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Martin tries our ‘kundiman’

Martin Nievera

JUST A THOUGHT: “Whatever you are willing to put up with is exactly what you will have.” — Anonymous

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KAHAPON, NGAYON: Martin Nievera’s new album is intriguingly called “Kahapon… Ngayon,” prompting a question from Ricky Lo how the singer’s past connects to his present.

Martin said everything he learned in the past remains in the present. The statement doesn’t preclude people who figured prominently in his life prior.

He said he tries to maintain healthy friendships with his ex-girlfriends, especially his ex-wife, Pops Fernandez.

“We are the first persons we call up when something important happens to our lives,” he said.

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MARTIN TRIES KUNDIMAN: Martin’s “Kahapon… Ngayon” album is a showcase of 12 classic kundiman and OPM hits. It marks the very first time Martin has embarked on such an ambitious project, considering that the songs are written in their pure Tagalog form.

So, how’s your Filipino? I asked him at the open forum. At the back of my mind, my subtext meant the songs were fit for someone like only Ruben Tagalog to record.

Martin admitted he still had to grapple with some very challenging Tagalog words in the song “Saan Ka Man Naroroon.”

But, what really floored him was the Cebuano song, “Usahay.”

“I really got so tongue-twisted there,” he exclaimed.

He’s proud to have sung “Saan Ka Man” at long last. “I think it’s a wonderful song, and everyone expects every Filipino singer to sing it.”

“Kahapon” (PolyEast Records) is really a tribute to the roots of OPM, the “harana” and our iconic movie scorings.

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BACK IN CONCERT: In line with the album’s promotionals, the Philippine-Chinese Charitable Association in tandem with Philippine Red Cross Quezon City, is staging a concert called “The Best of Martin Nievera: Kahapon… Ngayon” on Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m., at the KIA Theater in Cubao.

The concert will feature songs from the old-new album, the likes of “Bato sa Buhangin,” as well as the singer’s own hits like “Be My Lady,” “Ikaw Lamang,” “You Are My Song,” “Kahit Isang Saglit.”

Martin’s 34-year old career has spawned countless hits and more than 40 albums.

Backed by a big band accompaniment conducted by musical director Marvin Querido, the show features as guests Noel Cabangon and ZsaZsa Padilla.

“Kahapon…Ngayon” is Nievera’s follow-up to “Big Mouth, Big Band” released in 2014. (NESTOR CUARTERO)