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According to veteran director Freddie Santos, Regine Velasquez's latestperformance is always her best. I find that true and remarkable since Reginehas been singing for 2 decades and she has maintained that vocal ability.
The show kicked off with "Narito Ako." Three women posed as Regine near theRoman pillars of the huge stage. Regine popped out at the center coming frombelow. She told the audience of her past through song. So "Narito Ako" wasnot sung straight, there were parts of songs from her childhood: "Buhat,""Mr. DJ," "Pangarap na Bituin," "Bakit Ako Mahihiya" and "In Your Eyes." Hervoice was already quivering a bit which signaled to us the emotional natureof the concert. Regine looked like a gift for she had a big bow at her naveland she presented herself like a gift by getting out of her robe throughopening that bow.
October 13 & 14, 2006 TWENTY (20th Anniversary Concert @ Araneta Coliseum)
In a few seconds, she did "Call Me." The moment I heard that song in the"Covers 2" album, I knew that it would be a great song to start a show sinceit gets the heart racing. In some parts of the song, she sounded husky.After watching so many shows of Regine, I thought to myself: "Oh, my... shemight not have a speaking voice." She confirmed it when she began to talk."Kagabi po medyo tinodo ko, pasensya na po kayo - medyo malat ako ngayonggabi." She drank tea or water from time to time to soothe her throat.
She dwelt on her past that brought out tears. "Akala ko naiyak ko na lahatkagabi, may'ron pa rin pala... kaya nga actress na 'ko ngayon." What she wassaying was painful but she softened it with humor. "Noong nagsisimula palang ako, maraming nagsasabing wala naman daw akong mararating kasi hindinaman daw ako kagandahan.. . pero hindi ko po pinaayos ang mukha ko.
Maramiding nagsabi na hindi raw ako sisikat kasi hindi ako marunong mag-Englishkasi galing akong Bulacan eh. Nag-aral nga ako sa Mababang Paaralan ngBalagtas, Bulacan. But, I'm still here and it has been 20 years." Theaudience was with her in her exultation.
Regine was quick to acknowledge that her ascent to the top would not havehappened without the help and support of many people. She considers herrelationship with those people as "love affairs." First of was her affairwith photographers: her family, fans and the one responsible for her glamourshots, Jun de Leon. She dedicated the song "Shine" to them for they make hershine through the photos they have taken of her.
Next to be thanked was the producer of Regine's movies - Vic del Rosario."Boss Vic, maraming, maraming salamat kasi ikaw lang ang naniwala na puwedepala akong artista." He saw her playing Maria Clara in the musical, "Noli MeTangere" and at that point, he decided to cast her in "Wanted: PerfectMother" - the movie that launched her career as a lead actress. When herkissing scenes from her movies were being flashed, the girly-girl ("kikay")spirit in her sneaked out. "I like to play different characters. Not tomention, I get to kiss all these cute guys. Actually, 'yon lang naman anginaasam ko. 'Yon lang naman ang habol ko do'n."
Her movie theme songs medleyfollowed: "You Are My Song," "Pangako," "Pangarap Ko ang Ibigin Ka," "Ikaw"and "Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw."
The focus shifted a little to the dancers (Hotlegs). They were with Reginein a production number that had an innovative arrangement combining"Buttons" and "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls with "Hotstuff" and "ShakeYour Groove Thing." In the latter part of the show, she stressed herappreciation for the dancers' work through the years by letting them takecenter stage in the "Music of Goodbye." I kept waiting for Regine to do thissong in a major concert. I thought its chance had passed when it was notincluded in the "R2K the Concert."
Composers or songwriters play a major role in Regine's success. It isthrough their songs that Regine's music career is defined. The songwriterwhom she has worked with often is Ogie Alcasid. Surprisingly, her 2 favoriteworks of his are not done by her. To express her gratitude to him, she sangthem - "Kailangan Kita" and "Ikaw Lamang."
Upon noticing the crowd's enthusiastic response to her costume changes (shehad 5 - dark pink, lipstick red, royal blue, flesh and white), Regine was sothoughtful in mentioning her fashion designers. The first one to dress herup was Louie Mamengo. When Louie went to the U.S., he entrusted her to Rajo Laurel. Now, Regine is also working with Pepsi Herrera and Edwin Tan.
It was when she paid tribute to her musical directors and musicians that hersignature songs were featured: "On the Wings of Love," "What Kind of Fool AmI," "Dadalhin (acoustic version)," "Sana Maulit Muli" and "I Don't WannaMiss a Thing." By doing these songs, her mastery, intensity as well as,sensitivity were exhibited. I thought her not having a speaking voice woulddeter her from belting but apparently not so. She went full throttle inhitting those high notes. She certainly knew where to get that voice frominside her.
