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Why Martin Nievera always visits son Santino in the U.S.

by Julie E. Bonifacio
Jul 13, 2022
Martin Nievera, Santino
Martin Nievera reveals son Santino, who is enrolled at a school for kids with special needs, inspires him to work harder and share his gift as a singer through concerts for a good cause.
PHOTO/S: @martinnievera Instagram

Naging bukas si Martin Nievera sa pagsasabing ang anak na si Santino ang kanyang inspirasyon sa kakatapos na solo concert niya sa The Theater@Solaire.

Benefit concert iyon na inorganisa ng Rotary Club of Makati West para sa Gift of Life Foundation, na tumutulong sa mga may congenital heart disease.

Very special para kay Martin ang mga ganitong uri ng show dahil ang bunsong anak niya na si Santino ay diagnosed na may special needs.

Si Santino, 15, ay anak ni Martin sa dating partner na si Katrina Ojeda.

READ: Martin Nievera recounts the time he said "I love you" to an American singer

Personal na tinututukan ni Martin ang pag-aaral ni Santino sa isang eskwelahan for kids with special needs sa U.S.

"They teach them how to interact. And everyone in this [school], all the teachers and instructors are all volunteers. No one is making any money," pagtatapat ni Martin.

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Patuloy niya, "It’s really a good place if you have special needs from babyhood to manhood or to adulthood. And they take care of all of them.

"They give them a chance to learn to tie their shoes, how to cope when you’re freaking out, when there’s something that's not sitting well with you.

"Alam mo naman sila, nagpa-panic sila agad. Nagbo-blow up agad."

Martin Nievera

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Aminado si Martin na ang sitwasyon ni Santino ay nagpatatag sa kanya bilang magulang.

"I don’t know if you have family and friends who have special kids. You’ve seen that and we are all thinking to ourselves, 'Oh, that was my kid out there.'

“Di ba you’re already thinking? O, now, I have one, so this is a life challenge.

“This is why I’m always in the States doing gigs—big or small shows—picking up whatever I can because it’s not a cheap thing to raise a special child.

"Plus, his mother and I are not together anymore. So, there’s that too—broken family, special child.

"So, my priority since the last time we spoke, I’ve changed a lot," pag-amin ni Martin.

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BENEFIT CONCERT PROCEEDS AMOUNTED TO PHP3M+

Kakagaling lang ni Martin sa U.S. kasama ang girlfriend na si Anj del Rosario.

Balak niya sana magtagal doon hanggang sa nakatakda niyang concert doon sa Agosto.

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Subalit pinili niyang umuwi muna ng bansa nang imbitahan siya sa benefit concert. Ang brother-in-law niyang si Franco del Rosario ang presidente ng organisasyon. Husband si Franco ng eldest sister ni Martin na si Tere del Rosario.

"So things like these are very close to my heart. It’s not, 'Oh, I’ve got to go to the Philippines to do this,' na tila napipilitan lang gawin.

"No! I really made sure I was here for this because I’m making a difference," diin pa niya.

Tukoy niya sa brother-in-law na si Franco: "And it was his dream that when he steps down, which was last June 30, to have a fundraiser for this."

Dugtong niya, “In fact, while waiting for the show, they saved seven other kids. Wala pa yung day na ito [concert], they’ve already saved seven kids, I have not yet sang one note."

Ang proceeds na umabot sa PH3,729,322.53 ay ibinigay sa Gift of Life beneficiaries ng concert na pinamagatang Martin Nievera: Live Again.

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Ani Martin, may double meaning ang word na "live" sa title ng kanyang benefit concert.

"Yeah, so, it’s Martin Live Again, or The Theater open for live shows again. But because of my live show we are [also] able to give life, or these kids can live again."

ON WAIVING HIS TALENT FEE

Malaking bagay na libreng ipinagamit ng The Theater at Solaire ang venue.

"Zero" rin ang natanggap niyang talent fee sa concert.

Sabi ni Martin, "I even paid my own way [flying to the Philippines from the U.S.]," pakli niya.

Kahit na certified music icon, hindi raw mapili si Martin kung ang pagkanta niya ay para sa good cause.

"You know, after 40 years in the business, people have asked me, 'How come you did a show in that stupid restaurant?' I said, 'It’s a fundraiser.' I did one in Vegas. 'Yeah, but it’s so bad for your career.'

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"I’ve been in this business 40 years. I think I can pick and choose. I can pick. Yeah, yesterday was my 40th anniversary [in showbiz], July 5.

"I said, 'I think I can pick and choose my shows. Big, small, with pay, no pay, karaoke, minus one, band, Kumu, whatever. Now, there’s no more rules.'"

Diin niya, "After 40 years, I have nothing to prove. Nothing to prove, nothing to lose.

"So, they said, 'Ah, ganoon ba?' Plus, they pay me with a little money. That’s another charity. But then, this one [concert at Solaire], zero talaga."

Pero tumatanggi si Martin na bigyan siya ng credit sa kagandahan ng kanyang loob na tumulong sa pag-raise funds para sa mga taong nangangailangan.

"Oh, no, no. It has nothing to do about me," sambit ni Martin.

"It’s the people who paid for the show. Nobody wants to be next to anybody more, unless of course talagang hot na hot kang maglabas ng bahay, 'Mag-show naman tayo. Something happy naman.'

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"So again, Solaire didn’t have to do this. We could have done this in a small room somewhere... But they insisted to be part of this and they gave everything for free—all of their facilities."

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Martin Nievera reveals son Santino, who is enrolled at a school for kids with special needs, inspires him to work harder and share his gift as a singer through concerts for a good cause.
PHOTO/S: @martinnievera Instagram
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