While the pandemic and its negative effects continue to change the lives of many, the Filipino resilience shines through. This episode of I Feel U opens with Toni Gonzaga talking about how ordinary people and even celebrities adapt to the changing times by venturing into online business. Count Nadine Lustre in! The Multimedia Princess tries her hand at flower arrangement and sells her finished products online.
Another Kapamilya with an inspiring story to share is Janina Garcia, working as an Account Executive in ABS-CBN since 2013. Unfortunately, the network announced the retrenchment of several employees after non-renewal of franchise. Janina’s post is one of the casualties.
Janina’s seven-year stay with ABS-CBN is slated for closure by the end of August, heartbreaking news she dreaded to receive. Janina says she cried for a day just to release the worries. She has three mouths to feed and her partner’s job is affected by the pandemic also. Janina was worried and scared.
Yet, blessed with a strong sense of resilience, she knew she had to move instead of sulking in a corner. “Wala naman akong choice kundi bumangon at mag-move forward kasi kailangan para sa pamilya.”
Janina and her partner then started to put up an online business by selling dried fish. It was a risk she never thought she’d ever take. Her work with ABS-CBN was her primary source of income. Besides, she does not have any experience with business management. But she’s grateful that the risk turned out a success.
In her three decades in the music industry, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid proved time and time again that there is a lot more to her than her intense vocal range. She has a good heart, fun-loving personality, and a Cinderella-like story that inspire many dreamers – these are the reasons why she is everyone’s ‘idol.’
Many would call the Asia’s Songbird as their idol. She does not want to be tagged as such, though. Regine believes only God is worthy of that term,’ so she would rather want to be called as an inspiration, someone others could look up to.
Yet, even a superstar like her is a fan, too. On top of her list of favorite singers is Sharon Cuneta whom she was able to share the concert stage with just last year. Regine is a big Sharonian she still gets starstruck with her until now. Regine as a fan girl is just like anybody else who would save money to buy movie tickets. There’s something magical and relatable about Sharon’s movies that never fails to awaken the dreamer in her.
As she becomes an icon in the OPM scene, Regine slowly paints her personal life with contentment and joy. She loves being a mother and a wife, apart from being a singer.
As a mom, she would describe herself as a worrier. The anxiety even grows now that we are facing a pandemic. As much as possible, they limit going out unless called for tapings. On the brighter side, she is able to spend more time with her family. “I enjoy being with my husband. May time pa rin kami na we talk with each other, we encourage each other. Pero mayroon pa rin kaming alone time,” she relates.
On how the pandemic changes the entertainment industry’s landscape, Regine would rather focus on the excitement of new beginnings. Virtual performances seem the trend in this new normal. While she misses singing with a live audience, the digital setup does not lessen her passion when performing. “Ang iniisip ko pa rin maraming manonood sa akin, so ‘yung performance ko ‘pag live pareho ko pa rin binibigay kahit ako lang mag-isa o minsan ‘pag nasa studio na walang audience. We still give our 101 percent,” assures the Asia’s Songbird.
Even before she was hailed as the grand champion of the reality talent show Star Power in 2010, Angeline Quinto has always been a big Regine Velasquez fanatic and she is not afraid to show it. “Si Ms. Reg ang isa sa mga napakalaking pangarap ko na natupad,” says Angeline, former kontesera, now Queen of Teleserye Theme Songs.
Angeline was eight when she started listening to Regine’s music and joining amateur singing contests. She would use Regine’s songs as contest piece, even if she was still too young to hit the high notes. “Sana Maulit Muli” was the first Regine hit that landed Angeline a second-runner-up win.
Angeline’s story shares parallel plot with that of Regine, who started out as kontesera as well. Angeline admires Regine so much she would try to sing her songs everyday. The constant practice helped widen her vocal range, thus almost sounding like her idol.
At 12, Angeline joined the talent search Star for A Night hosted by Regine. The latter was told by her father that one of the contestants had an altar dedicated to her. Angeline shares that she would often receive clippings of Regine’s articles and photos as birthday gifts from friends. And these memorabilia she would post on a ‘sacred’ wall.
The same feeling of meeting her idol for the first time resonates even until now that she’s already friends and is able to share the stage with her. Angeline still gets starstruck with Regine, such magnitude of the admiration she feels. Angeline’s fangirl story reminds us of the Law of Attraction, that whatever we visualize and believe in will eventually transcend in our realities.
For someone who grew up without the care of biological parents, Angeline also dreams of raising her own happy family someday. She takes inspiration from a cousin who’s also a product of a broken family but has managed to build a two-parent home for her kids. While Angeline is known for keeping her private life private, she confirms having a special someone at the moment.
