MANILA — Sarah Geronimo is still in disbelief that she is headlining a concert with Regine Velasquez, whom she has long credited as her music inspiration and mentor in the industry.
For the first time since Geronimo’s showbiz breakthrough in 2003 via “Star for A Night,” which was hosted by Velasquez, the two singers are finally having a joint concert, aptly titled “Unified.”
The Viva Live production is scheduled on February 14 and 15, 2020 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Geronimo, 31, revealed she was at first hesitant to take on the “challenge” of sharing top-billing with Velasquez, 49, in a concert.
“At first po, sobrang hesitant, kasi siyempre si Ms. Reg ‘to. My gosh, grabe ‘yung pressure!” she told ABS-CBN News’ Mario Dumaual in a joint interview with Velasquez, on the sidelines of their photo shoot for the Valentine event.
But Geronimo said she would regret passing up the opportunity, especially given their shared history in showbiz.
“Si Ms. Reg, napakalaking bahagi po ng journey ko sa industriya. Ika nga ni Ms. Reg, siya po ‘yung nagluwal sa akin sa industriyang ‘to. Napakasarap sa pakiramdam na makasama ko siya sa concert,” she said.
Velasquez had a hearty laugh when Geronimo described her as the “patron saint” of aspiring singers in the Philippines, given her relatable story of having humble beginnings, winning a contest, and becoming a music icon now dubbed “Asia’s Songbird.”
That Geronimo has similarly achieved superstar status is no surprise to Velasquez, who shared that she had somehow foreseen her ward’s bright future as a singer, even before she won “Star for A Night.”
“Naalala ko talaga,” Velasquez said, referring to the white gown Geronimo wore in the TV show’s finale. “Noong tumungtuong siya sa stage, I was backstage, dressing up, ‘pag tingin ko, ‘Oh my God, we have a winner.’”
“I think nakakakita ako ng aura. Noong nakita ko siya, nakita ko, meron siyang shine, meron siyang kislap. Ganoon ata ‘yung aura, and I saw that. In my heart, I didn’t just see a winner, I saw a superstar. And she is. Tama naman ako, ‘di ba? Nakita ko talaga ‘yon!” she said.
On top of being a well-loved OPM icon, Velasquez commended Geronimo for her humility despite her successful, 16-year career.
“She has never changed. Kahit ang layo-layo na ng narating niya, superstar na siya, she’s the same. The way she treated me, she’s the same. Nahihiya pa rin siya hanggang ngayon,” she said.
When Geronimo was told her stature has risen to the level of her idol, they both disagreed. Velasquez quipped her ward has surpassed her, while Geronimo stressed otherwise.
“Hindi naman nga. Siya na nga, e! Wala na, e, siya na nga ‘yung nandoon!” Velasquez said, prompting Geronimo to protest, “Hindi po, Ms. Reg, wala pong makakapantay sa inyo.”