Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Dear Readers, Finally we can it seems that spring is almost in the air.  Weather wise it’s not that cold anymore and it looks like Mr. Winter is going to say goodbye. Soon you have to start cleaning up the yard and the flower beds.  And the trees in the backyard will start to have leaves [...]

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Page added on October 22, 2009

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By Chuck Gomez

THE prodigious landscape of contemporary Philippine show business is an extraordinarily vibrant terrain, which is greatly shaped and stimulated by rivalry. The body of work of any great artist intensifies as it is pitted against the craft of another equally exceptional artist.

In the Philippines, where the denizens of the showbiz world are revered as gods and goddesses who walk amongst their mortal fans, intense competition paved the way for the emergence of divas, icons, luminaries, pop stars, matinee idols, and gargantuan television networks. A new and compelling drama of competitive entertainment became fodder for the masses and promptly gave rise to a new tradition of fandom: a near-combative choosing of sides.

The 1980s marked the birth of one of the most mythic and sensational rivalries in Original Pilipino Music (OPM) with the exhilarating arrival of “The Concert King” and “Mr. Pure Energy.”

The Concert King romanced the nation with  amorous ballads that captivated countless numbers of women, and his gift of glib is unsurpassed by his contemporaries. Mr. Pure Energy, on the other hand, electrified and dominated the concert stage with his indefatigable spirit and his upbeat, danceable grooves, which often elicited mania from his fans. It was clear then as it is today, that both artists were destined to become one of the greatest rivals in the music industry.

Their individual and collective history will show that the spirit of competition played a pivotal role in their success.

Somehow, amidst and despite  all of the intrigues and oft-manufactured conflicts and invented issues hurled their way, The Concert King and Mr. Pure Energy managed to keep their good relationship intact. There exists between them mutual respect and genuine admiration for each other’s craft, fueled by an interesting blend of friendly competition and brotherly love.

However, beneath the pomp and pageantry of the stage, The Concert King and Mr. Pure Energy are essentially Martin and Gary … human – just like the rest of us.

Laughing Out Loud

Martin and Gary find sheer joy every time they get the chance to  really laugh to their hearts’ content. For them, with the many pressures and challenges that go with their hectic careers, a good old-fashioned laugh is quite therapeutic.

Martin discloses that laughter is a daily habit for him. “I laugh every time I look in the mirror. From the moment I open my eyes in the morning until the lights go out at night I always find something to laugh about. My mind never sleeps mostly because I am thinking of something naughty that makes me laugh even on the inside.”

For Gary, laughter is a major treat that he enjoys whenever he gets the chance to. “I can’t say I’ve had a one-time moment of continuous laughter any time recently, but I’ve had meaningful moments of laughter with my sons Paolo and Gabriel, my daughter Kiana, Angeli my wife. A couple of weeks ago I saw a movie with them. There were some scenes where I really laughed with my sons. Another recent laughing time I had was with Martin Nievera. He always makes me laugh. You have to catch his punch-lines as Martin is a man with a bag full of wit tucked inside his brain! He is hilarious!”

Big Boys Don’t Cry?

The larger-than-life theatrics of show business may have concealed the tracks of their tears but Martin and Gary do cry … a lot!

“The last time I really cried was when I saw myself in a totally different light with regard to how God really sees me. I am in the process of learning so much about my God that many times, the tears I cry are not because of guilt or shame but because of utmost gratitude to how I am accepted and forgiven regardless of what I’ve done, or what I may still do in the future. Many people expect me to be perfect and I am far from it.  So sometimes I cry when I pray because I can’t believe how God could truly love someone like me who isn’t really as ideal as what people perceive me to be,” explains Gary.

In jest, Martin says that the silliest scene  in a B movie could easily make him cry. He takes a more serious tone however when he recalled the most recent tear he shed. “I find myself in a puddle of tears every time I watch a movie about a father and son, or a man who loses a love, or a child left behind by a broken marriage. That’s all I need to cry me a river and the last emotional storm I had was just a month ago when I said goodbye to my 2-year old son for the nth time. I always seem to see this same scene in my own personal B movie and it kills me every time. I think the day I  no longer need to say goodbye to my sons will be the day I will stop crying.”

Fear Factors

Gary reveals the major disadvantage of the pre-conceived notion that he is perpetually immaculate. “I used to fear how people may react if one day they would find out that I’m really not any different from them. How some may turn away when they realize that I am not perfect as some view me to be. But things have changed. What matters to me now is what God thinks of me and what He sees deep within my heart. Because of this, somehow, that fear has gone.”

