Ever since I was a child, I have always been an aficionado of the Disney Princesses because they possess and hold an incomparable beauty and glamour. Each Disney Princess has there own exceptional persona and character that really rendered my interests in them. However I was not only stricken with their beauty and glamour but also I learned to love the different stories that each princess have gone through. Such as Princess Aurora’s 100 years of deep sleep, Princess Ariel’s venture to human hood, Princess Snow White’s apple poisoning and most of all the story of Cinderella. Every story made me realized the other side of beauty, its true sense and meaning.
What is it? Are there objective standards of beauty? Or is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Must a person be beautiful to be considered great? What is the effect of experiencing beauty in life? I have chosen a very interesting topic, as I believe that her story encompasses my understanding of what Beauty really is.
Before we even heard and knew of her Cinderella story, there was just her phenomenal voice of which was never heard of in the Philippine music history. It became all the more mind-blowing, astonishing and extraordinary when one beheld the singer, a young woman whose delicate frame and features contradict her fragile aura. The infirmity vanishes from the first note of a song and in its place, an astounding blend of deep emotion and perceptible splendor is experienced. That beauty is Regine Velasquez.
Regine also known affectionately as the Asia's Songbird around the world is a true story of rags to riches. Few people who have heard her amazing voice can say that they have never heard her equally inspiring life story. Much like a fairy tale, her humble beginnings in Bulacan have not dismayed this naturally talented singer in surpassing the performance calibers of formally trained singers of her generation. She started to sing at the age of four and upon discovering her incredible singing talent her parents supported her love for music. At age ten, Regine could be found standing neck-deep in the beach singing. It was to train her to use her diaphragm in singing and to strengthen her lungs. Teresita her mom taught her how to evoke emotion while Mang Gerry her dad helped her develop a technique in reaching high notes. She started joining singing contests at the age of ten but triumph was not always on her side. She entered 200 singing contests but only won 67 of them. She got tired of joining such contests but this didn’t stop her because it is their source of income. Her dad quit his job just to support her and be with her in every singing contest she joined. This was her motivation; she strived harder and harder to attain what she has now and what she has achieved. The year 1989 was the start of her booming career especially after winning the Asia Pacific Singing Contest, which was held in Hong Kong at the same year. This contest gave her the coveted title of Asia’s Songbird that gave her celebrity status and made her an Asian superstar. That same year, she collaborated a song with Jacky Cheung entitled "In Love With You," which reached the MTV Asia and Channel V’s top 20 music charts. She has also collaborated with artists such as Paul Anka, David Hasselhoff, 98 Degrees, Brian McKnight, Mandy Moore, Ronan Keating, Stephen Bishop, Jim Brickman, Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne, Dave Koz , Lea Salonga, Grasshopper, Coco Lee, Michel Legrand, David Pomeranz, Eduardo Capetillo and Billy Crawford. More blessings came along her way; some of her albums had good response from neighbor Asian countries achieving triple platinum, 2 double platinum and 2 golds from China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea. Year after year, Regine gets better by being versatile in her craft. She started to juggle her singing, film, television, and advertising careers. Both foreign and local fans supported her all this years and a manifestation of this are the awards she has received; 2 star awards, 1 Famas, 2 MTV Asia, 3 MTV Phil, 11 Awit awards, 1 Katha Awards, 9 aliw awards, 15 Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation. As a fan, I believe that she as a performer and person empowers and allows others to dream, just like what she did before. This is the best part about her. Every time she performs onstage, every time she sings a song, she reminds all of us that there was a time when it seemed like no one wanted to listen. But it is that past that makes her who she is today; strong, generous, human, pained and blessed.
People might think that her achievements swollen her so much pride and that she has the “diva” attitude or that she became very conceited and self righteous but I can attest that Regine is still the humble girl from Bulacan. How can I say this? Regine staged numerous benefit concerts for different foundations such as the Bantay Bata and GMA ‘s Kapuso foundation. Also, her MTV Asia special entitled Speak Your Mind was nominated for the UNICEF Child Rights Awards. The production was highly commended for its agendum on child welfare, documenting the plight of homeless children swarming the streets of Metro Manila, in an effort to protect and safeguard their rights. Also, she has helped a lot of foundations such as the Singapore's National Kidney Foundation, the Hong Kong AIDS Foundation, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philippines' Bridges School for Special Children. That is why, for me Regine is at her greatest every time she decides to be small. When she displays her vulnerability and her homegrown valiance, she shimmers like a red diamond. Everything in her life blended so well, it was like everything was meant for her.
She has uncountable awards and honors but we see that her charms and graces have all blossomed along with her talent, but her beauty and talent is not all about the prestigious awards, honors, fame, and wealth that she acquired. Regine embodies a beauty that is seen only in few people. Her physical beauty is admired by her legions of fans all around the globe, from her gorgeous face, expressive eyes, sexy lips and a body of a goddess. But what makes Asia’s Songbird more attractive? More dazzling? And more divine? It’s her inner beauty, her benign heart, her down to earth persona, her unconditional love to the Filipino people, her patriotism to her motherland, her love and passion for her craft, her being a true person and her just being simply beautiful in her own right. That makes her beautiful! That is the Beauty of a Songbird!