As message to aspiring singers, Angeline highlights the value of patience and tenacity. Her success didn’t happen overnight. She had to endure a series of defeat before getting to where she is today. But, if anything, Angeline is grateful even to her moments of failures.
“Sa buhay, hindi lahat madali. Hindi kung anong gusto mo o pangarap mo, eh makukuha agad. Sa dinami-dami ng mga contest na sinalihan ko, kung hindi man ako nanalo sa mga ‘yun, tinanggap ko ‘yun nang buong puso kasi alam ko na mayroon talagang tamang panahon si Lord para sa akin,” Angeline relates.
Growing up, Angeline would take inspiration from Regine’s success story and remind herself that she can also make it. “Kahit hindi tayo mayaman, kahit hindi buo ang pamilya, hindi ‘yun magiging hadlang kung mayroon kang pangarap sa buhay,” With loud determination and passion that brought her to where she is today, Angeline truly makes her idol proud.
To answer questions from her supporters, the Queen of Teleserye Theme Songs considers spending more time with and cooking for her Mama Bob as her biggest achievement this quarantine.
Asked for a message to her TOTGA (The One That Got Away), Angeline says, “Kung ano man ang mayroon siya ngayon, sana happy siya. ‘Pag dumating ‘yung time na ako naman ang magiging masaya sa buhay pag-ibig ko, sana ganoon din siya kasaya.”
Nothing could make Angeline quit showbiz. She will stay as long as she has the voice, the power to make other people happy, and her supportive fans.
It was in 1990 when singer-comedian Anton Diva first heard the golden voice of Regine Velasquez on the radio. And with the Asia’s Songbird’s wide vocal range, it was impossible for Anton not to adore her sound and unique musical style. From then on, Anton did not stop listening to Regine and he became her follower.
“Gusto ko itong singer na ‘to. Susundan ko siya. Bibilhin ko mga CD niya. Hindi pa nga CD noon, cassette tape pa pero magastos pa rin,” he recalls.
His being a fan did not stop there. Blessed with a vocal prowess that sounds a lot like his idol, Anton started to impersonate the ‘Songbird.’ Of all the Regine wannabes out there, only Anton earned the superstar’s nod. Regine is even proud and happy of where Anton’s talent brought him to, knowing she’s one of his inspirations. “I don’t know what I did right that these people are wanting to imitate or idolize me,” says Regine about the overwhelming outpour of admiration.
More than anything, the music icon is glad to see how Anton remained humble and kind. “Anton, I’m so proud of you. I’m also happy that you never changed sa lahat ng mga success na nakuha mo sa buhay mo. Thank you for the love and you also inspire me a lot,” Regine tells her impersonator.
Anton is likewise grateful to be friends with his idol and even share the stage with her. It’s the magic of a fan’s dream finally taking shape or, as how Anton likes to call it, a big accomplishment. He’s thankful that their connection is no longer just limited to fangirl moments. Besides the vocal style, Anton tries to copy Regine’s passion as a breadwinner to her family.
“Kung walang Regine, hindi rin ako makakarating sa kung saan man ako nakarating,” says Anton, making a vow to continue singing Regine’s songs and making her proud.
Their 10 million subscribers prove that Jazam Manabat and Kamille Trinidad, together known as JaMill, have long transitioned from being ordinary YouTubers to online idols. They ran their individual channels at first until they crossed paths in the digital sphere.
From one trending collaboration to another, Jazam and Kamille decided to join forces on YouTube. Besides, they want to impart inspiration and happiness to their viewers. Just like most big time vloggers, JaMille, who idolizes Michael V. and Angel Locsin, had a humble beginning. They started uploading videos for their families and friends to see until their audience broadened.
Now that they’re considered big stars in the online community, Kamille says the outpour of support is overwhelming. But they’re glad to keep other people entertained. Jazam is likewise happy to impart advice and ‘words of wisdom’ to their followers, knowing that he now has the power to bring positivity and lessons to their viewers.
Big changes began to happen as JaMill soared higher. They recently released their own single tilted “Tayo Hanggang Dulo” and built their own house. But they assure that nothing can take their humility. JaMill knows how to control the overwhelming urge to spend, taking lessons from the mistakes of most people.
Keeping the goal to bring inspiration, JaMill tackles a relationship’s ups and downs in their song “Tayo Hanggang Dulo,” hoping that listeners especially from the younger generation would learn that love entails not giving up during the hard times.