In the one night only musical special, Regine Velasquez and Lea Salonga join forces for seven minutes of song and sentiment, prompting the internet population to decide it is time for a concert starring the two legends– when it is all safe to do so, of course.
It might sound a little too hard to believe, but yes, we happen to still live in a reality where two of our living greats—among a dazzling constellation of talents, no less—have yet to forge a musical collaboration. Listen, we get it. It takes quite the astronomical effort to even so much as score an overture featuring indefatigable legends that also stand as beaming beacons for an entire culture of entertainment. Even the lightest crossing paths between two heavenly forces become a blip in the astrological radar, forming what inevitably will be a once-in-a-lifetime event that everyone will watch out for with their eyes pointed to the night sky.
Sure, it sounds fantastic, but indulge us a little bit here, because for a few glorious minutes, Regine Velasquez and Lea Salonga finally did what was since then a dream and wish that our hearts have long made, even when we were fast asleep—a musical coming together unmatched.
Broadcast live from her home, the virtual birthday concert titled, One Night With Regine, was not only a celebration of her 50th birthday, but a fundraising initiative for the benefit of Bantay Bata 163. “I humbly ask you to help us raise funds for Bantay Bata, which has rescued abused, neglected, and abandoned children who have now been reformed through their ‘Children’s Village,’ Regine Velasquez writes on Instagram. “This pandemic has depleted the resources of Bantay Bata and has put to a halt all of its initiatives. Any amount will help. May God bless us all.”
In the production that ran a little over 3 hours, with nothing so much as water breaks in between on YouTube and Facebook Live, Regine Velasquez treated the viewers with her own renditions of OPM songs such as With A Smile by the Eraserheads, Istorya by The Juans, Mahal Mo O Mahal Ako by KZ Tandingan, Pagtingin by Ben & Ben, Sino by Unique, and Tagu-taguan by Moira dela Torre, as well as of her beloved hits like Dadalhin and the Ryan Cayabyab penned Tunay Na Ligaya, Tuwing Umuulan At Kapiling Ka, and Araw Gabi. Apart from an adorable duet with her son, Nate, on the song, A Million Dreams, it was her much-awaited performance with Lea Salonga that sent all of social media to a screeching halt.
“I’m very excited about this part of the show, because I think first time mangyayari ito sa show ko na makakasama ko siya. It was so exciting nung inaayos po namin ito, we were hoping…kasi wish ko talaga…gusto ko talaga siya ‘yung maka-duet ko, siya lang ‘yung guest,” she divulges of the dream performance. They’ve sang each other’s songs countless of times, with Lea Salonga typically performing a Regine Velasquez medley during her own concerts, been together before in many variety shows and showcases, even bringing the house down in a Barbra Streisand medley with Sarah Geronimo for her concert, Perfect 10, but never just the two of them. “Hindi kami sure kung o-o-oo siya, syempre kasi busy din siya, madami din siyang ginagawa ngayon, madami din siyang tinutulungan not here but internationally pa. I am so honored and I feel so blessed that she said yes.”
Doing what they do best, in the barest, most stripped down of set-ups, the incomparable icons of music sang a medley of beloved Broadway standards, I Don’t Know How To Love Him (Jesus Christ Superstar), What I Did For Love (A Chorus Line), Someone Like You (Jekyll And Hyde), perfectly underscoring how the beauty of love knows no boundaries and prejudice, especially at a time like this. While it may have been just seven minutes of pure, unadulterated musical precision and rigor, where the two blended so seamlessly, letting each other shine when it was their time to. In the soaring and swelling union, it became clear that this needs to be fully fleshed out in a space and production befitting their larger-than-life and legendary statuses.
“Singing with you was hard, but because it was your birthday, and because you asked, as in ikaw mismo yung nag-request that I sing this with you, I couldn’t say no to a birthday request,” Lea Salonga says after their duet. “My God, it’s hard to sing with you—but I mean that only in the best way.” Singing even more praises for the women we all recognize and respect as Asia’s Songbird, Lea Salonga continued, saying: “You still sound the way you always did, but because of what you’ve been through in life, there’s so much color to your interpretations, and to your vocal quality, and to just everything about you. You are one of the funniest people that I know. You have…one of the most amazing voices that I’ve heard.”
At this point, the reverberations online couldn’t be contained, with the collective sentiment being that they have to be in a concert together—once all is clear and fit to do so, of course. Even Lea Salonga herself concurs and has personally pitched the idea that was once talked about in a 2018 interview. “I love you, and the next time you and I sing together again, it should be in person, with full-on glam, and full-on gowns…in a much bigger venue than this,” she says. “I’m talking concert hall, stadium, an arena, something. And it will be fun.”
Now, while the foreseeable future remains hung with uncertainty amid this clear and present danger we are all facing, there at least remains hope that once humanity eventually sees this through, we could potentially be looking forward to a Regine Velasquez and Lea Salonga musical moment that is just like the aligning of planets and stars in the cosmos—out of this freakin’ world.
One Night With Regine Velasquez has raised P4.2 million for the benefit of Bantay Bata 163.