“I’m actually dyslexic. Not a lot of people know,” Regine says. “I’ve had it since birth. I remember when I was younger malabo yung mata ko. Kasi bali-baligtad yung ‘v’ at ‘b’ ko. Di naiintindihan ng nanay ko kung ano ang sinusulat ko. I can’t spell right. Di ako masyadong magaling mag-spell. Mabagal ako magbasa.”
Dyslexia is a disability that impairs sufferers from correctly translating written images into spoken language; a difficulty in processing letters and sounds that results in poor reading and spelling skills. Such disability can afflict even the smartest, most intelligent individuals.
Regine says her being dyslexic made it difficult for her to adapt to a formal school environment when she was a child.
Even now, this disability affects her singing on televised programs, such as “Party Pilipinas” because it requires learning new songs each week and using a teleprompter, a monitor near the stage wherein lyrics of the song are shown to the performers. Regine says that when she gets distracted, she often loses concentration and sings the wrong lyrics.
“Nilalait nila ako. Wala talaga akong kantang na-perfect. Hirap kasi akong magbasa eh. This is my problem. Kaya dati pa nila ako in-o-offer na hosting job, never ko tinatanggap. Kasi alam ko magbabasa ako.That’s my fear kasi alam ko na that’s hard. Kasi ang ginagawa ko mine-memorize ko na. So pagkanta, may kahit konti lang na tumawid, mawawala na ako kasi kailangan kong makakatutok ako doon. Otherwise,wala di ko na makakanta,” she says.
To address this, Regine says, she learned more about the disabilities by watching TV discussions and documentaries.
“So dati hindi ko alam kung ano yon until I watched ‘Oprah’ and Discovery Channel. Sabi ko, ‘That happened to me.’ Sabi ko I’m like that and I remember when I was younger malabo yung mata ko,” she adds.
Regine emphasizes that the best way to overcome this defect was to rely on what she calls her razor-sharp memory.
“Actually yung best friend ko sinasabi niya sa akin,since you have a really good memory, yun ang ginagamit ko para ako makabasa ng maayos. Sabi nga niya na-a-amaze din siya kasi nga wala naman nagturo sa akin noon eh. Inisip ko lang, magaling naman ang memory ko so minememorize ko na lang siya,” she notes.
Regine said she has learned to cope with the disability and would not consider any immediate remedies.
“Meron na akong coping mechanism. Mahirap ko na yun gamutin especially at my age. Kasi na-a-ayos naman yun eh. You have to go back to square one.Tuturuan mo ulit yung sarili mo. It’s hard for me to catch up,” she says.
By Gerry Plaza of INQUIRER.net
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