Martin Nievera Talks About Life Under Quarantine And Shares A Message Of Hope
He says, "We know all the bad things about the virus, we know all the symptoms, we know what tests we need to take but there’s a lesson to be learned in all this"
Living life under quarantine is an oxymoron.
How exactly does one "live life" while adhering to stringent regulations that don't allow you to visit friends and family, see a movie on a whim, drive to the beach, spend a Friday night at your favorite watering hole, go to work, eat what you like, and ultimately, make any kind of plans for the future?
It's a question that's become the great equalizer for everybody, and it's certainly forced us to rethink and rediscover that what matters these days isn't living life per se, but learning individually what makes life truly worth living.
Is giving up restaurant dinners really as bad as it seems if it means getting to spend quality time with family 24/7? What about learning new skills and getting around to caring for the house in place of not having to commute to work? And the dogs and cats! How glad they must be to have their humans to themselves for the first time ever, as staying safe and sound at home is society's "new normal."
Just ask Martin Nievera and he'll tell you all about living his best (quarantine) life:
"More than anything, I’m getting in touch with things I never knew I had; I never knew what I had to do, and that’s chores in the house, bonding with family, people I neglect to talk to here in this house. There’s more bonding time and ways to get in touch with people even by way of social media. [I] keep in touch with family and friends because I’m worried about everybody. This is a good time to get more in touch with writing songs again, thinking, and planning, and worrying a lot—and I’ve never prayed so hard in my life," he tells Metro.Style.
After powering through 30-plus days of quarantine and counting, the music icon has faced a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, some good, some not so much. Like hundreds of millions of people around the world, he misses his freedom and has mulled over the uncertainty of the future. What sets him apart, however, is how he has acknowledged the responsibility of being a person of influence.
"Here I am, every day. Right after lunch, I sit here till midnight, sometimes even later, doing what I’m doing now: answering questions, writing songs, and trying to get some sort of motivation so that I can be an inspiration to very, very sad people. It’s our job as artists to keep them up, to keep them inspired, to give them something else to look forward to and not to be discouraged," he shares.
Local celebrities feel the same way, with many of them continuing to entertain and inspire from the comforts of their own homes, and an extra handful even initiating their own COVID-19 relief efforts and working in the field themselves.
Speaking of looking forward to the future, he daydreams about a project he wishes to do one day: "a big, big concert for free, absolutely free—one big celebration with all the artists who have been lending their hand in any way throughout these very rough times. For me, I think we should all meet somewhere, have a big concert for free, and celebrate a brand new day," he shares.
That's because Martin is a firm believer that despite all the suffering and turmoil and distress that all of humanity is facing today, all of it will come to end. There is a future that lays ahead, and it will be so much brighter and better than the past we left behind. He thinks of it as a chance to restart, to begin again but this time, with our priorities in check and with a much healthier perspective on life.
"I think what this cabin fever is teaching us is to be more grateful and to attack life, our schedules that are coming in the future, with more zeal, with more excitement, with more passion. Because you don’t know what you have until you lose it," Martin adds.
The old adage seize the day has never been more true for all of us the moment we're finally allowed to.
Now, looking at how he has kept himself busy outside of work while under lockdown, Martin quips that he's both amazed and bothered by how long overdue domestic work has led to a bunch of discoveries.
For one thing, his closet is a mess. Outfits he wore to TV appearances more than three decades ago are still around. "Things I used to wear to a show called Penthouse Live are still there. I gotta get rid of these things," he laughs.
He's also taken care of feeding his beloved dogs for the first time. Considering that he was away for most of the day in pre-quarantine life, there was always some else to take care of dog dad duties on his behalf—but not this time. "I didn’t know they eat so much, that you’re supposed to feed them at certain times in a day? When you’re here 24/7, they’re here 24/7, and they eat 24/7," Martin jokes.
There's also the fact that he hasn't worn pants in a month. (He's serious). This self-proclaimed homebody has been totally A-okay watching some Netflix and Hulu when he's not squeezing his brain for creative juices, binging on movies and shows like the rest of us while lounging in good old garterized home-friendly clothes.
Seeing as he's not completely alone in his home, he's also been hanging out with his twin sister, Victoria, a lot these days.
Karaoke is often on the agenda when it comes to these sibs ("God Will Make a Way" is on their playlist), and also a cheat day (or two) when Martin is allowed to take a bite (or two or three) of food he shouldn't be eating for the rest of the week. He's also been enjoying the challenge of rewriting songs that previously had sad lyrics to make them more joyous and uplifting.
Big things, small things, medium-sized things, all things—believing that in spite of everything, there are still things to get him out of bed in the morning is what keeps Martin going.
"The world is telling you that everything is falling apart and that this virus is gonna kill us all and spread all over like the plague that it is. So many lives have been lost, so many impossibilities have been seen. We’re all witness to impossibilities, we’re all witness to the things that scare us the most—that’s what we don’t know, the unknown. That’s what scares us the most. Well, we all know that with faith, with hope, determination, and knowing that God will make a way, that in itself I think, will get us through this crisis," he shares.
The first he's going to do when this crisis has ended is to step out of his house—wave and smile at neighbors, hang around the mall, drive through city streets to see how much they've changed, and figure out when he can hold his next concert.
But until then, he'll continue to sit tight at home with his sister, household, and dogs, writing, rewriting, and singing songs of hope for everyone. He reminds us, of course, to be extra thankful for our frontline workers in and outside of the hospital, too.
"I think during this crisis, we’ve all learned that there’s a good side to some of the bad that we see in this world.... I think the message there is that we should not forget the unity that was brought by this virus. We know all the bad things about the virus, we know all the symptoms, we know what tests we need to take but there’s a lesson to be learned in all this," Martin concludes.
Check out Martin Nievera's performance for Metro Safe & Sound: The Unplugged Music Video Series on May 1, 4PM on Metro Channel and Metro.Style's YouTube channel
Photos from @martinnievera