“It might sound strange or offensive to others but when someone comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, you’re Martin Nivera! My grandmother loved your songs till the day she died,’ it actually makes me feel good.”
So went the trademark non-stop chatter of Concert King Martin Nivera, whose royal OPM title was given by the late showbiz columnist Bob Castillo of People’s Journal. The same writer also baptized him with the monicker “Big Mouth” for obvious reasons.
Ever the funnyman, Martin naturally intended to draw laughs from the cozy luncheon of media friends at Ka Tunying’s Cafe in Timog, Quezon City, but at a time in which he’s become quite introspective in life, he also used the amusing story to make a point.
“Something like that makes me feel good because I just celebrated my 35th year in showbiz, and it matters to me to know that I’ve made a difference in people’s lives. Even that old lady’s,” he quipped again.
He then pointed to a huge poster behind him with the words “Big Mouth, Big Heart, Big Night” splashed beside his picture, and connected, “And that’s why I see myself doing more of this.”
“This” is Martin’s upcoming dinner-concert for a cause on August 19 at the Metrotent Convention Center in Pasig City.
Mounted by news personality Anthony “Tunying” Taberna and his lovely wife Rossel, the benefit show will mark the 11th anniversary of their successful events company, Outbox Media Powerhouse Corporation, while raising funds for the Katutubong Dumagat community of Sitio Apia, Baranggay Calawis in Antipolo City.
“Rossel personally goes to the baranggay for immersion and will also bring the funds raised from the concert to the community herself,” Martin shared with admiration. “Again, this is why I’m grateful that she and Anthony chose me to do the show.”
According to the Concert King, “giving back is more rewarding than earning” for him after 35 years as a recording artist; a performer who’s held concerts around the world; a talkshow host (remember “MAD” or “Martin After Dark?”); and an actor albeit in five not so very memorable movies.
“My role was either a balikbayan or an alien,” Martin poked fun at his filmography.
Looking forward, the singer said he is bent on doing projects with more substance, whether in helping the less fortunate or finding ways to get the Filipino artist international recognition.
In both goals, he will continue to make use of his ‘big mouth’ and sing.
“People ask me why I haven’t signed on as ambassador of this or that charity like others have done. But for me, doing that will limit what I can do for a single group,” he explained. “Also, if you’re being charitable, you shouldn’t be talking about it, otherwise it would just be about feeding myself [in terms of fame or celebrity]. That’s why I don’t have my own foundation. I’d rather do projects like this and sing to help raise funds for different groups and different causes.”
As for promoting the Filipino artist, Martin—who many know has tried to establish a career in Las Vegas for a time—cited a very specific step in that direction come September.
“You know even with the Internet, most producers around the world won’t even bother to check out the kind of artists we have here in the Philippines. But come September, I’ll be producing a show in Hawaii where this New York producer will be attending, and my aim is to show them what we Filipino artists can do. I’m spending money for that rather than making money, but if it can open doors for us, it’ll make that difference.”
In closing, Martin promised that like his forthcoming benefit show, he will continue to have big intentions and big dreams for others.
“I’m glad that I am still here, and that I’m still being asked to do things. I may not be as in-demand as I used to be—and that’s the reality that we have to face—but I’m grateful that my phone still rings because that’s what gives me the opportunity to make a difference for the next 35 years.”
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Big Mouth, Big Heart, Big Night on August 19 will also feature KZ Tandingan, Cacai Bautista, and the Tabernas’ two young daughters.
Martin and his promoters would like to thank Water Front Hotels and Casinos, Chinese General Hospital, Foton Motors Philippines, and Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation, among other major sponsors for making the show possible.