Manila Bulletin, Oct. 28, 2000

Why Regine's a Success ..
   by Nestor Cuartero

"WHY ARE YOU successful?" One student writer asked Regine Velasquez 
thoughtfully during a journalism seminar-workshop held yesterday at UST's 
education auditorium.

The super-singer pondered a while, seemingly asking herself the same 
question. "Maybe because I work hard at what I do. I try to do better all 
the time. This is one thing I'd like to share with all of you, aspiring 
writers and journalists. Always try to be good in what you do
and you, too, will be successful."

Regine said it doesn't matter if, at the early part of your career, you 
will try to ape other artists, other writers. "I used to do that. I used to 
sing like Kuh, Barbra, etcetera, until I came to develop my own style."

REGINE was special guest during a mock press conference that was 
to be the highlight of my talk on lifestyle-culture writing in the second 
edition of "Inkblots," an annual fellowship conducted by The Varsitarian, 
UST's 72-year old student paper. This year, "Inkblots" has expanded to 
3 days (Thursday to Saturday) and was fortunate enough to have 
attracted close to 250 participants nationwide.

Regine also said she has a lot to be thankful for. Her career has lifted 
her family from poverty and has sent 3 Velasquez siblings to school. 
The singer, who could hit the highest notes this side of the UST 
Conservatory, recalled with candidness how poor her family was. 
"We couldn't even afford to buy shampoo."

"I THANK GOD for giving me a gift," she said. Part of the secret of 
Regine's success perhaps lies in the fact that she's so grounded. For 
instance, when approached to speak before student writers only 
two days earlier (and for a song at that), she didn't hesitate.

Her staff told me Regine has a soft spot for students, or anything that has 
to do with school. "Maybe it's because she didn't get to finish school that 
she grabs every chance she gets to be with students."

Later that day, towards evening, Regine was heading straight 
to Paco Church where she was to sing – for free – 
in a fund-raising concert.

* * *

ANOTHER WORKSHOPPER asked Regine what she had 
planned for the next phase of her career. The singer said she 
doesn't really look at her plans long-range. "I visualize them 
on a per year basis. Like for next year, I see myself doing 
at least 2 films and some new records," she said.

Acting, according to Regine, is her new fascination, if not addiction.
She is clearly inspired by the giant box office success of her latest film, 
"Kailangan Ko'y Ikaw," opposite Robin Padilla. She's excited to follow 
this up with more feel-good films even as she lamented how the current 
political scandals and economic crisis have been whipping the 
entertainment industry.

"If people stop watching movies or buying our records, wala rin kami," 
she said.

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