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Regine Tolentino danced 30 pounds away

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Aug 29, 2023 5:00 am

The same friendly smile on one of local entertainment’s prettiest faces greeted me with a warm hug as I whispered, “Do you still remember me?”

“Of course,” Regine Tolentino, the country’s dance and fitness diva, quickly replied. We have not seen each other for at least 15 years.

We were both guests of Raul Pagdanganan, president and CEO of Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC), to witness the opening of their staff gym within the hospital complex. As a celebrated fitspiration, Regine was asked to say a few words before leading the enthusiastic crowd in a Zumba session.

“I am very happy to be back here in Cardinal Santos where I gave birth to my first daughter. As you all know, my third daughter just turned three years old. She was born on March 17, 2020, right at the onset of the nationwide quarantine due to the pandemic and it was difficult because everything was different. There were lots of struggles. The studio was closed. Business was difficult. But by the grace of God, we all pulled through,” she said.

Girls will always have fun with a mother, a friend, or a couturier as creative as Regine. Shown here glammed up as a Barbie by her own Regine Tolentino

“While many gyms sponsored my membership, I wouldn’t say I used them often. Like you, I struggled to work out regularly. But I had to since I needed to lose 30 pounds after giving birth. So you are very lucky to have the gym right where you work. There is no more excuse, right? Being fit and eating right is very important in our lives.”

“Dancing is really my passion. So I became a licensed Zumba instructor and I’ve been one for 10 years now. Since I take this seriously I even pursued other certifications such as AFAA (Athletic & Fitness Association of America). I get invited all over the Philippines to dance and inspire people to embrace fitness,” she continued.

Dance and fitness diva Regine Tolentino at the inauguration of the employee gym of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

In a previous live-streamed event she admitted how amazing it was to have a third baby girl when her second pregnancy was close to 20 years ago. It took her almost six months to adjust to mommy duties especially since the delivery happened during the pandemic. 

Just like many, the pandemic subjected her to stress and anxiety about her family’s health and about finances. Her usual schedule as an actress, host, dancer and entrepreneur completely shifted to domestic tasks such as cooking, cleaning the house, and taking care of the baby. Her Regine Tolentino Atelier for party dresses/costumes and her RT dance studio were directly hit by the pandemic. She opted to cope with utmost positivity in riding the wave of uncertainty.

“I always start the day with gratitude. You just want to be thankful for each day, for being alive and healthy, being with your family, being together, and surviving trials together. Aside from being very optimistic, Regine is also very determined and very goal-oriented.

Regine’s world revolves around her three daughters. She bonds with her teenage daughters through music and shared interests. Her baby helped balance her life. “She is my wake-up call, she’s the silver lining that makes me realize that these are my purposes here on earth, to take care of these lovely children and to make them good people,” she shared.

In a recent Instagram post, she announced that she was celebrating her 10th year as a licensed Zumba instructor. She said that while she has always enjoyed performing for an audience, leading a crowd to dance and sweat it out has a different level of fulfillment. 

“I am so thankful for all the opportunities to share my advocacy of health and fitness, travel, meet new friends, burn calories, and have so much fun! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much to everyone who has joined me on this journey, maraming maraming salamat po sa tiwala (thank you so much for the trust)! Cheers to more years of dance fitness,” she posted.

It wasn’t a surprise that Regine is most active on TikTok. Her account is full of dancing videos. She has a visual diary of her 30-pound weight loss journey with her coaches Jay Danao and Boyet Trinidad. Her partner, movie director and photographer Dondi Narciso, joins her in most of the workouts. 

A not-so-surprising twist is that after her workouts, Regine has a dance video with her personal trainer Jay Danao! So while she believes that all the strength-training workouts are necessary, dance is still the fitness activity closest to her heart.