Martin Nievera on Regine Velasquez when she started out during the 1980s: "She's small, skinny, very shy..."

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Martin Nievera recalls how Regine Velasquez looked when she started out as a singer during the 1980s: "She's small, skinny, very shy..."


 
Hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin nakakalimutan ni Martin Nievera ang naging parte niya sa career ni Regine Velasquez sa Philippine entertainment industry.

Natanong ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Martin tungkol kay Regine kaugnay sa magaganap na Valentine concert nila titled #Pa-MORE kabilang rin sina Ogie Alcasid at Erik Santos ngayong February 10 sa MOA Arena.

Matapos ang pagwawagi ni Regine sa Ang Bagong Kampeon noong 1984, naging guest ito sa sikat na once-a-week nighttime musical variety na Penthouse Live hosted by Martin at Pops sa GMA-7.
Namayagpag sa ere ang nasabing show mula 1982 hanggang 1987.

Pagbabalik tanaw ni Martin sa unang close-encounter niya kay Regine, “If there’s really one thing huge part of my life that I am proud of is that I had something to do with the start of Asia’s Songbird, Regine Velasquez. Not just me, Pops [Fernandez], myself and Penthouse Live.

“When we heard that voice come out of that small body we couldn’t believe, she sang live in Penthouse.

“Ronnie Henares, our executive producer of Penthouse Live, brought her to our show and said this girl named Chona Velasquez would like to sing.

"She’s small, skinny, very shy but when she sang it’s like she was divorced four times, and sexually harassed, all in one, in the way she performs.

“Like she’s been hurt, kissed, slapped and brought back together again by the same guy. It’s like a more mature woman who’s inside this little child.

“I’m so proud of the fact that not only are we equal billing in a show, which you think that would be an insecurity that the person you discovered, is now equal to you. But I’m never been more proud.

“But when I sing, Regine I know she holds back, because I know what she can do. She really adjusts to the people that she’s singing with. But I know, she can blow us all away.

“So I’m very proud.”

Ilang beses nang nakasama ni Martin si Regine sa mga shows at concerts. Hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin nababago ang laki ng paghanga niya sa singer-actress.

Sa bagong henerasyon ng mga singers, isa naman sa kinaaaliwan ni Martin ay si Erik Santos.

Sa hiwalay na panayam ng PEP.ph kay Erik sa press launch ng kanilang Valentine concert, sinabi ng Kapamilya balladeer na idolo niya si Martin.

Kahit raw madalas na silang magsama sa mga production numbers at concerts, hindi pa rin maiwasan ni Erik na ma-starstruck sa tinaguriang Concert King.

Napangiti muna si Martin at nag-comment, “Parang yesterday, Erik said something about me on ASAP. ‘Oy, idol ang ganda ng outfit mo. Dapat gano'n lang lagi ang outfit mo.’

“Then on the same day, he goes, 'Pero if I were you, don’t listen to me all the time.' I said, compliment ba yun? 'Tapos sabi niya, 'Dahil ako, biased sa 'yo. So, everything I say about you is gonna be good even if it's not good.'

“So, he’s the sweetest. One of the reasons why I really take the time to give Erik advice even when he doesn’t ask for it, it's because I’m really proud to know that he follows somehow my footsteps and I really made a difference in someone’s life.

“Erik can stand alone. He didn’t need me to be a star that he is today. But it’s an honor that he chose me of all the great singers that he could follow, he followed me."

Sa kanilang tatlo nina Regine at Ogie, si Erik ang pinaka-bata.

Ipinaliwanag ni Martin ang pagkakasama sa line-up ni Erik, “Well, in the family of Star Media, Ana [Puno, Valentine concert producer] likes to mix and match all of us. It’s like we are in her closet and Erik is a cardigan sweater and now she’s putting on a nice Valentine’s outfit.

“It is weird, when I said it’s weird: why this three guys and this one girl? Like Erik told you earlier we wanna bring back the vibe. Sometimes you even import these people to sing in your shows. Why not make our own group ala-Flatters, ala-Stylistics, Boys to men and all of those. Three boys and a woman. Things like that.”

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