Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez treat guests to a showcase at The Tent at Solaire on Dec. 31
Pops and Martin in The Royal Affair
Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2019 - 12:00am

Entertainment and games make a perfect pair. Solaire Resort and Casino knows this well.

Barely two weeks and four weeks leading to Christmas and New Year, Solaire brings in Pops Fernandez and Martin Nievera to ring in 2020 with a concert titled The Royal Affair at The Tent. To be seen in it is an iconic way to say thank you to 2019 and welcome the coming year with the Original Pilipino Music (OPM) royalties.

“It’s yearly,” said Audie Gemora, the resort and casino’s director of entertainment, of the New Year’s Eve celebration in an interview with The STAR, “which we started last year. It was successful and (it’s gonna) happen this year again.”

It’s a coup for this entertainment team to have the Concert King and Queen of the Philippines for this special night.

“Napaka-very lucky namin na napa-oo namin ang dalawa (we are lucky to have convinced them do the show and got their yes),” shared Audie the tale of getting the two onboard. “Pero matinding ligawan, (it was) two years (of going) back and forth (to know) if they were ready (available) to perform together.”  Solaire is just responding to the clamor for a Martin-and-Pops musical treat. Their followers will walk down memory lane with them and revisit that time when the two were starting to flex their vocal muscles and make a name for themselves.

“I think a lot of their fans want to see them together,” Audie said. “We call it The Royal Affair. They (are known as)      king and queen.”

To Audie, the idea behind the Solaire special presentation was “I guess, just to go back to the things that made them such a great tandem together, yung rapport kahit ano pang nangyari between them, the rapport cannot be denied, may chemistry. When we had the pictorial, kahit i-deny nila, there (was) spark (between then), may kilig factor pa rin. It’s a really nice tandem.”

In a group interview with her, Pops shared that The Royal Affair is her and Martin’s “first performance together in a long time in Manila… I dont wanna say what they should look forward to but I’m hoping na maligayahan sila siyempre sa chemistry namin ni Martin ulit. It’s been awhile you know.”

As for the repertoire of Martin and Pops, it’s definitely exciting and familiar.

“There’ll be a lot of their hits,” said Audie. “I think they are also learning new songs. Of course, they want to give the old-timers (what they are looking for). We really wanna hear the songs they sing in their concerts.”

The Royal Affair is not the only “stop” guests will enjoy. The resort and casino seems pulling all the stops.

“It’s a concert and the the countdown happens after. First, (there) is dinner, everyone who comes will enjoy the best buffet and then after, comes the concert. After, all will go to the pool area for the countdown. Then, people will return to The Tent for more party.”

A quick rundown: The event starts with dinner at 7 and everyone samples good food. After, they watch the Pops and Martin show at 9:30. The couple joins the guests to the poolside at 11 to begin the countdown. The party ends at 2 a.m. The royal couple, however, is not the only artists who will grace the event.

“We have top theater performers at the Waterside (a bar restaurant that offers Latin-inspired cuisine),” said Audie. “The theme is through the decades, all the dance music from the 1920s to 2000s (and present). We have Shiela Valderrama(-Martinez), Carla Laforteza, Yanah Laurel, Arman Ferrer, Gian Magdangal and Floyd Tena. They are the leading ladies and leading men of (Philippine) theater. It’s like the music through the decades. The artists will join (in the countdown) with 3rd Avenue. There’s gonna be a drone show, a complete one instead of fireworks. They’ll (drones) do different formations. That’s something to look forward to. There are about 200 drones that would be flying that night, that would be our spectacle for the New Year.”

Asked about the shows that are in the Solaire pipeline, Audie replied, “We have big musicals coming up, both foreign and local. Matilda is coming up and then there’s another musical called School of Rock, both are playing in London right now. (There are) two local shows that I cannot yet disclose... The OPM (show) continues, marami pa rin tayong concerts.”

(Ticket prices to The Royal Affair: 2020 New Year’s Eve Countdown start at P8,000 for silver; P10,000, gold; and P15,000, platinum. For ticket details, visit or call 8891-9999. To make table reservations at Waterside, call 8888-8888.)

Audie Gemora, the resort casino’s entertainment director 

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