GOSSIP GIRL: Martin Nievera reveals he was bullied in grade school, would eat lunch in school bathroom

Martin Nievera

The Solaire Theater was filled to the brim with people singing to Martin Nievera’s songs that he recorded in a span of 40 years. The Concert King was very emotional for so many reasons - his concert celebrating his 40th anniversary as a singer was a smashing success, his 90-year old mother, Conchita Razon, flew all the way from the US just to witness M4D at the Solaire, his twin sister Vicki Nievera sang with him, and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez graced her talent to guest in his show.

Nievera, ASAP resident host and singer, even invited his fellow ASAP hosts and singers who were in the audience to join him in an impromptu number which for the average viewer would seem rehearsed because it was flawless. What do you expect from Jed Madela, Ogie Alcacid and Darren Espanto — only the best from these seasoned performers.

From left: Jed Madela, Martin Nievera, Ogie Alcasid and Darren Espanto

I was particularly touched in the middle of the program when the ever confident singer showed his vulnerable side, Nievera admitted to his audience that he was a bullied kid when he was in grade school in Hawaii. "I would eat lunch every day at the school bathroom together with the skinny students and the fat students. I was a fat kid. I would steal my mom’s pennies so I can walk by our school corridors without getting punched, I would pay each bully one penny. When I recorded my first album, I went to all the homes of my bullies and delivered the album to them personally and told them (with his voice cracking and his eyes tearing up) you made me who I am."

Martin and KZ Tandingan

Despite the hate of his bullies, the singer and lyricist grew up to be one of the kindest men I have ever encountered in my entire life. I remember watching an episode in ASAP back in October 2012 where singer KZ Tandingan recounts how the Concert King took her in his home together with other Visayan singers like Bugoy in X Factor because they had no home in Manila and they were trying to make it in showbusiness. "Inampon po kami ni Martin Nievera sa bahay niya. Hinding-hindi ko po makakalimutan ‘yun. Hindi po siguro ako aabot ng 10 years kung hindi ako tinulungan ni Martin Nievera at ng buong pamilya niya from the very beginning….I was a stranger na pinatira niya sa bahay niya. And that is very rare for someone in his stature to do. So sobra po akong thankful.” (Martin Nievera adopted us. I will never forget such kindness. I probably would not have reached 10 years in showbusiness if Martin and his entire family did not help me. I was a stranger and he made all of us live in his home. And that is very rare for someone in his stature to do.)

Martin and Louie Ocampo

These words were echoing in my head while I was listening to Martin and his "adopted daughter" KZ sing “I’ll Be There (for you)” during the concert. M4D was presented by Phoenix Super LPG; Botejyu, Wingzone. Co-presented by Solaire Resort Entertainment City, Philippine Airlines. Major Sponsors: McDonald’s, Limitless. Official Media Partners; PBO, Viva Cinema, TMC, Sari-Sari, People’s Journal, People’s Tonight. Special thanks to Belo, Jing Monis.