By Alice Hernandez Reyes
Tonight, on the second day of the series of shows at The Theatre of Solaire, (February 14-21,2020), I will be watching Martin Ramon Razon Nievera, touted Concert King, and his ex-wife Pop Fernandez in a presentation marking the month of love.
Martin has a special place in my heart. For one, he is one of the rare Aliw awardees who acknowledge the role played by the Foundation in their rise to fame and success. For another, he has always given me the opportunity to watch his shows, at his expense, whenever I asked his help. Above all, it was he who was instrumental in the change of Aliw’s policy of having the Entertainer of the Year award won just once.
This was after he won his first Entertainer of the Year award in 1985.
“ Winning the title just once is not fair,” he argued. “ It doesn’t mean that one’s career is over. We must be able to compete more than once!”
We agreed , and Martin went on to win Aliw’s top award thrice: 1985,2000 and 2001.
We first heard of Martin from the late Director Mitos Villarreal, who told us: “There’s a great young talent named Martin Nievera, son of Bert Nievera of the Society of Seven and Conchita Razon. We should consider him for Aliw.” We did.
More than three decades since, Martin has entertained millions throughout the world through his singing, songwriting, recordings, TV hosting and movie acting . I once chanced upon him in New Jersey, at a restaurant to which my late daughter Gigi and my son Birdie brought me many years ago.
Birdie pointed him out to me and he came over to greet me.
Martin, who learned the tricks of the trade from his Dad, started singing when he was just 14 with the Society of Seven at the Outrigger Hotel (now Blue Note Hawaii). In 1981, he joined the California State Talent Competition, which he won , as one of 4000 competitors.
The Nieveras returned to the Philippines the next year.
Tonight, with Pops Fernandez, mother of his sons Robin and Ram, after their annulled marriage, Martin will serenade his audience with his love songs.
Asked by Boy Abunda how things were between him and Pops, Martin replied: “We are in a good place!”
Time obviously has mellowed both of them . All is forgotten and forgiven.
I look forward to Martin’s and Pops’ concert this evening, I am positive that I will be thoroughly entertained by their performance. Of all the top Filipino entertainers today, after all, Martin stands out as a complete entertainer , with his singing talent, audience rapport , wit and humour.
For this Valentine treat, my thanks to Solaire’s Audie Gemora, Aliw’s Best Actor of 2019, who also has never let me down.