Pops Fernandez on ex-hubby Martin Nievera: "Once a friend, always a friend."

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"I think, it's all for the best. Through all the years that I've known Martin, there has been, of course, a lot of not-so-good things. But the beauty about it, I don't think I would have known who Pops really is and I won't be this strong if you haven't pampered me," says Pops Fernnadez about ex-husband Martin Nievera.


Magkatabi at nagpapalitan pa lamang ng kanilang jokes ang dating mag-asawang Pops Fernandez at Martin Nievera sa kanilang presscon kahapon, January 24, sa Discovery Suites for their February 6 Araneta Center reunion concert na Missing You—ramdam na ramdam pa rin ng entertainment press ang kaibahan ng tandem nilang dalawa.

Bagamat matagal na silang hiwalay at may kanya-kanya na silang bagong pag-ibig, mararamdaman na nandun pa rin ang romance sa kanila. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit may nagtanong kung ang ipinapakita ba nilang sweetness, closeness, at friendship ngayon pagkatapos ng mga nagdaang intriga sa kanila ay "sila" talaga or purely business lang ito.

"Ako, I'll speak for myself," sagot ni Pops. "Ang hirap kasing mag-pretend na gusto ko ang katrabaho ko. Lalung-lalo na, ang hirap mag-pretend na gusto ko ulit katrabaho si Martin or kunwari kaibigan ko si Martin. Alam n'yo naman yun kapag kunwari may tampo ako sa kanya. Naririnig n'yo naman yun instantly, di ba?

"So, kapag okey kami, talagang sincere and honestly, okey kami. And for the past years, I think, we have chosen to be friends. Nakapag-usap na kami, marami na kaming na-iron out na mga bagay. So, I think it makes our kids very, very happy and, I think, that's the most important thing. Kung kunwari okey kami, mararamdaman n'yo yun at hindi n'yo kami makikita together."

SEXY TALK WITH MARTIN. Napagkukuwentuhan at nagagawa na ring biruan nina Pops at Martin ang halos anumang bagay na nagkaroon ng kaugnayan sa kanila. Sa concert nga raw nila, they will be more open to talk about sex. When asked how that can be, ang sagot ni Martin ay hindi pa raw nila alam dahil wala pa sa kanila ang script.

Pero mabilis si Pops sa pagbibirong, "Why do we need a script to talk about sex?" na nagpatawa sa lahat dahil sa paraan pa rin ng mga pagpapalitan nila ng hirit nila ni Martin. And Pops added, siyempre naman daw, they are definitely more matured now to be able to talk about those things.

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"Kami naman kasi, di ba, I don't know... Even though Martin and I are not together anymore, we still are a couple whether we like it or not. We still have moments na we're okay and then we're not okay. We're so weird. We're so weird on that way. I don't know if it's good or bad. Kasi, di ba, sinasabi nila palagi, if you don't care about the person, then that means, yun ang opposite ng love.

"So, obviously, we still do care for each other and we always have moments na tampuhan, konting away and then again, we'll be back to patch things up. So, even those times that we're not okay, I know for a fact that one day, we'll gonna get over it. If not work together, at least be friends, and really be good friends. Kasi from the beginning of this whole team, whole love team, we were really friends," paliwanag ng Concert Queen.

JOMARI AS CONCERT PRODUCER. The irony of Missing You concert, kung hindi pa alam ng iba, ay ipinu-produce ito ng present boyfriend ni Pops na si Jomari Yllana. So, how is Jomari as the producer of their concert?

Ayon kay Pops, "He's really working hard for this concert. Siyempre, first time. Marami pa siyang kailangang gawin. Siguro mas excited pa siya at nerbiyos kesa sa amin. Kasi nga, siyempre, gusto niyang maipakita... Ayaw niyang mapahiya sa amin, ayaw niyang mapahiya sa inyong lahat. So, he's really, really working so hard to come up with a great show, great concert, and in the process he's learning a lot of things and he's very, very good.

"Pero nakikita ko talaga yung enthusiasm niya at ang pagpapagod niya. Kasi lahat halos, from north to south, pinupuntahan niya para lang siyempre sa ikabubuti ng concert na ito. At everyday, nag-uusap kami. Everyday, may bago akong naririnig sa kanya. And he's so excited to do the project. He's not an overnight producer, pero marami na siyang naa-achieve as early as now."

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Pops is also acting as line producer of Missing You, although nilinaw niyang hindi siya nagpabayad sa trabahong yun.

Ayon kay Pops, their kids Robin and Ram are more excited about the reunion concert of their parents. May partisipasyon din daw ang mga ito.

