Regine Velasquez happy to be a legacy in Pinoy music, urges support for OPM
It’s been years since Regine Velasquez has brought the OPM industry to its knees with her golden voice, but she remained humble as ever when asked about being seen as a legacy in Filipino music.
“Thank you, you see it that way. Thank you very much,” Velasquez said, after making reporters laugh with her witty response to INQUIRER.net’s question on being viewed as an OPM icon by the “younger generation.”
“Kung maka Younger Generation ka ah”
— Laniña Grace 🏻 (@nyaaangg) November 10, 2023
But her love for Filipino music will always be undeniable, so much so that her thoughts about the genre will captivate anyone’s attention—even if she made people laugh about her quip.
“May nagtanong sa’kin noong isang araw, ano ba ‘yung OPM? Ano ba ‘yung pinagkaiba ng OPM sa ibang mga kanta (Someone asked me the other day, what is OPM? What makes OPM different from other songs)? I was trying to figure out what makes it different,” she recalled during a mediacon for her contract signing with ABS-CBN.
“And I realized that OPM is different from the songs we listen to because Filipinos are very passionate and very romantic. Have you ever noticed? We love to listen to hugot songs. We love to listen to those songs because that’s how we are,” she continued.
With this in mind, Velasquez notes “passion” as the key ingredient that sets OPM apart from other genres in different parts of the world. “We are very passionate. We like feeling things.”
“We love, kahit hindi mo naman pinagdadaanan ‘yung lungkot. Malungkot ka kasi you just want to know how it is. We’re very passionate as people. [But] then, masayahin din naman tayo,” she added.
(We love, even if you’re not going through the same amount of sadness. You’re sad because you just want to know how it is. We’re very passionate as people. But then, we’re still cheerful as people.)
The singer also “begs to disagree” with the argument that OPM “sounds exactly like foreign songs,” with the songwriter playing a huge role to its uniqueness.
“If you compare it to foreign songs, it sounds very different. Our songs are so different because of how songwriters would write them. I see it in my husband,” she said, referring to singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid.
“He would find stories that he would be inspired with. Ganu’n tayong mga Pinoy. ‘Yung mala-immersion, para maramdaman natin ‘yung pain and nilalagay sarili natin d’un (That’s how we Pinoys are. We want to be immersed in them so we can feel their pain as if we’re in their shoes),” she continued. “Not because we want to, but because we wanna feel alive.”
Among other factors, Velasquez pointed out that this is one of the reasons why the younger generation needs to support OPM and to be “proud of our very own.”
“That’s what makes OPM so unique, and we should be proud of our very own. I’m so happy that ngayon, sobrang sikat na sikat na ang OPM dahil the young kids—like you—ay tinatangkilik niyo,” she said, while referring to the writer in her mid 20s. “Kayo ang magtutuloy niyan. Kung hindi niyo kasi tatangkilikin, mamamatay siya.”
(That’s what makes OPM so unique, and we should be proud of our very own. I’m so happy that now, OPM is very popular because the young kids—like you—support it. You are the ones who will keep it going. If you’re not going to support it, it will die.)
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Velasquez, who made waves in her “Regine Rocks” concert in November, has built an impressive discography throughout her career.
Her most popular songs include “Dadalhin,” “Araw-Gabi,” “Hanggang Ngayon” and “Pangarap Ko ang Ibigin Ka,” just to name a few.