Belle Mariano on Regine Velasquez as ‘inspiration,’ fulfilling childhood dream, enjoying what she has with Donny Pangilinan

Belle Mariano on Regine Velasquez as ‘inspiration,’ fulfilling childhood dream

/ 09:44 PM July 20, 2023

Belle Mariano. Image: Courtesy of ABS-CBN's Star Pop

Belle Mariano. Image: Courtesy of ABS-CBN’s Star Pop

Belle Mariano couldn’t help but clap her hands like an excited fangirl when she talked about being praised by Regine Velasquez, whom she considers as one of her “inspirations” in music.

“Actually nakita ko po ‘yun nang 12 midnight. Tumakbo ako sa mom ko tapos, ‘Ohmigosh, pinost ni Ate Reg.’ Hindi ako makapaniwala,” she told select reporters during an interview while preparing for her upcoming “Beloved” concert. “She’s one of my inspirations when it comes to music, and to be praised by Ms. Regine. My gosh, thank you very much.”


(I actually saw her post at 12 midnight. I ran to my mother then I was like, “Ohmigosh, Ate Reg posted it.” I can’t believe it.)


The singer-actress, who recently released “Somber,” which is to be the first half of a two-part record series,” caught the attention of Velasquez who shared a snippet of her song “Somber and Solemn” on Instagram. She was then praised for her “beautiful song and voice.”

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Despite being a huge fan, Mariano said she only became close to the Asia’s Songbird while preparing for “ASAP Now Na” performances behind the scenes. She also admitted to asking the veteran singer-actress for advice “several times” as she’s “super approachable.”

“There’s this time that I was given the chance to interview her. I asked for advice like how do you get the confidence [to perform] onstage. Siyempre, hindi maiiwasan to get stage fright, and she gave lots of advice about it,” she said.

She then recalled which words of wisdom struck her the most. “Just enjoy the moment that you’re there. Get back to your core on why you want to do this, bakit mo siya gustong gawin, and just feel the moment, embrace the moment, and enjoy with your audience.”

On ‘Somber’ and her childhood dreams

The release of “Somber” shows the “He’s Into Her” star bringing her deepest thoughts into music, in what she describes as her “Taylor Swift era.”


But the six-track record is a culmination of Mariano’s many conversations with her team during her creative process, which allowed them to bounce off ideas with one another.

Belle Mariano while being interviewed by select reporters. Image: HANNAH MALLORCA/

Belle Mariano while being interviewed by select reporters. Image: HANNAH MALLORCA/

“Actually, ang weird,” she began. “Kapag nagku-kwentuhan kami sa songwriting process ng ‘Somber and Solemn,’ d’un ko siya nakuha. And then sa ‘Roadtrip,’ nakuha ko siya sa isang Instagram quote.”

“So through our chikahan, doon kami nakakakuha ng ideas. Parang ‘Okay, isip tayo ng sad song, ano bang sound na okay.’ Then isusulat na namin ‘yung inspirational, what inspires you now, gan’un. ‘Yung chikahan namin, that’s the songwriting process that we did,” she continued.

Mariano’s eyes crinkled into crescents moons as she broke into a huge smile when she was told about her sold-out show — another reminder that she’s just a woman who’s determined to make the most of her journey.

“I’m so scared to do the concert, honestly. It’s going to be so emotional for me,” she said while smiling. “Siyempre, nand’un ‘yung emotions. Matatakot ako, pero at the same time, matutuwa ako. I’m so grateful. Hindi ko inakala that the five-year-old Belle is living her dream.”

Belle Mariano while being interviewed by select reporters. Image: Courtesy of ABS-CBN's Star Pop

Belle Mariano while being interviewed by select reporters. Image: Courtesy of ABS-CBN’s Star Pop

After all, she was once a girl who loved to sing karaoke. “Ako ‘yung girl na kumakanta sa karaoke, nagpe-perform ako in front of my family, and to be able to perform with my supporters whom I consider my family, this is such a big deal,” she shared.

“I’m very grateful that I get to inspire them and to be with them in this journey through my music,” she further said.

The year has been very jampacked for the now 21-year-old woman. She has the second part of her album series, concert, an upcoming teleserye with onscreen partner Donny Pangilinan, and more activities in the works. Yet the full schedule doesn’t seem to faze her.

“I think, personally, if you don’t feel as if you’re working, parang pahinga na siya for me. I’m doing something that I love, so that’s my breather,” she explained.

The singer-actress then turned solemn as she confessed that she doubted herself at some point in her career. But she believes that her darkest times were the “crucial moments” in getting real with herself about what she truly wants.

“I went through that phase of doubting myself too. But I think those are the crucial moments where you remind yourself why you’re actually doing this and why you love what you’re doing,” she said.

“And those moments are actually important because I personally believe that if you’re down, there’s only one way you could go, and that’s up. And that’s where I get my inspiration from,” she explained.

On Donny Pangilinan

Laughter filled the room when Mariano was then asked about the “Babe, try mo ‘yung lato lato” moment with Pangilinan at a bag raid video earlier this month. “Kahit sino na lang makita ko, ‘yan lagi ang tinatanong sa’kin,” she quipped.

She, however, said that she and her “An Inconvenient Love” co-star are “very supportive” of each other, whether it’s on- or off-cam.

“We’re both very supportive of one another and we value what we have,” she said. She then made reporters laugh once again when she was asked if he ever checked in on her preparations for the upcoming show.

“[Donny] is gonna be a guest, he’s not going to perform, but he’s going to support,” she said. “He’s been asking about my preparations for the concert pero ayokong sabihin. Gusto ko siyang gawing surprise.”

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But if she has the chance to dedicate one of her songs to her onscreen partner, she would choose “Somber and Solemn,” which has the lyrics “Listen to the starlit ocean / Hear how it sings for you / It plays a lullaby / Sink into the calmest of waters.”

“He’s such a solemn person,” she said, while describing how much of the song reminds her of Pangilinan. “The song talks about finding peace, and when you talk to him, he gives you peace, he gives you [solemnity].”

When asked about the preparations for their upcoming teleserye, “Can’t Buy Me Love” which will be directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar, Mariano gave a teasing smile. “Well, it’s in the works but I’m excited. We’re both very excited, siyempre. Siyempre, gagawin namin ang lahat na pagandahin ‘to,” she said. EDV


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TAGS: Belle Mariano, Donny Pangilinan, Regine Velasquez, showbiz career

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