The box-office star Vice Ganda was only 12 years old when he first saw his ultimate hero, Regine Velasquez in person, at the Folk Arts Theater (now the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas) in Pasay City. It was during one of Regine’s concerts.


Now, Vice and Regine are hard at work—together!—to prepare for the biggest concert of their life. The three-night Valentine’s Day event, which has recently been titled, The Songbird and the Song Horse, will be held on February 14 to 16, 2019, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.


It’s especially a big deal for Vice, who admitted during the concert’s press conference held last January that this was for him a “dream come true.” The concert, they both revealed, took two years before it finally materialized.


Vice said they tried to make it happen a few years back but, “Hindi uubra kasi pareho kaming may contractual obligations na kailangan sundin. Kahit humingi kami ng permiso, hindi rin kami papayagan kasi may mga obligasyon kami. Ngayon, freedom.”


Regine agreed, “Freedom! Puwedeng-puwede na kaya exciting.”


The Fan and His Idol


Vice admitted during the press conference that his forthcoming concert with Regine feels bigger to him than his launching film, Petrang Kabayo (2010), which was directed by Wenn V. Deramas.


“Huwag naman ikasama ng loob ni Direk Wenn,” he said of the famous comedy director who passed away on February 29, 2016. “Mas mahigit pa ’to sa Petrang Kabayo na launching movie ko. Kasi ito ’yung ano, e, eto ’yung pinasok ko sa showbiz. ’Tapos akala ko talaga singer ako. ’Tapos siya ang pinakamalaking ano ko, pinakamalaking influence ko sa buhay ko, ’tsaka pinakamalaking idol ko.”


He continued talking about how a big Regine fan he has been for years now. “Bago pa ako magpatawa, e sinusundan ko na talaga siya, ’yung music niya. Kaya eto parang, parang debut ko ’to. Sobrang malaking bagay nito sa buhay ko.”


Vice even recalled a time when he and his good friend, comedian and singer Anton Diva, were invited by Regine to her house. It was during the time of Regine’s R2K: The Concert in 2000.


He shared, “’Tapos pinagsukat niya kami [ni Anton] ng mga damit. That time, magka-size pa kami, ang payat-payat ko pa no’n. E ngayon, mamang-mama na ako. Hindi ko na kayang isuot ’yung mga damit niya.

“Pinasuot niya sa amin ’yung mga damit ’tapos pinasukat niya, ‘Alin ang kasyang sapatos sa inyo diyan? I-uwi niyo.’ E mangiyak-ngiyak ako kasi ang laki ng paa ko. Size 10 ako. So si Anton ang nagwagi sa mga damit niya. Pero ako, sobrang laking bagay na sa akin na nando’n ako. Hanggang sa kuwarto pinapasok niya kami.  ’Yung fan, pinapasok niya sa bahay, ’tapos pinapasok niya sa kuwarto.”


It is because of stories like this that Vice wants to share the spotlight with Anton during the concert. He said, “Kasi ’yun, kasabayan ko no’ng super faney ni Regine. Sabay kaming pumipila sa mga concert niya. Sabay kami nakikipagtulakan sa mga pelikula niya. Sabay kaming bumibili ng album, sabay kaming nagpapa-areglo ng mga kanta ni Regine. Itong realization ng pangarap ko na ’to, hindi lang to para sa akin. Gusto ko maging bahagi din si Anton nito kasi iba, e. ’Yung nararamdaman kong saya sa puso ko, gusto ko maramdaman din ni Anton kasi para sa amin ’to. Pangarap naming dalawa ’to.”


During the press conference, Regine and Vice did not name their guests yet.


Regine was all praises for Vice, as well. “I’m very happy to be working with Vice,” she told the members of the press. “Dati kasi nagre-Regine [songs] siya, so nakakasama ko na siya sa mga concert. Pero eto, kaming dalawa talaga. At tsaka, kasi ako, proud na proud ako kay Vice sa mga narating niya at sa lahat ng mga nagawa niya sa showbiz. Malaking parte na siya ng showbiz, e. So I’m very happy na pumayag siya, na mag-concert kami, na finally natuloy na kasi matagal ko na rin talagang iniisip to, e.”