For Martin, his fears today are: “very much the same as those of yesterday.” He fears the day when there are no more songs to sing and no people to inspire. He fears the day that he can no longer provide for his children. “I believe my failures have made me successful, but it has always been my fears that define me,” says Martin.

Anger Management

In a cut-throat industry that requires constant composure and inhuman calmness from its inhabitants, Martin and Gary acknowledge and embrace the fact that anger is actually necessary and it is one of the most natural things in an environment that has a huge tendency to be so unnatural.

Martin explains that anger is a fleeting feeling: “I get angry at myself sometimes. I feel frustrated if things don’t go the way I plan, or if I feel that I’m not doing a great job as father to my kids. The good thing is that whatever anger I would feel easily goes away because basically, I’m a very happy person.”

The source of Gary’s anger emanates from  a more spiritual perspective: “People don’t easily associate this character trait with me. I do get angry too and sometimes I even use that line in the movie of ‘The Hulk’ when Bruce Banner says something like: ‘Don’t get me angry, you won’t like it when I’m angry’ when people refuse to accept the fact that, yes I get angry too.

One of my biggest problems used to be that I would get too hard on myself when I failed in anything. I recently made a wrong decision and I got down real hard on myself and my anger toward myself run deep and silent in me. I was so angry that it somehow affected the way I run my life. Unfortunately sometimes it tends to spill over to the way I treat those who are around me. It hurts me to know that I may have unintentionally hurt someone because of my anger.”

Hopes and Dreams

As fathers, Martin and Gary’s hopes and dreams are anchored on their children who, they consider, as the greatest blessing they ever received.

“My hope is for my children to have dreams. The kind of dreams I can help realize with them. I don’t expect them to follow my footsteps, in fact I hope they don’t, but if they have the desire and talent to join the world of showbiz then so be it. But I believe I should not dream their dreams for them. They should dream their own  dreams and not have to follow a path their parents sprinkled bread crumbs on. I hope and pray I live long enough to see that day when they too can be living proof that dreams come true,” says Martin.

Gary is equally passionate about his hopes for his children. “My children are made up of three totally different characters, all with their own skills and talents. But regardless of how different they may be from each other, they all are called, and I believe are chosen, for great purposes that the good Lord has already set out for them. I pray they each discover and fulfill the purpose God has specifically plotted out for them  to fulfill. Paolo has awesome ideas in video production and direction and has  an amazing singing voice.  I pray he finds his place in the music industry. Gab on the other hand is a music producer, a musician apart from being a dancer and I do pray that he achieves his greatest dreams: that of being a major force in music production. Kiana will be a major performing artist one day. I just know it and I pray she achieves all her dreams.  More than their dreams, I pray they fulfill God’s design for them.”

As mere mortals, The Concert King and Mr. Pure Energy have achieved immortality through their multi-platinum CDs and their hit songs that have been rightfully canonized as certified OPM classics. As artists, their crafts defied the limits of impermanence. The blinding applause of their fans and the deafening flash of lights that engulf them on stage are a testimony to the kind of adulation they inspire, the kind that surpasses time and presence.

Together, as one, Martin and Gary remind us that the greatest artists are not really the super men and demigods that they are perceived to be. Like any man, they are vulnerable to the most basic of human emotions: anger, fear, sorrow, and joy … But remarkably, it is also through sheer humanity that they have managed to transcend all known boundaries to achieve what is merely a dream to many unparalleled greatness.


Catch Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano in AS 1 at the Southern at the Jubilee Theatre on Sunday, November 8, 2009, a one-of-a-kind event presentation by the Employees Association of XL Meats, TFC, The Filipino Channel and Pure  Talents Entertainment.

Proud sponsors are Shiba Dental Laboratories, Solid Industries, Philippine Financial, Nora Sy Larioza (Maxwell Canyon Creek), Anahaw Cargo, Andy Yambao (CIR Realty), Tatak Pinoy, Great Financial, Jessica Taburada (CIR Realty), Elle Jewelry,Christina & Romeo Evasco (CIR Realty), Victory Granite, Cecille Sanchez & Evelyn Cortez (CMC Mortgages), Star Granite, AIMS Human Resources, Melly’s Bakery & Café, Susan Paringit at Mortgage Alliance.

For Tickets, please call 403-889-0581, or check out posters for ticket outlets, as well as


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