By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – It was a Hawaiian reunion of old friends and family – and for a good cause.
Martin Nievera treated fans and admirers to a two-hour concert of nostalgic songs and new compositions Sunday night at the Golden Nugget Casino here for the benefit of the victims of the devastating flood in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao.
“I sing, you save a life,” Nievera told an audience of about 300 mostly Filipinos at the Gordie Brown Showroom, who paid tickets of $75 and $50 tickets each, for a highly entertaining show that also featured Hawaiian natives Jasmine Trias of “American Idol” fame and The Society of Seven.
Nievera’s father, Bert, and twin sister, Vicky, also sang duets with the singer in an intimate concert that included a slideshow of the victims of the November 10 flood last year spawned by Typhoon “Sendong.”
“This is the most we can do,” said Nievera, who also performed one concert in Los Angeles, and plans to visit the disaster area when he comes back to the Philippines later this month. “I hope this is a start and other people will do the same.”
The show was organized by ABS CBN International for its “Sagip Kapamilya,” charity, which so far has raised nearly $50,000 in three concerts for the estimated more than 15,000 victims of the flood.
“Very classy,” said Nimfa Aguila, a neurologist from nearby Kingman, Arizona, who came with friends for what she said was her first Martin Nievera show. ” I think he’s good enough to perform at the Strip.
She said she particularly liked Nievera’s rendition of Tagalog theme songs of popular soap operas in the Philippines, which, Linsey Picardal and Christie Anacta, her companions, also adore.
“Brought back memories,” said Picardal in her native Waray dialect.
Singing about a couple of dozen songs, Nievera spiced his numbers with “Ikaw,” and the theme song from the teleserie “Lobo” and “Iisa Pa Lamang,” and old favorites “Fever,” and “Sway.”
His duet with his dad, “What Kind of Fool I Am?” and with Trias, “You and I,” brought the house down. The Society of Seven, who are performing at the nearby Suncoast Casino on Jan. 21 and 22, performed two inspirational songs, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” and “Lift Up Your Hands.”
“Very entertaining and it was for a good cause,” said anesthesiologist Rosendo Mortero, of Las Vegas, who came with other members of the Mortero clan to “show support.”
Lolita Argosa came from Alaska and her daughter, Jona Mallari, from Oregon, while Josan Sih drove from Los Angeles, to attend the show, Nievera’s first in Golden Nugget since 2003.
“Wonderful show,” said Argosa, also of Tayabas, Batangas, a long-time fan of the Nieveras.
- A flood of goodwill (thelasvegasorientexpress.wordpress.com)