Serna: Martin Nievera, a generous guy

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By Roger Serna

Sounds and images

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DESPITE the intermittent rains, the air is still generally humid and hot. In other words, the Bodies of Summer competition is still very much in.

This will finally be held on Sunday, May 26, at the Montebello Villa Hotel. As announced by its organizer, Jake Rhodel de Silva, it’s not the usual competition in which sexy contestants go on a parade.

It’s a show at the same time where the contestants (13 males and 13 females) wear the creations of Cebu’s well-known and upcoming designers. So, it could be worth your while for all you know. Be there then.



SM City Cebu once again plays host to Santacruzan sa Sugbo, a joint effort with Clothes for Life. A photo exhibit opened last May 20 at the Northwing Atrium and will end on May 26.

That same day, at 4 p.m., the grandest Santacruzan will be held from the Cebu Trade Hall down to the Northwing Atrium. Cebu’s beauty queens and prominent personalities will act as zagalas wearing the collections of Cebu’s top 30 designers.

A replica of the Our Lady of Manaoag is also on display hand in hand with the photo exhibit.


I witnessed the magnanimity and benevolence of Concert King Martin Nievera last Friday when he visited Cebu to promote his latest album Martin Nievera 3D Tatlong Dekada.

A new acoustic pop balladeer, TJ Monterde, was supposed to be his front act but when he learned during our interview before the show that TJ was promoting his own album, Martin generously offered to give the new artist a good exposure.

At first I thought he was just kidding but during the mall show itself, Martin himself introduced TJ after he finished the first portion of the show where he sang some songs from his new album.

TJ was visibly touched by the concert king’s gesture. He sang three songs from his own album, including the title track Ikaw at Ako, which the artist himself wrote.

Martin went back onstage to perform the songs requested by the audience including his first hit, Be My Lady, and his first Tagalog song, Ikaw Ang Lahat sa Akin.

It was practically a full show that ran up an hour. Martin himself expressed his willingness to do a free concert (with a live band at that!) just so he can at least repay his fans’ support for the last three decades.

No wonder Martin still remains on top in the local music industry. His new album consists of 17 songs plus a DVD of 15 songs including cover versions and themes from
three teleseries.


During the interview, the E-Group had a lot of fun listening to the chatterbox that Martin is as he answered our questions that ranged from his music, his career as a whole, his life and, of course, the new album.

If he had his way, he would have wanted his promo tour in Cebu to be held much earlier but his schedule would not allow. He said he insisted on coming to Cebu that weekend as he felt he had deprived and disappointed Cebu of the chance to see him perform his new songs live.

He and Gary Valenciano admitted in earlier visits that it was always the Cebuanos whom they allow to listen to their new songs ahead of the others as they considered the Cebuanos’ taste for music as the gauge if the songs would become hits or not.


Back to TJ Monterde, his album contains original Pilipino music (OPM) classics, the artist being a big OPM fan himself. These are Cold Summer Nights (Francis Magalona), Hindi Mo Na Ba Minamahal (Dingdong Avanzado), Iyong-iyo (Big Thing), Mahal na Mahal Kita (Archie D), Wag Na Lang Kaya (True Faith) and Mabuti Pa Sila (Gary Granada).

The other cuts are Nandito Lang Ako, Sa Tuwina, Treat You Right, Wala Ka Na and the title track. TJ used to be a radio jockey in Cagayan de Oro City at the age of 16 then went on to host an ABS-CBN regional (Mindanao) magazine show MagTV at 18.

He’s a development communication grad at the Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan) and has since become a multimedia entertainer who has appeared on local television and in gigs across Mindanao.

You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: tjmusicmonterde.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 24, 2013.


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