Regine Velasquez becomes thesis topic of ‘loyal’ UP student
When Regine Velasquez said being idolized by the LGBTQIA community is her standard for being a “icon” back in 2019, it turned out to be a solid point after a queer student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman analyzed her impact in pop culture for his thesis.
And as a gift for his hard work, his fanboy dreams came true after the Asia’s Songbird herself acknowledged his efforts earlier this weekend.
“This is such a wonderful gift sweethearts thank you,” Velasquez said on Facebook, as she posted photos of herself holding the thesis. “I never thought I’d be a subject of a thesis. It’s really humbling, thank you, Waxee R. Galang.”
Waxee Galang, a Broadcast Media Arts student, gained the attention of netizens after his thesis entitled “You Make Me Shine: The Gay Fandom of Regine Velasquez and the Making of a Gay Icon” caught the attention of Velasquez during a meet and greet for her “Solo” concert, as seen on his personal Twitter account on Friday, Feb. 17.
“MGA MHIE!! NAKUHA NA PO NI ATE ANG THESIS NATIN! [crying emojis] Sadly, I can’t afford an SSVIP ticket kaya pinaabot ko na lang po, pero grabe ang saya ng puso ko. Nakarating kay Regine ang pinaghirapan natin,” he said. “Mahal na mahal kita ate @reginevalcasid! Sobrang galing mo kanina,” he said.
(Friends, Ate Regine received my thesis. Sadly, I can’t afford an SSVIP ticket. That’s why I asked someone to give it to her. But wow, my heart is so happy. Regine received the fruit of my efforts. I love you so much, Ate Regine. You were amazing today.)
MGA MHIE!! NAKUHA NA PO NI ATE ANG THESIS NATIN! 😭😭😭
Sadly, I can’t afford an SSVIP ticket kaya pinaabot ko na lang po, pero grabe ang saya ng puso ko. Nakarating kay Regine ang pinaghirapan natin.
— wax (@waxeegalang) February 17, 2023
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Galang revealed that his thesis is a love letter to Velasquez as a longtime fan since sixth grade. He also mentioned that while celebrities and fan culture are being discussed in school, he noticed the “lack of academic attention” regarding the Asia’s Songbird.
“I have been a fan of Regine ever since 6th grade. And it’s a way to pay tribute to the many things she has done for me growing up as a gay teenager navigating this extremely unkind world,” he said. “My thesis focuses on the gay fans of Regine and how they manufacture her gay icon status. The Songbird’s gay iconicity is forged through a process by which her gay fans undertake: from gazing to identification and other relevant behaviors such as parasocial interaction, imitation, and fandom.”
“It explores in depth what makes Regine a gay icon: her being a tragic figure, her camp, and her many contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community,” Galang added, as he turned ecstatic following Velasquez’s post.
As a member of the LGBTQIA community himself, the UP student said the “Dadalhin” singer transformed the lives of “many gay Filipinos then and now.”
“I was so ecstatic. Nakarating sa kanya ang pinaghirapan ko (she acknowledged the fruit of my labor). Finally, she gets the chance to read how important she is not only to me but to many gay Filipinos then and now — the lives she has transformed and inspired,” he said.
The “Reginian” shared that he was able to give his thesis with the help of a “friend of a friend” who had a meet and greet pass, saying that he made sure to use the opportunity to express his love for her.
“Nanghiram pa ako ng ballpen sa staff to write a dedication. ‘Tas ayon, I just got word sa friend ko na nakita na raw niya ang thesis ko,” he recalled. “I am beyond grateful and fulfilled also with the overwhelming support and awe expressed by fellow Reginians, my friends and family, and basically the public.”
Gay icons in the academic landscape
While Galang will have the opportunity to witness Velasquez’s concert on Feb. 25, he pointed out that there’s a “need” for gay icons to be featured in academic studies.
“I actually think there’s a need for them, especially Filipino gay icons because we have so many of them! If there’s one thing I learned from my thesis is that there are a lot of people in the LGBTQIA+ community who anchor their queer identities on our femme fatale personalities,” he said.
“From beauty queens to singers to actresses, all of which hold a significant amount of influence to impact lives. And this, as Regine’s song says, is ‘reason enough’ for Filipino gay icons to be studied,” the UP student added.
Considered as one of the leading figures in Filipino pop culture, Velasquez is best known for her hit songs “Dadalhin”, “Araw-Gabi”, “Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigin Ka”, and “Tuwing Umuulan” among many others.
The Asia’s Songbird started her career in 1986 belting out high notes that immediately set her apart from her contemporaries. EDV