industry that does not bless too many with a similar lofty status. This is a woman whose fan base has allowed her to be crowned box-office queen, sold millions of records and filled concert venues to the rafters. This is a woman who can get away with any public confession she dares make.

On the other hand, Alcasid is perhaps the perfect partner for Velasquez. He is stable and sturdy, generally well-liked in showbiz circles. It is safe to say that the two are on equal footing, thus leaving no room for insecurities to set in. The mere fact that Alcasid’s ex-wife welcomes Regine like family and even flew in from Australia to take part in the wedding of her former husband to his new bride says a lot about this particular case being a unique occurrence.

The hopeless romantics are expectedly rooting for Ogie and Regine, alongside the couple’s friends, family, associates, and colleagues. All of showbiz, in fact. The once-burned and broken may look at it two ways: one, see it as inspiration and cause for hope that as a character in the famous romantic drama "An Affair to Remember" puts it, "when one wishes long and hard enough, one’s wish may come true." And two, view it with a certain amount of wariness. The love Scrooges among us may raise an eyebrow and let out a cryptic Mona Lisa-like smile.

However way you look at it, all of us can perhaps agree on one point – that the wedding of Ogie and Regine is the realization of one timid Bulakeña (Note: it should be enye) with a robust singing voice’s ultimate dream, over and above being famous and providing her family with a good life.

In the classic hymn "Songbird," Barbra Streisand sings of a famous diva’s lonely search for love: "With the songs that I sing and the magic they bring, you’ve learned to be strong now. The song sets you free but who sings to me? I’m all alone now, where is my songbird?" Clearly, in Regine Velasquez’s case, the songbird won’t be singing sad songs to herself any longer.

Written by Arnel Ramos
Source : http://www.malaya.com.ph/12232010/ent2.html

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