Kuwento niya. "Magiging dalawa ang portion nila sa show. Both our kids, of course, we're proud parents. Pero yung dalawa naming anak are both equally talented, they both sing so well. Pero si Ram, yung bunso namin, he wants to be a cartoonist when he grows up. So, we're gonna feature all of his drawings in the concert also through our songs."

Will he allow Jomari to sing one song with them? Lalo pa nga't nasabi niyang Jomari can sing too.

"Well, ako ha, siyempre may mga taong nagtatanong kung bakit kami magsu-show ni Martin together again. Parang, malaki na masyado ang participation ni Jom. I don't know. Will you feel comfortable?" saka naman nito ibinaling ang tanong kay Martin.

Ayon kay Martin, maybe in his show or in Pops' show. But with a Martin-and-Pops show, it's just Martin and Pops."

"Oo kasi, baka ma-off na," pagsang-ayon naman ni Pops. "Iba kasi yung... Itong concert na ito, it's a story of Martin and Pops that we continue. It's what we left off."

SLEEPING WITH THE PRODUCER. Sa nakaraang concert ni Pops, she joked, "That's the benefit you get when you sleep with the producer." Natawa si Pops nang may magpaalala nito sa kanya.

"Ano ba yun? Meron akong nabasa, ‘you used to be prim and proper.' Ano bang prim and proper? I'm just a little bit honest now! I don't want to spell it out. I just said it out loud. Pero you know me naman also, I'm just so spontaneous. When I bring out the funny side of me, maybe people are not used to it," paliwanag ni Pops na may halong tawa.

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What about with Martin? May kilig pa rin ba when she gets a kiss from Martin?

"I don't know how people will take this, but it doesn't take a kiss naman to get kilig with Martin," sabi ni Pops. "Martin will always be charming. It's a kilig that, can you imagine, an ex-couple like us who can be sitting down, working together and really, really laugh with each other's jokes and really understand each other's words now? We really laugh with our own mistakes.

"I think that's a good sign that we have accepted all the serious things that happened in our past and, I think, that's very, very important. In that fact, that's so kilig. We still able to check each other and be happy with our own personal lives."

THE ENDING. Napaluha rin si Pops nang makita ang biglang pagiging emosyunal ni Martin sa tanong kung anong ending ang gusto niyang mangyari sa relasyon nilang dalawa.

Ani Pops, "You know what, kanina pa ko naiiyak actually... Siyempre, when we talk about our kids... For some people kasi they think that everything is staged all the time. There's always drama. I even had one comment na, ‘Oh my god, Martin and Pops? Nakakadiri naman ‘yan, pinaglalaruan n'yo kami!' Hindi ho. We don't make efforts, it just happened."

Dugtong niya, "I think, it's all for the best. Through all the years that I've known Martin, there has been, of course, a lot of not-so-good things. But the beauty about it, I don't think I would have known who Pops really is and I won't be this strong if you haven't pampered me."

Tinanong ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Pops kung nai-imagine pa rin ba niya na sila pa rin ni Martin sa huli kahit may kanya-kanya silang partner in life?

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"That's so unfair to answer," sagot ni Pops. "But you know life. Let's face it, life is so unfair to answer. You know life, it's sometimes very funny. It has lots of interesting twists and turns. Dati kasi, noong bata ako, kapag tinatanong ako, napaka-final ng mga answers ko because I'm happily married.

"Pero ngayon, if you noticed, even though I'm happy with the one I'm with, hindi ako makasagot ng final. Kasi, natatakot ako. To be honest with you, hindi ko rin alam. Kahit siguro meron akong choice and I have plans for myself sometimes, it doesn't go with the way I want it. So, I want to go with the flow. Maybe, eventually get hurt.

"It's not just about love, ‘no, kundi pati plano sa buhay. Minsan kasi, hindi nangyayari ang mga plano natin sa buhay, nadi-disappoint tayo. But I don't wanna get serious about it. I wanna take it in stride. Get over the pain and look at it sometimes and move on. In life, you really have to be strong enough to move on, or else, talo ka. That's when you know you're a loser, when you can learn from what you've been through."

If ever, mas gusto niya bang friends na lang sila forever ni Martin?

"Yun ang mas sure, di ba?" sabi ni Pops. "More than falling in love and whatever. Once a friend, always a friend. And when you say, he's a friend, for sure, you won't be afraid to say, it's a forever thing."

Sa huli, parehong nagpasalamat sina Pops at Martin na sa pamamagitan ng kanilang concert, kahit paano ay nagkaroon ng understanding ang dalawang pinakamalaking TV networks sa bansa. Bagamat parehong identified sina Pops at Martin sa ABS-CBN, ang GMA-7 ang media partner ng Missing You.
Kahit hindi sila makakapag-promote sa Kapuso network, pinayagan naman sila na mag-promote sa Kapamilya network.

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