At the friend and fellow Octoarts recording artist, Pops Fernandez, Chona Velasquez guested on the now defunct GMA 7 Variety TV show, 'Penthouse Live', on February 16, 1986. This is considered the biggest turning point of her career as this is where Ronnie Henares, the show's producer, noticed her potential and offered to become her manager. Martin Nievera, Pops' husband and co-host of the show, suggested to Velasquez that she drop the name Chona and use Regine as her screen name. That year, her father resigned from his job as a construction estimator to fully attend to his daughter's blossoming career.
“Si Pops naman, isa siya sa mga nag-discover sa akin. Pinakita niya ako sa mga mall shows. Magkasama kami doon. Then naging guest ako sa ‘Penthouse’,” Regine says.
Since that “Penthouse” performance, talent manager Ronnie Henares charted the early years of her career. Ronnie, she says, expressed his intention to be her manager by sending her a “telegram” in Bulacan. “Promise,telegrama talaga. Wala pa kasi kaming telepono noon,” she says.
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