For Concert King Martin Nievera, who has planted roots in the Philippines, Hawaii and the United States, during different stages in his life, home—especially in the yuletide season—home is indeed where the heart is.
With family in all these different countries, his loved ones agree that Christmas becomes more special whenever he is home.
“Christmas is more special when Martin’s around because he is Santa Claus to all of us,” shares twin sister Vicky Nievera-Davis. “He always goes out of his way to get the perfect gift, puts lots of thought in what he chooses, and he shops on his own and does not send anyone out to shop for him.
“He sets the tone for Christmas, loves to decorate all areas of the house and the Christmas tree,” she goes on. “And of course, he plays Christmas music the whole time when we decorate to get us in the mood.
“Christmas is more special for me when he’s around because we both have kids that live away from us now in the States; so when we’re not able to travel to be with our kids then, it helps that we can be together,” the doting sister rounds up.
For another sibling, Rachel Nievera-Zdzieba, “Christmas becomes more special with him around because he is like a child with such excitement to give his gifts, which he puts so much thought into. His generosity is one in a million.”
“My Tito Martin is the family’s ‘Secret Santa’,” shares nephew Miguel Tabuena, son of yet another sister named Tere. “He doesn’t just buy gifts for everyone. No matter where he is or how busy he is, he makes such a big effort to find out what we need or what we wish for. For the longest time, I even made him believe I am his inaanak (godchild) even if I am not so that I get a bigger gift.”
Over here in the Philippines, godson Paolo Valenciano—son of Martin’s good friend Gary Valenciano—joins in with his own tidbit, saying, “Tito Marts usually isn’t here during Christmas. He comes back usually towards the end of the season. And right when you think Christmas is over, he shows up like a late Santa with gifts and goodies for everyone! Christmas in January.”
Concluding the happy reminiscences, Paolo’s wife Samantha Godinez-Valenciano enthuses, “Christmas with Tito Martin is always special because of the same reason why we all love the idea of a Santa Claus. It’s not about the gifts he gives but the idea of why he’s giving. He wants everyone to be happy. His main purpose in life is to make people happy. He thinks of every single gift he gives and you can see how excited he is when he gives it.”
It is for all these reasons too that Martin’s family and loved ones were elated with the news that the Concert King will mount a holiday concert in Manila on December 1. Aptly dubbed Martin Home for Christmas, it will be held at The Theater at Solaire Resort and Casino, and produced by Fullhouse Asia Production Studios, Inc.
According to the Concert Royalty, the show will usher in merriest season in the same way those close to him describe his magic touch for Christmas.
“So whether you have been naughty or nice, you’re assured of a wonderful time,” Martin jokes.
Lined up besides classic Christmas carols are the popular balladeers most sentimental hits, with long-time friend Louie Ocampo, and the ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.