MANILA, Philippines – Regine Velasquez has apologized for comparing the smell of one of her leather bags to the smell of Payatas, a comment that some viewers found insensitive.
In a vlog posted on October 10, Regine, along with her son Nate, shared some pieces from her bag collection to viewers, describing each one and sharing the stories of how she acquired them.
When she pulled out a brown leather tote bag, she and Nate began laughing and describing the bag’s smell.
“It’s mabaho (smelly), but I remember nung binili ko talaga ang baho talaga niya (when I bought it, it really smelled bad). It used to stink so much, ‘di ba (right), it stinks?”
She then told the story of how she appeared in a documentary where she immersed herself in the community in Payatas, and happened to have the bag with her during filming.
“During that time, MTV asked me to do a documentary for street children, and I went to Payatas,” she said.
“Kaamoy ng bag ko ‘yung Payatas. Kasi ‘pag nasa Payatas ka na, hindi mo na maamoy na ‘yung basura eh. Kasi kayo, pare-pareho na kayo ng amoy dun (my bag smelled like Payatas. Because when you’re in Payatas, you won’t smell the trash anymore. Because all of you smell the same there),” she said.
“So after the whole shooting, akala ko nasa Payatas pa rin ako, ‘yun pala ‘yung bag ko ‘yung mabaho. Mas mabaho pa siya sa Payatas (I thought I was still in Payatas, but it turned out, it was my bag that was smelly. My bag smelled worse than Payatas),” she said.
Payatas in Quezon City, is one of the most populated and poorest barangays in the country, where a large dumpsite was once located. The dumpsite was closed in 2017.
Some viewers took to Twitter to call out Regine for what they said was an insensitive comment.
“Kung mabaho man ang Payatas sa pakiramdam mo. Pero ‘di ba sa inyong mga basura ‘yan na galing sa inyong mga bahay ang tinatanggap namin (You think Payatas is smelly, but doesn’t the trash there come from your houses, that we just accept)?” said one Twitter user.
Napaka insensitive naman po Ms Regine Alcacid ang statement mo about sa Payatas.— farm life (@greenlifenature) October 11, 2019
Kung mabaho man ang payatas sa pakiramdam mo. Pero diba sainyong mga basura yan na galing sainyong mga bahay ang tinatanggap namin.#reginevelasquez#payatasstatementhttps://t.co/se4x87P7SI
Regine issued an apology on Saturday, October 12, writing on Twitter: “I would like to sincerely apologize to the people of Payatas for my insensitive comment. It was not intentional and I should be more careful with the things I say.”
I would like to sincerely apologize to the people of Payatas for my insensitive comment. It was not intentional and I should be more careful with the things I say. Pasensya na po God bless bless po— regine alcasid (@reginevalcasid) October 12, 2019