Most of us have only known Gerardo Velasquez through photos. But one thing we can tell just from these pictures, it is that he and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid had a special bond. They are enough of a glimpse into their father and daughter duo. Now, on Magandang Buhay, Asia’s Songbird has shared stories of what it was like growing up with the ultimate handyman.
“My father is very talented,” she boasted. In her entire life, she has yet to meet someone who can do as much as he can. Yes, Ogie Alcasid is only a close second. “’Yung asawa ko, hindi siya handyman,” she joked.
On a serious note, Regine then enumerated her late father’s set of skills. Mang Gerry was a singer. Elvis Presley and Matt Monro were two names she compared him to. It was also this vocal prowess that won over her mother’s heart, Teresita Velasquez. By profession, however, he was a tailor. “He used to make my dress,” Asia’s Songbird revealed.
His other skills include painting, making furniture and designing houses. Being artistic ran in their family. In fact, Regine’s great grandfather was the one who carved the wooden head of the Sto. Entierro. The Velasquez family is only known as jewelry makers and one relative was responsible for designing the mold for the country’s first ever coin.
WATCH on MB: Regine explains why Mang Gerry is called the ‘Ultimate Handyman’
With all these abilities, the biggest role of Mang Gerry aside from being a father was probably the trainer. Regine recounted how their house back in Leyte was only a 10-minute walk from the beach. So, they often went to go for a swim, “Wala lang, magsu-swimming, lalo na ‘pag summer.” More than for recreation, however, he had taken this opportunity to train his daughter’s vocals.
The idea originally came from Rocky Marciano, the champion boxer who was known for training underwater. “Parang he was thinking, ‘I wonder if that will work also in singing,’” Regine explained. The water had to be up to her neck, then she would sing as loud and as high as she could.
At first, she did not realize that the point of the exercise was because she just loved to sing and swim. Later on, her father would explain it and to this day Asia’s Songbird still uses this trick whenever she has an upcoming concert. Although, this time around it is Ogie who would coach and encourage her.
WATCH on MB: Regine, ikinuwento ang pagte-train sa kanya ni Mang Gerry sa dagat
PHOTOS CREDIT: @reginevalcasid IG / Doc Jojo Velasquez / Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Facebook