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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Regine Velasquez as invincible as Urduja

The lyrics of Babae Ako, which Urduja, the character her voice is lending life to in the epic animated film Urduja, is music to Regine Velasquez’s ears.

Nais kong lumipad/Na may sariling bagwis/Nais kong marating/Pangarap nang mabilis/Nais kong manguna sa mga maya/para makita ang bagong umaga.

It’s a song of strength, of lofty ideals. It’s the song of a woman warrior in Pangasinan named Urduja who fights for what she believes in.

Regine would like to believe it’s also a song for and about her.

“I’d like to believe I’m also a strong person,” she explains.

And she seems to be. It’s been said that Regine is so headstrong, no one — not even boyfriend Ogie Alcasid — can convince her to do things if she has set her mind against it.

That decision to stay in GMA 7 amid rumors that she’ll transfer to ABS-CBN, is hers and hers alone.

And today, a year after she and Ogie gambled their careers and finally confessed their relationship, Regine can openly praise her boyfriend to high heavens.

“Ogie is so good in Pinoy Idol,” she announces to press people gathered around her boyfriend, who co-wrote the Urduja songs with Joey de Leon.

Yes, Regine and Ogie have talked about marriage. But Ogie has to settle certain things about his marriage to Michelle Van Eimeren first. There have been developments. But exactly what they are, Regine says she’s in no liberty to divulge.

At the recent wedding of her sister Cacai Velasquez, however, the press finally coaxed a few words from Regine about her dream wedding.

Contrary to what people think, Regine wants to keep it simple.

“Only our family and closest friends will be there,” she explains.

Regine is also particular about the venue. She wants it to “have some connection with both of us (she and Ogie).”

Till then, she doesn’t mind getting teased that Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo might beat her and Ogie to the altar.

“Go!” Regine replies with a smile on her face. She and Ogie will take their sweet time.

After all, like Urduja, Regine believes in spreading one’s wings and trying new things, new challenges. One of these is voice acting, a totally foreign field to her. Yes, Regine admits, she enjoys using her voice as a singer. But voice acting is a whole new ballgame. It’s tougher. That’s why she had to rely on a voice acting coach to guide her.

This much she owes to her audience and to Tony Tuviera, head honcho of APT Entertainment, producer of Urduja. He handpicked Regine for the title role as early as three years ago, or nine years after the 11-year project was conceived. He figured that it’s best for the singer of the theme song and the voice of Urduja to be one and the same.

And since Regine looks at Tuviera as her second father, she readily said yes, no ifs and buts.

Why Regine, and not Lea Salonga, who has voiced many a Disney characters herself? Tuviera has only one reason: “I only thought of Regine.” No other person came to mind.

Regine, of course, is flattered no end.

“I always invite Mr. Tuviera to my concerts. Perhaps he thinks I have another upcoming one soon,” she jokes.

But there will be no more singing of sad songs again for Regine as yet. The Urduja animators are giving her special treatment — patterning the sketch of the Pangasinan princess after Regine’s face and figure. Who knows, Urduja, the first Filipino full-length animated film, may just be Regine’s key to international exposure if Tuviera’s plans of dubbing it in English and showing it abroad, push through.

Regine knows how lucky she is as a modern-day woman.

“Unlike Urduja, we live in a time and age when it’s easier for women to grab opportunities and fulfill their dreams. Women can be doctors, lawyers and the like. All they need do is work hard,” notes Regine.

Men still have the edge, for sure. But women, adds Regine, are proving themselves more and more each day.

And like Urduja, Regine fights for the man she loves. Most of all, she wins in the end.

It’s life imitating art all over again.

Urduja is now showing in theaters.




Anonymous marjorie valera said...

Nng una plang favorite k n si regine idol k sya s pagkanta.. kya yng mga bago nyang plabas pinapanood k........ sna mrami k png mga shows n gagawin.

6:10 PM  

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