Regine also remembered a time when Vice and her other fans were there to support her during the bad times. She gave special mention to her Mall of Asia Arena concert in 2012, where she lost her voice due to a viral infection. The concert was called Silver because it marked her 25th anniversary in the music industry.


“Pero alam mo sweet talaga to e,” she said, referring to Vice, who was seated beside her. “Kasi natatandaan ko no’ng nag-concert ako sa, ’yung Silver, ’yung nawala ’yung boses ko. Di ba? Parang nakikiiyak silang lahat sa akin, parang awang-awa sila sa akin. I’m just excited to be working with Vice. Na-i-imagine ko na ’yung mga kalokohang gagawin namin sa stage. Mag-e-enjoy kayo sa kantahan, mag-e-enjoy kayo sa tawanan.”


She then turned to Vice:“May iyakan din ba?”


Vice replied, “Ako baka maiyak ako. Baka maiyak ako. Kasi meron nga akong na-i-imagine na isang song. Sabi ko, puwede ba nating kantahin ’to? Tapos sabi niya, ‘Puwede ’yan sa finale.’ Sabi niyang gano’n. Kasi sabi ko, parang ’yan ’yung ano, e, ’yung magsasabi tungkol doon sa kuwento ko bilang isang fan na nangarap ’tapos biglang may pagkakataong ganito.

 


“Na ’yung dream mo na talagang tinitingala mo, ’yung idol mo, puwede kayong mag-hawak-kamay. Hindi siya magsisimula at magtatapos sa pagtingala mo lang doon sa bituin kasi ’yung bituin, ire-reach out ka rin niya at mahahawakan mo ’yung bituin. Kaya as a fan, I’m doing this concert for every fan in the world. Na ’yung dream niyo na makasama n’yo ’yung idol n’yo, puwedeng mangyari. At lahat ng pangarap, puwedeng mangyari. This concert is for me. I am celebrating this concert and I am sharing this concert for all the dreamers in the world.”


Together Onstage


Both stars have been busy doing other projects. Regine said she has been very busy since she transferred to ABS-CBN in October 2018.


“Masaya, masaya,” she described the status of her career. “Ang isa sa importante sa akin, I’m singing again. I get to sing every Sunday [at the noontime variety show ASAP], so I’m happy about that.”


She will also be one of the judges for Idol Philippines, which is part of the Idol franchise created by British television producer Simon Fuller. Also in the works is a musical sitcom, costarring her husband Ogie Alcasid.


Vice is, of course, working as a host for the late-night talk show Gandang Gabi Vice and the noontime variety show It’s Showtime!


The two big names, however, are pretty much hands-on when it comes to their first-ever major project together.


“We have to be hands on,” Regine said.  “Siyempre kami naman ’yung pipili ng mga songs. Siyempre I have to ask Vice kung ano ’yung mga gusto niya. Hindi naman puwede na one side lang, kailangan pareho naming gusto ’yung kanta. Para pagka-pinerform namin, pareho kaming relaxed, pareho kaming at ease doon sa kantang ginagawa namin.”

 

Vice added, “We’re both very hands-on, pero another good thing is we have a wonderful team working for this concert. Bongga ’yung team na kasama namin na bubuo ng buong konsiertong ’to. Directed by Paolo Valenciano.”


Before the presscon ended, they were both asked what their favorite songs are of each other. Vice laughed, while revealing that Regine actually sang in one of his songs.


He shared, “Favorite song niya sa akin? Haha! Oh my God. Pero alam mo ba, meron akong song na ginawa na kasama siya? “Push Mo ’Yan ’Te.” Siya ’yung tumitili doon. Habang kumakanta ako, nagtititili siya doon, nagbibibirit siya ng “push mo ’yan ’te.”

 


Then he mentioned some of his favorite songs from his idol: “Favorite Regine song, ang dami kasi. Favorite ko ’yung ‘You Are My Song’ kasi first gig ko, ’yun ang kinanta ko. Na-discover ako sa sing-along bar kasi kinanta ko ’yun. ’Tapos ’yung ‘Sana Maulit Muli’ din. ’Yun ’yung song na pinanalo ko sa Eat Bulaga! [noontime variety show on GMA], sa ‘O Diva,’ [a singing contest segment]. Regine Velasquez ng Tondo, Manila.”


Regine and Vice may be right. Their three-night Valentine show may really be “once in a lifetime.”