Regine, Lani, Martin, Gary team up for ‘Ultimate’ Valentine show | Inquirer Entertainment
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Regine, Lani, Martin, Gary team up for ‘Ultimate’ Valentine show

/ 12:05 AM February 11, 2015

NO COMPETITION among friends (from left) Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez.

NO COMPETITION among friends (from left) Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez.

Every year, Inquirer Entertainment helps readers pick a show for that special day, by asking the concert artists to talk about their gigs … and romance.

Regine Velasquez and Lani Misalucha, Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano. These music artists, four of the best the country has ever produced, have long been pitted against each other by fans and the media. Thus, the first word that crossed one’s mind upon learning of this show that they’re top-billing was “showdown.”


That would have been a certainty, were the coming concert, “Ultimate,” held 15 or 20 years ago. Now that they’re all well past their 40s, outdoing one another onstage is a prospect that they just laugh about.


“No such thing as competition for us anymore, unlike when we were younger,” Regine told reporters at a press conference for the two-night (Feb. 13-14) concert at SM Mall of Asia (Call SM Tickets, 4702222).

There will be no hair-pulling, Regine cracked.

While she and Lani are both known for exceptional belting prowess, Regine noted that their styles vary, and that Lani can do things that she can’t. “I love her voice, especially when she goes soft,” said Regine of her friend, who was in the United States at the time of the media event. “She does opera and sings in the whistle register, too.”

Do these make her insecure? “No,” Regine said. “We’ve been given different gifts to share with the world.”

Friendly rivalry

The difference between Martin and Gary, on the other hand, is obvious: Martin is primarily a balladeer; Gary is a performer known as both a versatile vocalist and dancer.


Martin admitted that, in the 1980s, he watched and studied Gary’s every move. “I still do—but now it is to learn from him more than anything else,” Martin said. “He even directs his own concerts, and is very hands-on.”

Gary, on the other hand, admitted that he’s always been a fan of Martin’s stage personality and spontaneity. The singer-dancer reiterated that he and his three coheadliners are out to prove only that they are better together.

Regine elaborated, “We have our own artistic chorvas, which we will combine with the help of our director Rowell Santiago and musical arranger Ryan Cayabyab.”

While they will each have solo spots, Martin said, the show’s focus will be on harmonizing—like a quartet. “Our pegs will be the likes of Pentatonix, The CompanY and Manhattan Transfer.” And they’re getting equal pay, he insisted. “Talent fee was never an issue; otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. It’s the experience we’re after … that is priceless.” Allan Policarpio


RJ  JACINTO    photo by Arnold Almacen

RJ JACINTO photo by Arnold Almacen

Contemporary and nostalgic shows

Soda Pop Valentines

RJ Jacinto, RJ Bistro, Dusit Thani Hotel, Feb. 13, 8:30 p.m.; (Call tel. 2183326, 0921-6491447)

A Beautiful Night with Abby

Abby Asistio; Feb. 13 and 14, Casa Nieves, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Which of your love songs best connect with the fans, and why do you think that is?

RJ Jacinto: “Sugat ng Puso,” a folksy ballad; and “Fran,” a song I wrote for my wife, Frannie.

Abby Asistio: “Tagpuan,” one of my original compositions, about waiting for the right person to come into your life, no matter how long it takes.

What’s the most important thing to remember when doing a Valentine show?

RJ: I perform in such a way that I rekindle that warm, nostalgic feeling about the meaning of Valentine’s Day in the 1960s and ’70s.

AA: More than anything, a Valentine show should remind people of the true meaning of love, which should be genuine and selfless. I sing to make them fall in love more with their special someone.

What’s the sweetest thing a fan has done for you? Has anyone dared to ask you out on a date?

RJ: A fan once brought me an album of my pictures and press releases that came out in the newspapers.

Yes, I have been asked out on a date. I cannot forget the time in the late ’80s when an actress wrote me a note that said, “I want to have your child!” (Laughs.)

AA: I’ve even received marriage proposals. For sure they were not serious, but still they made me smile. I treat my fans as friends. So far the sweetest thing I’ve received from a fan is a song that he wrote about how I touched his life. He called it “You’re Beautiful.” At the time I was bald, because of alopecia.

What can we look forward to in your show?

RJ: Back to basics—burgers, fries, soda pop or beer, roses and sentimental rock ’n’ roll ballads, plus, of course, lots of dancing, the twist, boogie, cha-cha, jerk, etc.

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AA: I’m also doing this show for a cause that is very dear to my heart, alopecia awareness. So we will not just be enjoying love songs and having a good time; we will also be supporting a campaign to help people struggling with the condition. Reports from Oliver M. Pulumbarit and Allan Policarpio

TAGS: Gary Valenciano, Lani Misalucha, Martin Nievera, Regine Velasquez, Valentine show

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