In case you didn’t know, fangirling is my life. I only have a few fandoms but I select which ones I really want to devote my time [and money] to. So, if I start becoming a huge, huge fan of someone, I never really stop. I always support my artists to the best of my abilities, even doing crazy stuff just to show my support.
Like flying to Manila just to watch a concert, and flying back to Taipei when it’s over.
Well, two concerts, to be exact.
This post will be in two parts, and in this post I will be talking about my biggest fandom and favorite singer in the whole wide world!
Disclaimer: Videos aren’t mine! I’m just reposting them 🙂
Regine Velasquez – R3.0
Regine Velasquez is a very popular Filipino singer back home – she’s like our version of Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston in these parts because of her singing style and her power ballad hits. Because of the sheer power and vocal ability needed to properly sing her songs, her singles are staple karaoke songs and amateur singing contest pieces. In a way, you aren’t considered a good singer in the Philippines if you can’t sing her songs well XD
If you asked me to name my favorite artist of all time, it would be Regine. I think that no matter how old I get, it would always be her. I fangirl the hardest over Regine because I grew up listening to her music and singing her songs. I’ve been a casual fan since I was 6, so I’ve been singing her songs and copying her style for a long time. But by the time I turned 10, I evolved from being a casual fan to a diehard adik, taking time to watch her major concerts, follow her tours, watch her TV series, and basically just collect everything related to her and her music.
So, when she announced that she’s holding a major concert to celebrate her 30th anniversary in the music industry, I just knew I wouldn’t miss it for the world. If I had to fly back home in the middle of a busy school week just to watch her perform, I would. And that’s what I did!
I have no regrets, because this concert has made it to my list of her best concerts of all time. She was phenomenal, her voice was in tip-top shape, the song choices were on point, and everything was simply magical. Staying on top for 30 years in the music industry is a huge feat, so that night was a celebration of everything she accomplished and everyone who helped her reach that point in her career. The connection between her and the audience that night was just so strong, and I love how everyone in the arena really knew every single word and would sing along with her. Indeed, Regine has a very dedicated fanbase – not surprising for a lady whose career spans three decades!
Here are some of my favorite moments:
You Are My Song (released in 1996) is one of her most popular hits, and is the theme song for one of her movies as well. You would notice that she started getting all emotional by the end of the first chorus (1:18). I think she didn’t expect our flashlight surprise! At that moment the arena literally looked like a starry sky. It was beautiful.
I took this one! Another video of that moment, this time with a view from my seat. Besides the starry sky effect, I also love that the audience sang along with her. Everyone was in tune too! I guess the fans take after their idol, haha!
One of the things I love about Regine is that she’s a very engaging performer. Not only is she talented, she’s also incredibly funny and spontaneous! Here, she performs one of her signature hits, Tuwing Umuulan (released in 2000) while going around the arena and posing for photos. It’s not seen in the video, but from my seat I could see security guys panicking and running around to follow her, because the crowd was increasingly going wild and she wasn’t supposed to come down and greet people! Lol!
This is one of the most emotional moments in the concert, where Regine just broke down while singing a song for her dad – fondly called Mang Gerry by her fans. Regine used to join amateur singing contests during her childhood years to earn money for her family1, and her dad was the one who trained her 2. Mang Gerry was always by Regine’s side and he was always present in all of her concerts, but he passed away a few years ago and this is Regine’s first concert without him in the audience.
All throughout the show, I was reminded of all the reasons why I love her. Of course, her vocal prowess is one of those reasons. But more than that, I love her because she’s still so humble, so true to herself despite all the fame. Even after so many years, we could still see that innocent little girl who dared to sing and dream despite her circumstances. I love that she really appreciates every single person who contributed to her success, including her legion of adoring fans. I actually cried when she thanked her fans towards the end, because what she said truly blew my mind:
“I know you’ve worked so hard, hard-earned money yan tapos ibinili ninyo ng ticket just to celebrate with me. Hindi matatapatan ng kahit anong regalo o kahit anong papuri ninyo sa akin yung pagpunta niyo ngayong gabi… Kaya ang tawag ko sa inyo ay ‘friends’, not ‘fans’. Because kayo yung laging nasa likod ko at handang ipaglaban ako.”
(I know you’ve worked so hard, you’ve spent your hard-earned money just to buy a ticket and celebrate with me. No amount of gifts nor praises would ever compare to your presence tonight… This is why I call you ‘friends’, not ‘fans.’ Because you’re the ones who are always behind me and ready to fight for me.)
Our fandom name has always been “Regine Velasquez Friends” for the longest time, yet I never really understood why until now. I love the story behind the name choice and I’m just so touched that she feels that way about us, because it’s true: her fans are some of the most loyal fans ever!
I’m really glad I took the time to celebrate with her and with the other fans. I really missed seeing her perform in a major concert and while I understood her insecurities because of all the changes that’s happening to her voice 3, I truly love what I heard. I think everyone did too, or else she wouldn’t get 4 standing ovations that night, right? Not only was it a wonderful night of great music, it was also an emotional night full of laughter, tears, and love. Truly unforgettable.
So, there you have it! Part 2 coming up in a separate post!
Now I’m curious: Do you have a similar fangirling experience? What are the craziest things you’ve ever done in the name of fandom? XD
- Her prizes used to include cash, a sack of rice, and even a gas range! ↩
- “Legend” says that Mang Gerry used to bring Regine to the beach and submerge her neck-deep in water in order to make her voice powerful. Nowadays, many parents do the same thing for their kids who show a talent in singing. For those parents in the city who do not have access to a nearby beach, they improvise and fill a huge drum with water for their kids. Mang Gerry, though, said that those days were more like playtime for young Regine than rigid training sessions: he just let her swim and play until she got tired, then they would sing while in the water. He says it helped develop Regine’s abdominal power and helped her get used to singing with pressure due to the waves in the ocean pushing her while she’s practicing. ↩
- A few years ago, she got sick with acid reflux, a condition where the acid from the stomach goes up to the esophagus and affects the throat as well. This can damage a singer’s voice and make it difficult to sing. In Regine’s case, it has made her voice a little deeper and raspier, compared to her lighter/brighter tone in her younger days. Personally though, I prefer her present voice because I think her deeper tone produces a richer and more dramatic sound. ↩