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Entertainment

Martin & Pops the season’s hottest ticket in US, Canada

Edmund Silvestre - The Philippine Star
Martin & Pops the seasonâs hottest ticket in US, Canada
Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez: Then and now. Their Two-gether Again 2019 Concert Tour this month and in September will serve as a new leaf in the enduring love team of Martin and Pops

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez’s legions of fans in this side of the world are gearing up for the return of the powerhouse couple in their first concert series in over five years in the US and Canada, turfs of their biggest fan base outside of the Philippines.

The all-new repertoire Two-gether Again 2019 Concert Tour this month and in September will serve as a new leaf in the enduring love team of Martin and Pops after they finally accepted that they’re better off as best friends for the sake of their children. 

“Thank God, we’ve mastered the art of peace, of managing our emotions,” declared Pops. “Martin and I really have become good friends and that has a lot to do with our kids. Ang hirap din naman kasi na hindi kami okay.”

“Pops and I didn’t start out as lovers that’s why we’re still friends now,” Martin remarked in another interview. “Friendship ang foundation namin at hindi pa-fling-fling lang. We’ve been friends for many years before we fell in love with each other, so I think that’s the reason why we are the way we are.”

The concert series will make a stopover at Ocean Resort and Casino (formerly Revel Casino Hotel) at 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey on Aug. 16 (Friday, at 8 p.m.). Special guest is Martin and Pops’ eldest son, singer-songwriter Robin Nievera, who is the star DJ of leading FM station, WISH 105.7.

With their warring days over, the estranged couple has become more comfortable with each other on and off stage, even celebrating special occasions together as a modern family. Pops and her sons Robin and Ram are very close to Martin’s 12-year-old son Santino (by Martin’s ex-girlfriend Katrina Ojeda) and they even take vacations abroad as a family.

“Parang ito ‘yung kinatatakutan ko noong araw,” Pops revealed in an interview with Smart Parenting magazine. “Yun pala, okay na. And I know that feelings are healed already. Lahat ng wounds na open before are already closed. The ending is our kids are very happy about the whole set-up.”

Martin added, “If you put your wife and women through the hell that I put Pops through, and then she forgives you, then you know that love is really forever.”

Martin and Pops are proud that their friendship survived their high-profile split in 1996 that ended in the annulment of their union in 2000 following 10 years of troubled marriage. But the blame game continued on and off with their sons often caught in the marital crossfire.

Although they are now BFFs, they will remain a love team on stage for their die-hard followers. They will continue to make their fans kilig once more by reminiscing their colorful love story while taking them down memory lane with their now classic and timeless music. The two will also perform latest covers for the millennials in the audience.

“Because of our loyal fans, may Martin and Pops pa rin at maraming salamat sa kanilang lahat,” said Pops. “And I think they also know by now that Martin and I will just be good friends. Wala naman kaming pinapaasa na magkakabalikan kami because we’ve been very honest naman to our fans.”

While Martin is currently dating a non-showbiz, Pops opted to stay unattached although she has dated other men in the past following her failed marriage.

“Single but not lonely,” Pops emphasized with a wide grin.

“Super happy naman ako,” she explained. “After you’ve been single for a long time, you realize you enjoy your single life. And I’m so happy with my family and with my simple life. You can be single and lonely, but I’m single and very happy and satisfied.”

“We’re very happy that Martin and Pops have chosen the path to peace,” said Lemar International’s Dr. Ramon Legarda, one of the producers of the Aug. 16 Ocean Resort and Casino concert in Atlantic City.

“Martin and Pops are the real deal, whose careers spanning almost four decades now, outlived all the other showbiz love teams that came before and after them,” according to Dr. Legarda.

The New Jersey leg is produced by Drs. Ramon and Ching Legarda of Group Ole, and Red and Alice Martinez of Re-Al Entertainment. The Legardas and Martinezes were behind the most successful Fil-Am production outfit in the U.S. for over two decades, the Lemar International, before they parted ways.

Dr. Ching said the new generation of Fil-Am and Fil-Canadian audiences ought to experience the magic of these two music trendsetters who changed the game in Philippine concert scene in the ‘80s.

“Martin and Pops paved the way for staging the grandest state-of-the-art concerts at the time, packing the largest venues in the metropolis such as the Araneta Coliseum, ULTRA, the PICC and Folk Arts Theater, and turning each show into a major event of the year,” Dr. Ching noted.

“If you missed their concerts at the time, you’re not in,” she added. “They’re always the hottest tickets in town.”

“For decades now, legions of fans in the U.S. can’t get enough of seeing Martin and Pops together onstage,” said Red. “This couple must have found the magic formula to keep the fans fascinated not just by their impressive talents, but also by their roller-coaster romance.”

After the U.S.-Canada tour, the Two-gether Again 2019 concert series will also be staged in various cities across the Philippines.

For tickets to the Aug. 16 concert in Atlantic City, call 917-294-6783, 347-738-3025, 908-783-2680, 201-388-1927 or 908-265-1430 or visit ticketmaster.com.

MARTIN NIEVERA

POPS FERNANDEZ

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