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Netizens clamor for Regine Velasquez to be honored as National Artist

by Joanna Deala

THE National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has opened the nomination period for the Order of National Artist and there is one name that many netizens want to see in the roster of nominees: Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

Velasquez-Alcasid, whose career started in the 1980s, has been trending on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday as more social media users clamored for her to be honored as one of the country’s national artists, highlighting her decades-long career in the music industry, her unassailable impact, and her influence that has been passed on to multiple generations of OPM artists.

This became a discussion on X as the 53-year-old singer was honored with the prestigious Powerhouse Award at the inaugural Billboard Philippines Women in Music Awards for her contributions to the local music industry.

One netizen emphasized how Velasquez-Alcasid has proven herself to be an exceptional singer in her three-decade-long musical career that began when she joined and won in the 1984 television show “Ang Bagong Kampeon.”

“Her influence extends beyond borders and timelines. Above all else, she’s been using her platform to champion social causes,” the netizen said.

“An icon. Our National Artist for Music!” they added.

Meanwhile, a social media user shared a clip of the Kapamilya singer’s iconic performance of “Written in the Sand,” which ushered in the new millennium in 2000. Velasquez-Alcasid recreated this performance as the world welcomed 2024.

“Sinong singer lang ba ang nakagawa ng ganitong history since then? Wala ‘di ba? S’ya lang,” they said.

One fan shared a few snaps of the singer and their experience during her latest concert titled “Regine Rocks.”

“Grabe din itong RegineRocks. Biruin at 53 [years old] kinaya pa mag Rock Concert. At kaming mga audience, super saya at satisfied sa mga ginawa at pinakita nya,” they said.

They continued, “Mapapa wow at grabe ka na lang talaga. Truly, a once in a lifetime artist. She is a gem.”

Velasquez-Alcasid will be staging the rock concert anew on April 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Another netizen recalled how the crowd went wild during the “Set The World On Fire Tour” of multiple Grammy award-winning artist Alicia Keys in the country in 2013, where the American singer had a duet with the Filipina singer of the former’s hit song “If I Ain’t Got You.” The netizen shared clips of their performance and commended Velasquez-Alcasid’s vocal prowess.

“They’re so adorable and the best!! She’s one of a kind; she’s not Asia’s Songbird for nothing. International artists recognize what a great performer and artist she is,” they said.

One social media user noted how Velasquez-Alcasid remains popular among the young generation.

“Ate, sa mga kaedaran mo ikaw na lang ang kayang makapuno ng Araneta at MOA Arena. Young and old, mahal ka. May mga Gen Zs na hanggang ngayon pinapanood at pinapakinggan ka,” they said.

Call for nominations

In January 2024, the NCCA opened the nomination period for the Order of National Artists, which will be until June 30, 2024. The agency said that nominations may be submitted by government and non-government cultural organizations, educational institutions, and private foundations and councils.

The Order of National Artists, or Orden ng Pambansang Alagad ng Sining, is the highest national recognition given to a Filipino artist who has made significant contributions in various fields of Philippine art: Architecture and Allied Arts, Dance, Design, Film and Broadcast Arts, Literature, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. 

Candidates may be nominated under one category where they made their most significant contribution, as stated in the amended guidelines of the Order of National Artist.

The recognition is conferred by the President of the Philippines, upon the recommendation of the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). 

The Philippines currently has 81 national artists, with the latest batch being honored in 2022. The conferment of the Order of National Artists takes place every three years.


Velasquez-Alcasid was accompanied by her husband, OPM singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, and their son, Nate, at the Billboard Philippines’ awarding ceremony. It was her husband who presented her with the award onstage.

During her acceptance speech, Asia’s Songbird thanked Billboard Philippines for the recognition and said that it was an honor to be included in the roster of female artists recognized by the music and entertainment magazine.

She shared the challenges female artists have to deal with in the music scene as they grow older, noting that it changes their voices and appearances.

The singer also mentioned how one’s popularity would eventually die down as a new generation of artists comes in, but she said that she doesn’t mind it because it is only natural for these young artists to step into the spotlight.

“Sa akin po kasi hindi po masyadong importante kung meron man akong maiwan [na legacy] o wala. I know na makakalimutan ako kasi ganon ‘yun and it’s fine,” she said, but the crowd disagreed with it as they could be heard shouting “no” in the background.

“It’s fine with me because ganon po talaga ang panahon, ganon po talaga ang industriya. And it’s not your fault, it’s just what it is,” she added. “Siyempre binibigay natin ang entablado sa mga sumusunod na henerasyon, mga singers at songwriters.”

But if there is one legacy that she would leave behind, the singer said it would be her son.

“Para po sa akin, ang akin pong legacy ay ang aking anak because people will forget about me, will forget about my voice, and what I’ve done in the industry, but my son will always remember me,” she said.

Velasquez-Alcasid also took the opportunity to express her gratitude to people–including her family, songwriters, and managers–who helped her solidify her music career of 37 years.

Billboard Philippines also honored P-pop girl group BINI (Rising Star Award), Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo (Woman of the Year), actress-singer Belle Mariano (Listener’s Choice Award), Asia’s Phoenix Morissette (People’s Choice Award), singer-songwriter Ena Mori Rule Breaker Award), singer-songwriter Moira (Hitmaker Award), and Asia’s Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales (Icon Award).



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