Regine Velasquez Alcasid: Using Her Voice to Empower Others

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In her first shoot after two years, vocal powerhouse Regine Velasquez Alcasid talks about her relationship with her children, and why she loves being a mentor to the younger generation.

There’s no doubt that Regine Velasquez Alcasid is a household name in the entertainment industry. Beautiful, confident, and unafraid to be bold, she’s the perfect representation of a strong woman. Aptly called “Asia’s songbird,” she casually sits with her legs crossed and belts out a song in an unparalleled vocal range during her cover shoot with Modern Parenting for our special Women’s Month issue. It’s her first after two years, and her excitement is evident.

Dress by Rajo Laurel, belt c/o Closet Culture, and shoes by Jimmy Choo

Like many who were heavily affected by the pandemic and initial lockdowns, Regine was worried about her family’s health and financial stability. “Looking back now, it has been a gift. You know how when we’re working, we complain about how we don’t have time for our kids and family? We got the gift of time and I appreciate it.”

Co-Parenting Her Stepdaughters

Being part of a blended family, Regine shares that she loves both Leila and Sarah—her husband Ogie Alcasid’s daughters with former wife, Michelle van Eimeren. She finds the right balance between being a stepmom and a friend—especially when Leila moved to the Philippines from Australia.

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Top by Rajo Laurel

“I wanted my husband to do the parenting. They both wanted that. So I was just on the side watching. But after a while, I kind of stepped in because she’s a teenager. And a lot of times, dads have a hard time understanding their teenage daughters, right? So I kind of had to step in. I just make sure I’m careful and that I don’t step on anyone. That I’m not trying to establish any other kind of parenting because she’s already got that. It’s more of just reminding.”

“But the thing with Leila is that she’s a good kid. She’s wonderful. She has a really good head on her shoulders. It was the way Michelle brought her up, and also my husband. I really didn’t have a hard time with her. When she decided to live here, my friends would scare me and say, ‘Oh no, you have a teenager already! That’s hard!’ But I wasn’t scared. First of all, I already have a relationship with her because we would visit her in Australia every year. It was an easy transition. She’s wonderful. Even Sarah.”

As a co-parent, Regine gushes that they love shopping together. She teaches Leila how to apply makeup, and they love watching TV series together. “I have to be sensitive enough for her but not too much. Because if you’re too sensitive, you tend to overshadow the parenting style of her mom or dad. But that’s already built for her and I didn’t want to touch that. I just remind her.”

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Balancing Her Career and Motherhood

It’s been 35 years since Regine entered showbiz. But when she got pregnant with her son, Nate, in 2012, she took a break. “I was so scared because you push when you sing,” she says. “I was so stressed, so I stopped for almost two years.”

Gilet by Ricardo Preto for Rustan’s, t-shirt c/o Closet Culture and jeans by Banana Republic

She admits that she had a hard time singing when she resumed. “All my life, I was singing. And I had to abruptly stop. My vocal cords experienced atrophy. But then, I was able to go back. Like I would do concerts once a year. The rest of the year, I’d spend with Nate. Because I also wanted to be there for him and take care of him. During those two years that I wasn’t singing, I really missed it. So when Nate turned six years old and started school, that was when I went back to singing full-time.”

Measuring Her Children’s Success

For Regine Velasquez, the success of her children will be measured when they become parents themselves and when they know how to be good parents to their own kids. “I think because your parenting style will come from who raised you. You’re beginning from scratch. With Nate, I teach him everything that I learned from my mom and father. My mom was the strict one and my father was the fun one.”

If she could have any superpower in the world, Regine shares that she recently found out her son’s eyesight has reached a grade of 400. “I cried. I felt so bad. And I felt so guilty. But I couldn’t bring him out because we were all scared. But you know what he said? ‘It’s not your fault mommy.’ I cried even more. If I could just bring his 20/20 vision back, that would be my superpower.”

Regine Velasquez: “No Such Thing as a Perfect Mom or Dad.”

“We just all do our best. Like really, who knows how to be a perfect mother? For all we know, even if we did our best, even if we’re so strict, they can still lose their way. That can still happen. So I don’t want to blame myself for that, because I know that I did my best. You cannot always be strict because the more you’ll lose them that way.”

Top and jeans by Banana Republic

“While they’re young, that’s where you can impart all the things that you want them to learn. Like I had to teach my son how to be respectful of women because he’s a boy. I thought it was my husband’s job because I’m a woman. But I’m the one teaching him. Because I want him to be respectful of women. There’s a saying that if your husband loves his mom, you’ll see it. And I want him to be like that. I think I’m doing my job because my son loves me.”

Her Role Models

Regine Velasquez proudly looks up to both her mom and mother-in-law because of their strength and how they raised their families. Both are widows as well. And despite their respective losses, they remain content with the love that they shared with their late husbands. “I saw their pain and heartbreaks. But I also saw how brave and strong they were from trying to move on and not trying to think of anyone else anymore. They were so content with the love and life they shared with their husbands. I feel the same way about Ogie.”

Regine Velasquez on Empowering Others and Leaving a Legacy

When Regine started out in the industry, she was the youngest in her group, which consisted of other big stars like Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, and Pops Fernandez. “They took care of me. They supported me all the way. So I didn’t have any issues whatsoever. Now, I’m trying to do the same thing by supporting new artists. If they want me to be a guest, I’ll be there. Because the artists before me were already famous and they all still supported me. That’s why I never had a problem.”

“When you have a good relationship with everyone, you get their respect. I love that they listen to me when I speak. About how I experience things. Now that I’m older, my career isn’t as important anymore. I value my family, my children, and my friends more. I also realized lately, ‘What will I do with all my experiences if I don’t share them?’ So that’s what I do.”

“I love that I received this wonderful gift [of singing]. My family was very poor. In the beginning, I just wanted to help my family. I wasn’t able to finish college, but all my siblings did. Because I made sure. That’s my greatest accomplishment. All my family members and siblings have their diplomas. It’s only me who doesn’t. And that’s okay because I was able to help them. I am extremely grateful that God chose me to be the one to help my family.”

“What’s wonderful about my craft, first and foremost, is that I am an entertainer. During the pandemic, I appreciated who I was and what I do even more. When I entertain people, my stress goes away. Because music helps the soul. That’s the magic of music! It’s an outlet. Like, I feel so blessed. I entertain people. I make people happy even just for a minute. How I use my platform, this is it. To empower them. To be able to entertain them.”

“Whenever someone asks me what I want my legacy to be, I didn’t really know how to answer it. Until my father passed away. I realized I was his legacy. And Nate, he will be my legacy. After that, I will be forgotten and that’s fine. That’s okay. My son is my legacy. And he will continue whatever it is I started. Each child is a blessing and they’ll continue what you started. If you were a good person, it will reflect in them. They’ll be your legacy.”

Text GRETCHEN GATAN FRAGADA
Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Art Direction MARC YELLOW
Makeup REGINE VELASQUEZ ALCASID
Hair JONATHAN VELASCO
Styling ROSHNI MIRPURI and SIYA DARYANI for CLOSET CULTURE
Coordination LOUIS ESGUERRA
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ

Shot on location at M RESIDENCES by VCDC

Special thanks to KITCHEN CITY, DAVID MARILAO, LANA FAITH JOHNSON and CACAI MITRA

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