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EPCALM's "The Journey Continues" charity concert featuring Martin Nievera was a resounding success


YES. Martin Nievera is still, and always will be, the country's Concert King, as he once again performed in front of a live audience after so many years; sort of like a 'post-COVID comeback concert' during his May 11 performance at the Samsung Hall in SM Aura in Taguig City.



Showgoers were not required to wear masks, but were encouraged due to a slight influx in positive cases (in the end, pretty much majority of the audience wore masks during that night - after all safety first!)


Martin Nievera's incredible singing career now spans four decades since he started performing live in the 1980s, juggling from singing the best OPM songs to hosting shows on Philippine television and producing/composing songs. He is one of the premier acts/original mainstays of the weekend show ASAP (which was renamed to ASAP Natin 'to) since the 1990s, and continues as one of the judges of The Voice Kids Philippine Edition today.


The writer with Ron Mabanag, Marc de la Cruz and Gemma Batoon (L to R)

For someone who can basically belt out any song that you can think of (i.e. my favorite Wicked song Defying Gravity) for every weekend during your growing up years, Martin Nievera is not only a Filipino household name, but a true world-class performer in his generation and future generations.


My sister Nadja was lucky to take a photo with Martin Nievera during the pre-show

I can still recall that time when I met him back in the 90s - it was backstage during the live recording of one of ABS-CBN's Thanksgiving Specials held at CCP, all thanks to my famous piano playing aunt who was included in the performance lineup. His charm, quick wit and rapport with the audience, and of course, that ever powerful singing voice, never ceases to amaze me.

His bubbly personality, positive attitude and passion towards his craft remain as his best attributes, but more than his celebrity status is his authentic kindness towards the stricken. All throughout his career, he has leveraged his talent to help, seek help and inspire others.


Much like Martin's performance which is a also a benefit concert for EPCALM, a God-centered, non-stock, non-profit organization that is called to reach out and help victims of leukemia and their families. He is currently EPCALM's appointed ambassador.

Kuh Ledesma and Martin Nievera on stage

Through Martin's performance, along with fellow showstoppers and surprise guests Pops Fernandez (The Concert Queen of the Philippines) and Kuh Ledesma (The Philippines' premier and OG Pop Diva) who prepared their own special repertoire as well, they shared stories on continuing their journeys and let us in on this incredible story of love, hope, music, and healing.

Martin with Pops Fernandez

The audience weren't only enjoying a night of world-class entertainment, but were also supporting a foundation that has helped countless people find hope and healing.


Through the work of EPCALM, those affected by adult leukemia no longer must face their illness alone - they now have a family and a community of support that is dedicated to helping them every step of the way.


EPCALM Founder Dr. Erlyn Demerre on stage

EPCALM is the acronym for Erwin Piedad Cabanag Adult Leukemia Memorial. Atty. Erwin P. Cabanag was City Fiscal of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines when he succumbed to leukemia on May 12, 2005 at the age of 45. At this time, the vision to build the first adult leukemia foundation in the Philippines was born, now known as the EPCALM Adult Leukemia Foundation of the Philippines, Inc.

Thanks to Martin, Pops, Kuh, and all the rest of the supporters of EPCALM, the fight against adult leukemia is definitely not over. If you are someone who has the extra financial capacity and looking for opportunities to help those in need, or someone who is dealing with adult leukemia and is looking for a beacon of light, as well as a safe space for healing and wellness, take time to visit https://www.facebook.com/EPCALM today.


The writer with friends (L to R) Chris Juan, Nathan Ku, Ron Mabanag and Sunny Ku

Special thanks to EPCALM Team led by its founder Dr. Erlyn Demerre and team, and Mastermind Asia Team (our good friends Sunny Ku and Nathan Ku) and Raintree Restaurants, as well as other sponsors kudos for organizing and sharing this memorable event to everyone!

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