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The Batangueño Side of Lasallian Entertainer Ogie Alcasid

Image credit:  PinoyStop.com.

The name Herminio Jose Alcasid Jr. will not ring a bell; but the nickname Ogie of the multi-awarded artist and entertainer will be recognized anywhere. Presently with the network ABS-CBN, Alcasid has had a long and distinguished career as “singer-songwriter, television presenter, comedian, parodist, and actor.1

Alcasid was with the Christian Brothers for his basic education and was enrolled at La Salle Greenhills from 1974-1985. Upon his graduation, he went to UP-Diliman for his college education.2

As a high school student, he became a part of famous LSGH song and dance group Kundirana, the same group that spawned other Lasallian entertainers such as Gary Valenciano, Randy Santiago and Dingdong Avanzado.3

It is relatively well-known, especially to citizens of the municipality of Taal, that Alcasid has Batangas roots. He is careful to point out, however, that he was neither born nor raised in Batangas. In his youth, however, he used to spend almost entire summers every year with his maternal grandmother in Taal.4

Alcasid says that his paternal relatives are really from the City of Calamba in the Province of Laguna. His father, Herminio Sr., was however raised in the town of Lemery just across the Pansipit River from Taal.

His mother, the former Herminia Lualhati, was originally from Taal. Alcasid recalls that his father courted his mother at the bridge that links the towns of Taal and Lemery. She continues to manage a family owned rural bank in Taal, something started by Alcasid’s grandmother to serve the farmers of the town.5

In 1996, Alcasid married the beauty queen Michelle van Eimeren, Australia’s representative to the 1994 Miss Universe pageant that was held in Manila. The wedding was held where else but in the Basilica of Martin de Tours in Taal. The couple had two children but the marriage was annulled in 2007.6

Presently, Alcasid is married to singer-actress Regine Velasquez, with whom he has a son. The couple was married in 2010 in Nasugbu, a coastal town on the western edge of Batangas. The couple also owns a property in the town.

Asked in a 2011 interview if he had any plays to run for public office in Batangas, Alcasid replied that his preference was to continue being an entertainer. Besides, he added, his hands were already full with his career as singer and actor and his many advocacies. Among the latter was his involvement in the development of tourism in Taal.5

The heritage town is arguably more charming than the more famous City of Vigan in northern Luzon, but is also just as arguably under-marketed. Alcasid was working to raise the town’s profile. He proudly pointed out the increased frequency of location shooting there for television and motion pictures as well as the increasing number of establishments offering bed and breakfast.

Notes and references:
1 “Ogie Alcasid,” Wikipedia.
2 “Ogie Alcasid Biography,” online at PinoyStop.
3 “Kundirana,” Wikipedia.
4 “Ogie Alcasid recalls his summers in Taal, Batangas,” 2009 by Rommel Gonzales, online at Pep.ph.
5 “Ogie Alcasid says he has no plans to run for public office,” 2011 by Ruben Marasigan, online at GMA News Online.
6 “Michelle van Eimeren,” Wikipedia.

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