The choir (U.P. Singing Ambassadors) accompanied Regine in "On the Wings ofLove." The arrangement of the song was similar to the one they used in "OneNight with Regine." Regine was given a thunderous applause for herperformance. She was amused by it that she was late in introducing thechoir, they already left the stage. She wittily said, "Ay, wala na sila...ingat kayo."
The audience could not contain their astonishment that they gave her astanding ovation after "What Kind of Fool Am I." Who would not stand up andclap for her when she did that difficult song sitting on the ground? Theaudience's reaction made her speechless while she remained sitting there.
Having done more than 30 duets, Regine did the memorable ones. She hit 2birds with 1 stone here. She did not only honor the male artists shecollaborated with, she also ushered a new batch of male singers she recentlyand would soon work with. Regine sang "Please Be Careful with My Heart," "Forever," "It's Hard to Say Goodbye," "Magkasuyo Buong Gabi," "In Love withYou" and "Hanggang Ngayon" with Dennis Trillo, Jed Maddela, Gabby Eigenmann,Mark Bautista, Mark of Shamrock and Erik Santos respectively. All joined inin the song, "Muli." They were very mindful of each singer's musical abilitythat they were able to match the appropriate song to each of them gettingfavorable results. Dennis was the most popular while Jed gave the bestperformance among them.
In one of Regine's costume changes, they played a club mix of "ReasonEnough," "You've Made Me Stronger" and "Follow the Sun" to which MarkHerras, Migs Eugenio, Marky Cielo and KidsatWork danced to. Any enterprisingrecord company should take note of this segment for they can tap into a newmarket by releasing remixes of Regine's beautiful old songs.
Songs Regine considered special for they opened doors for her ensued. Shegave sincere and at the same time, powerful renditions of "Love Me Again"(her first single), "In Your Eyes," "And I'm Telling You (I'm Not Going)"and "You'll Never Walk Alone" (her contest pieces).
A few weeks before the show, I read the repertoire. I could not understandwhy there would be a spot number for "Bakit Ako Mahihiya" when it is not anoriginal song of Regine and it is already at the start. After hearing herspiel, I totally got it. The song was taught to her by her father for acontest when she was a kid so it is of great value to her. She shared to usthe hardships her parents endured when she was still an up-and-coming singerlike her mother pawning her wedding ring just to have money for Regine's andher father's transportation in going to t.v. guestings. Many were touchedwhen she tearfully said, "may'ron man akong konting sinakripisyo, okay lang'yon kasi malaking-malaki naman ang sinakripisyo n'yo para sa 'kin. I wantyou to know that I'm very proud to be your daughter and I thank God na kayoang pinili Niyang maging parents ko." Then she turned sentimental and sultryin singing the song.
In ending the show, she chose inspirational songs - "Greatest Love of All"and "I Believe" - that summed up her thoughts. The encore was "'Til I MetYou" that she sang beside her leading man (Robin Padilla) in the currentmovie of the same title.
Regine thanked everybody who had a part in her career. Unfortunately, theone who gave her a break in concerts (Gary Valenciano) was not there.Regine's first concert performance was in Gary's show. So Regine reallywished for Gary to be there. In fact, there was a solo spot number for himin the original repertoire. It was quite sad that he could not participatein such a momentous event.
Walking around the Araneta Coliseum after the show, I saw many adolescents exiting the venue. It was like seeing myself for it was in that stage (puberty) that Regine first caught my attention. That was 19 years ago. If Regine continues to give her best in every performance like what she did in the concert, I am pretty sure that she will always have the admiration of not just the people at present but also of future generations.
Stage Direction: Regine Velasquez and Ronnie HenaresMusical
Direction: Raul Mitra, Louie Ocampo, Tats Faustino, Gerard Salonga, Mark Lopez and Prof. Arturo Molina
Musicians: Manila Symphony Orchestra II
Band: Bond Samson, Cesar Aguas, Sonny Matias, Tek Faustino, Miong ?
Guests: U.P. Singing Ambassadors conducted by Ed Mangan, Wyeth ProgiftedKids (Joseph Valdes, Paulina Gutierrez, Pocholo Gutierrez and Jacob Sarreal), Dennis Trillo, Jed Maddela, Gabby Eigenmann, Mark Bautista, Markof Shamrock and Erik SantosDancers: Hotlegs, Mark Herras, Migs Eugenio, Marky Cielo and Kids at Work
Source! 2net RVML/ Photos by Mr. Rafael Siscar III / Video Owners
Thank you! -adm