After a 2-year pandemic break, Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez reunite onstage

TWO icons in the Philippine music scene, Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid last performed together in a sold-out show in Oct. 2019. The show went on to earn an Aliw Award for Best Collaboration in a Concert. A rerun planned for 2020 was one of the many casualties in the live events industry when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country. But now that the pandemic is waning (for now), they are finally getting back together.

The two singers return to the concert stage with the Iconic Concert on June 17 and 18 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.

At a press conference on April 18 at the Marriot Hotel streamed via Facebook, the two singers made light of being called “legendary.”

Kung maka-legend ka ha,” said Ms. Velasquez-Alcasid said jokingly. Ms. Cuneta quipped: “Alamat na kami parang si Maria Makiling.”

Yet “legendary” is a description that is apt. Ms. Cuneta, after all, marked her 40th anniversary in the entertainment industry in 2018 with the My 40 Years, Sharon concert, while Ms. Velasquez-Alcasid celebrated her 30th anniversary in showbiz in 2017 with the R3.0 concert.

Just because the pandemic kept most people indoors, this did not prevent the singers from performing.

Ms. Velasquez-Alcasid said that she continued to sing at home and at fundraising events. “[My husband] (singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid) has been encouraging me to sing, because I had anxiety, and singing really helped me a lot,” she said. “I get to also entertain people via internet.”

While the upcoming concert is Ms. Cuneta’s first singing gig in a long time, she has been busy taping episodes of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano and joining campaign rallies with her husband Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who is running for vice-president in tandem with presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

“I have missed singing very much,” said Ms. Cuneta. “I feel like starting over again. It’s like a muscle that hasn’t been really worked out. So, I have to do all these vocalizations again,” Ms. Cuneta added.

The concert, the singers said, is a repeat of the 2019 show with “a couple of changes” in the repertoire, and a scaled down audience capacity — 4,000 compared to the SMART Araneta Coliseum’s 16,500 in 2019.

“We need to get out of our homes and feeling our audience,” said Ms. Velasquez-Alcasid. “The two years has robbed all of us of experience.”

“Personally, I need to see a live audience. I need to be on stage. This has been my life,” she added.

“When I’m with Regine on stage, it’s like a comfort zone because we are with someone you trust completely, because she’s a very generous co-performer,” Ms. Cuneta said of her co-star.

The singers will be performing solos and duets of their greatest hits.

Kung ano ang gusto ni Regine, ‘yun ang gagawin ko. (Whatever Regine wants is what I will do). It was full trust, because she is so knowledgeable about music and all my songs,” Ms. Cuneta said. “I believe in her so much and she just came up with a beautiful repertoire.”

The concert is produced by Full Theater Company and is directed by Paolo Valenciano, with musical direction by Louie Ocampo and Raul Mitra.

After the show in June, it will go on tour in the United States in July.

Tickets to the Iconic Concert are now available at all TicketWorld and SM Tickets outlets, with ticket prices ranging from P15,470 (SVIP Zone 1) to P2,800 (Bronze Zone). For inquiries, call Ticketworld at  8891-9999, or SM Tickets 8470-2222. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman