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Martin's First "True Filipino Album" Released

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Martin NieveraSOUNDS FAMILIAR By Baby A. Gil

Philippine Star, Sept. 10, 2008

Strange that Martin Nievera should say something like this. “For the first time in 25 years I can say that I finally have a true Filipino album.” He was referring to the newly released Ikaw ang Pangarap, which he considers another milestone in his successful career and which is still part of his quarter of a century in showbiz celebration.

It is a nice collection of themes from various teleseryes or telenovelas or whatever you choose to call the daily serials on local TV. The title song and carrier single is the theme from Lobo. But why call this one more Filipino then the others that came before? After all, although Martin is not known for his proficiency in Tagalog, he grew up in the US, he never had a problem making hits like Ikaw, Kahit Isang Saglit, Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin or Ikaw ang Lahat Sa Akin.

Well, it turns out that although he scores very well with Tagalog songs and he has also had huge successes with Filipino songs with English lyrics like You are My Song, Be My Lady and Say That You Love Me, he has never had an all-Tagalog album before. His CDs usually had a mix, Filipino compositions in English and Tagalog and covers of foreign songs in English. Ikaw ang Pangarap is truly his first one with an all-Tagalog song line-up.

Martin offers up a lot of songs for the teleserye buffs to reminisce with. Aside from Ikaw Ang Pangarap, the other songs included are Kahit Isang Saglit; Hanggang Ngayon; May Minamahal; Hanggang Langit; Maging Ano Pa Man (Para Sa ‘yo) from Lastikman; Magpahanggang Wakas from Vietnam Rose; Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin; Kailangan Ko, Kailangan Mo; Kailangan Kita; Nasaan Ka Man; Naghihintay; Minsan Lang; Ikaw; and Pag-uwi.

But there is more to this collection than teleserye theme songs. The CD is also a showcase of Filipino music. The songs were written by some of the best this country has to offer: George Canseco, Willy Cruz, Louie Ocampo, Ogie Alcasid, Vehnee Saturno, Arnel de Pano, Gerry Paraiso, Joey Ayala, Alvina Sy, Arnie Mendaros, Joey Albert and others. At a time when the music industry is in sub-poverty levels and merely subsisting on cover versions of foreign hits, Ikaw ang Pangarap is an inspiring reminder of what local talents can do.

It is no wonder that Martin feels truly Filipino with this album. And there is Martin, of course. This guy still has one of the best voices around and he sings every cut as though he feels and may, I add, understands every word.


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