Besides her music, Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid thrives on love, laughter and loyalty. These three things clearly came to the fore on her very first interview for 2016, as she talked about family life and what is still to come in her almost three-decade long career in show business.
Aptly so, Regine held this interview right after renewing her contract with GMA Network on January 4, adding another two years to what she joked as her running total of “100 years” with the multi-media conglomerate.
“I started out with GMA in SOP [a Sunday noontime show, which ran from 1997 to 2010]without a contract for many years kasi ganoon naman ako. Basta I feel comfortable with the people I work with, and they’re good to me and they’re loyal to me, loyal din ako sa kanila,” began the multi-awarded singer.
“So I’m happy na dito pa rin ako sa GMA. I’ve been working with the network for almost 20 years. I know practically everyone here, the bosses included. I’m very grateful sa kanila na hindi nila ako masyadong pine-pressure with work, especially now I’m a wife and mother,” she continued, referring to her husband, singer-composer and funny man Ogie Alcasid and their four-year-old son Nate.
“Hindi ko makakalimutan how good they were to me especially in the last four years when I was given enough time to be with my son. They gave me a very relaxed schedule, which I really, really appreciate to this day.
“So really, ngayong taon pa lang ako ulit magfu-full blast na magtatrabaho, and I’m very excited to go back to work,” the Songbird rounded up.
In the works for Regine this 2016, on top of her weekly musical cooking program Sarap Diva, is a prime time series and a musical variety-comedy show.
“Yun yung interesting—yung musical variety-comedy show—kasi doon mo makikita yung ibang Regine naman na comedian. Apparently komedyante na ako eh!” the OPM royalty quipped with a hearty laugh. So, may mga gags, may mga skits and doon naman makikita yung side ko na nakakatawa.
“Kasi yung mga ginagawa ko naman na shows, mostly their musicals and variety shows, and musical lang talaga yun na nagkakataon lang na nakakatawa minsan kapag may spiel. Pero ito, sasadyain na merong comedy, so it’s really something different.”
As for her prime time series, Regine said that while the network is eyeing a February premiere for the soap, she is not at liberty to reveal details about the project yet.
“All I can say is I’m very excited as well to go back to prime time kasi yung huli kong ginawa is yung I Heart You Pare four years ago. It was then that I got pregnant in the middle of the soap, and sila pa [her bosses]yung nagsabi na, ‘O, sige, magpahinga ka na’,” she recalled. “So I’m glad they’re here today because I want to thank them for that.”
Showing love yet again for their prized talent, GMA’s bigwigs were in full force at Regine’s contract signing. Present GMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, lawyer Felipe Gozon; Entertainment TV Senior Vice President Lilybeth Rasonable; Consultant for Business Development Department Marivin Arayata; Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Acuña-Magno; Vice President for Corporate Communications Angela Javier-Cruz; Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara; Assistant Vice President for Drama Productions Cheryl Ching-Sy; Assistant Vice President for Talk, Variety, Musical and Specials Darling de Jesus; and Program Managers for Entertainment TV Ruth Mariñas and Mae Zambrano.
Asked whether she received offers from other networks to join them before she decided to renew with GMA, Regine replied in the affirmative.
“Ewan ko nga kung paano nila nalalaman na patapos na yung kontrata ko eh!” she laughed again. “Basta ganoon lagi, may tatawag pag pa-end na yung two years!”
To that, big boss Felipe Gozon happily interjected, “We are glad that she chose us because we are also loyal to her.”
Showing her comedic side again, Regine joked that she asked for an entire floor when negotiations for her renewal were underway.
“Tatayuan ko lang ng disco,” she deadpanned, as her sister and manager Cacai Velasquez-Mitra giggled at her antics.
Turning more serious, Regine explained, “What I like about working with GMA is they let my creativity come out. And as an artist being in the business for a long time, minsan mahirap na sina-shut off ka. Sila, they give me the opportunity to be involved and to be heard. Kung maganda naman ang suggestion, they make sure it is incorporated. And that’s how it’s always been with me and the network.”
More importantly, even as Regine is ready to devote more time to her career, she related that management ensured her schedule will allow her quality time with her beloved family.
“They know how important my family is to me, and I’m happy I’ll be able to balance all my new projects with the people that I love the most,” she ended.