There’s no place like home. And for Sheryn Regis, home equates to family, the Philippines, and showbiz. To mark her much-awaited comeback, the Crystal Voice of Asia treats us to a new single “Tulad ng Dati.” Learn more about this and her life and love ‘hugots’ in this episode of Kapamilya Chat.
A thyroid cancer survivor, Sheryn thought her golden voice would wane. The new lease on her singing career, therefore, is quite a miracle for her. Looking back, she said she learned about her condition after coming home from Texas to the Philippines in 2016. They had to schedule an immediate surgery two days after undergoing biopsy tests. She knew the risks but she also can’t waste time as the cancer cells might spread.
“I really thought na during the surgery, mata-touch ‘yung laryngeal nerve ko at magkakaroon ako ng changes sa voice quality. Akala ko lalaki o bababa o magiging magaspang ang boses ko. But, God is so good. He gave me this miracle to sing again like nothing happened to me,” she opened up.
Sheryn’s story is a fitting reminder during these trying times that complete surrender paves the way for answers. Unadulterated faith makes the impossible real. Before she closed her eyes for the surgery, she whispered, “Lord, thy will be done.”
At that moment, she simply wanted to survive, “Hindi ko na inisip na kakanta pa ba ako. Ang inisip ko na lang mabuhay ako. Ganu’n pala ‘pag nagkasakit ka, nasa surgery room ka, hindi mo na maiisip kung mayaman ka, sikat ka or what. Ang maiisip mo na lang, ‘Lord, bigyan N’yo po sana ako ng second chance na mabuhay.’ Gusto ko lang mabuhay.”
The singer faced and survived all these in silence, not wanting to worry her family and fans. She told her mom that it was just a minor condition. “Kasi ayaw ko naman high-blood-in si Mama, baka atakihin.”
She continued, “Nobody knew kundi assistant ko lang, nandoon sa hospital room ko. Ayaw kong malaman ng fans ko, ng mga parents, at kamag-anak ko na may sakit ako. I don’t want them to see me in pain. Gusto kong makita nila na masaya lang ako, okay lang ako.”
Her family in Houston knew about her condition, “Pero wala silang magawa kasi wala naman sila sa Pilipinas and I chose Cebu to be the place na mag-surgery ako.”
It took her three years to be more open about the experience. Now, she can feel that she’s loved by many, especially her fellow Filipinas. Talking about her journey makes her feel empowered than scared.
After the surgery, Sheryn was told to stop singing for six months. But, she did. “Sobrang tigas ng ulo ko. After three weeks, kumanta ako.” It was for a big religious event in Cebu, “because of my faith. I said, ‘This is for Senior Sto. Nino.’ Because of my faith, nabigyan ako ng courage. Sinabi ko, ‘Lord, this is for You.’”
It was her first time belting out “Come On In Out of the Rain” a half-note lower. “Kasi ‘yung boses ko that time, bawal ma-stress, puro falsetto lang, walang base. Tapos sobrang layo ko sa mga tao kasi I was under radiation at that time. Hindi lang talaga alam ng mga tao na may sakit ako, galing ako sa opera.” She was aware of the risks as well yet she decided to sing for the Lord’s glory, “Pwede palang mag-open ‘yung wound ‘pag nasobrahan ng pwersa. Pwede rin mabinat at maging pangit ‘yung quality ng voice ko. But then, hindi.”
She also thought of the vocal chords as muscles that need constant stretching, thus the concert that followed three months later. Thanks to her faith, she was able to pull through. “Being strong and faithful, you can do everything and nothing is impossible.”
To mark her second lease on her singing career, Sheryn treats us to a timely ‘hugot’ piece that relates the pain of ghosting, “Ito ‘yung panahon na may social distancing at ‘total’ distancing sa mga relationship. Minsan dahil hindi nagkikita, nawala na rin ‘yung feelings.”
The song further describes the pain of letting go, which is valid especially when there are questions left unanswered. Sometimes, the long list of ‘whys’ can be paralyzing and lead to overthinking. Sheryn should know, having been ghosted in the past, “Ilang beses akong tumawag pero wala. Sabi ko, ‘Ano ba’ng kasalanan ko? Dahil ba ganito ako?’ Masakit talaga. Para siyang bubble na pinutok, biglang nawala.”
“Confront me! Hindi ‘yung mang-iiwan ka na lang dahil may sarili kang rason na hindi mo kayang ipaalam sa akin. You have to tell me for me to move on,” she said of how breakups should be.
To those with hearts cold and coward enough to ghost someone, Sheryn advised, “Kung natatakot kang i-confront ang person, huwag kang matakot. Tell the person kasi mas lalo mo siyang masasaktan kung quiet ka lang at pinapaasa mo lang siya. Huwag ka nang magpa-asa. Sabihin mo ang totoo.”
She added that while the truth can hurt, it can also set you free. Based on her experience, Sheryn stressed that, on the other hand, moving on is the only cure to being ghosted. “Nag-move on ako kahit masakit. Inisip ko ang sarili ko. Who am I? Saan ako galing? Siya lang ba ang pwedeng magmahal sa’yo? And I realized I have my friends, family.”
It also boils down to self-love and self-respect. Besides, heartbreaks make you stronger and help you gain more wisdom about relationships, so you’d know how to recognize red flags next time.
The music video of “Tulad Ng Dati” exudes sultry vibes and has a big chunk of scenes shot underwater. “Mga sampung times na hinulog ako sa pool,” she quipped. It was filmed in Tagaytay City, thus the cold weather added more to the struggle. “Pero kailangan ko i-feel. Instead na nasaktan ‘yung likod ko, iniyak ko na lang ‘yung sakit sa tubig. Inisip ko na lang nag-drown ako sa sarili kong tears, emosyon, at sakit.”
Asked her dream collaboration, Sheryn mentioned Moira Dela Torre. She added that she has fallen more in love with OPM since returning to the Philippines in 2019.
“Tulad Ng Dati” is not your typical Sheryn song that’s too ‘birit.’ This one has what she calls millennial feels and is easier to sing along with.