Should bearing another child cause me to lose my voice, I wouldn’t mind. It would mean God has chosen to give me something more beautiful and more important.”
Thus declared singer Regine Velasquez, who has admitted to having a condition called acid reflux, which started shortly after giving birth to Nate, her 1-year-old son with singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid.
“My stomach and throat were so irritated, it was hard for me to sing. I don’t feel bad about this. I’m more than thankful that I had Nate,” Regine told the Philippine Daily Inquirer during a media gathering to promote the repeat of “Foursome,” her Valentine concert with Ogie, Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera.
“Should I lose my voice—though of course I pray I won’t—it’s okay. I’ve been singing for a long time, anyway. I’ve had so much fun doing it and I’ve helped my family, too,” she pointed out.
Regine added: “I used to say to myself, ‘I’ll be fine. Malayo sa bituka ’yan.’ But I realized my condition needed to be taken seriously.” Still, she insisted, it was “manageable.”
Had this changed your perspective about longevity in the business?
You could be gone from this business at the snap of a finger— I’ve always known of that. There are a lot of good singers out there and, once you trip, any one of them could replace you. But for as long as I am the one given the opportunity, I am thankful.
Do you still grapple with insecurity?
That is normal. What’s not normal is when you act out the feeling and hurt other people as a result. Performing is what I do best. I’m lucky to still be in this business. A new generation of concert-goers has emerged and they want to see new acts.
Now that you’ve gone back to work full time, what are your biggest challenge as a mother and homemaker?
Actually, things are easier now that Nate is a little older. It’s just heartbreaking sometimes because he would cry when he catches me leaving the house. When he was younger, ang hirap iwanan (it was very hard to leave him). Now, I just ask the yaya by phone about his every activity during the day.
Are you the type that calls every hour on the hour?
I’m lucky that Nate’s yaya is very responsible. I just leave instructions for her to call me if anything goes wrong. For example, he had a fever recently. I couldn’t help panicking, and I’m sure it happens to all first-time moms. As he gets older, I get more used to… things.
What has been your biggest scare so far?
That would be the first time Nate got sick. More than the fever, I got scared of his cough and colds. Since he was still too young at the time—around four months—he didn’t know how to breathe through his mouth. I didn’t know what to do. It happened late at night and I couldn’t call my sisters or his doctor to get advice.
Who do you run to for parenting pointers?
I usually call my sisters, since they all have kids. I ask my husband, too, since he already has two daughters. Actually, it’s Ogie who tells me to relax. He says, “Let the kid explore, even if he gets hurt sometimes. He needs to experience things.”
(“Foursome: The Repeat,” directed by Rowell Santiago, will be staged at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on March 16. It will feature Gary Valenciano as guest performer.)