Most of us have probably only known Gerardo Velasquez through photos and the stories we’ve heard about him. But one thing we can tell just from the pictures in this gallery is that he and her daughter Regine Velasquez-Alcasid had a special bond. These are enough to give us a glimpse into this one-of-a-
kind father-and-daughter duo.
And in her guesting in Magandang Buhay in 2018, the Asia’s Songbird shared anecdotes of what it was like growing up with an “ultimate handyman” – that was her father.
“My father is very talented,” she started off. In her entire life, she has yet to meet someone who can do as much as he can – and yes, her husband Ogie Alcasid is only a close second. She jested, “’Yong asawa ko, hindi siya handyman.”
On a serious note, Regine then enumerated her late father’s set of skills. Mang Gerry was a singer, comparing his vocal prowess to music icons Elvis Presley and Matt Monro. It was also his awesome singing talent that won over her mother’s heart, Teresita Velasquez. However, by profession, he revealed that he was a tailor and was the one who used to make her dresses when she was just starting.
Aside from that, he’s also skilled in making jewelries as the Velasquez Family is known jewelers, in woodcarving like her grandfather who carved the head of Quiapo Church’s Santo Entierro and her great grandfather who crafted the mold for the first-ever Philippine coin. Furthermore, he’s a painter, an
architect, a carpenter, and an illustrator – making him an ultimate handyman who Regine regards as a talented and brilliant man.
With all these abilities and apart from being a great family man, the biggest and most important role that Mang Gerry had ever played in the life of Regine was to be her vocal coach. She recounted how their house back in Leyte was only a 10-minute walk from the beach. So, they used to often go there to go for a swim, “Wala lang, magswi-swimming, lalo na ‘pag summer.” But aside from recreation, he had also taken that opportunity to give her vocal trainings.
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’ every time she
has an upcoming concert. Although, this time around, it is Ogie who would coach and encourage her.
Mang Gerry died in his sleep in February 2014 after reportedly being ill and getting hospitalized in 2013 for more than a month, and undergoing surgery in 2012.
PHOTOS CREDIT: @reginevalcasid IG / Doc Jojo Velasquez / Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Facebook