Unang-una, by nature ay selosong tao daw talaga siya. Pangalawa, hindi naman daw mawawala ang pagke-care niya sa nanay ng dalawang anak niya.
But to contextualize, eto ang explanation ni Martin: “At this point probably ’yong selos ko, secret lang. I mean sa akin lang ’yon because...I think it’s normal...but more than selos, I would be very concerned. It sounds weird but like a father to a daughter? That kind of, ‘Teka muna, ano ba’ng intentions no’ng lalaki?’ Parang gano’n. That’s where I think we are.”
Dagdag niya: “I want her to be happy but I don’t think there’s any guy out there that deserves this kind of a woman...he has to be...”
Agad na nag-protesta si Pops, na nasa tabi lang ni Martin at nakikinig, sa sinabing ’yon ng ex husband-turned-BFF niya. “Don’t say that!” tili ni Pops. “Ano ka ba? Natatakot na nga sila [mga lalaki sa akin], e. Don’t say it.”
Nilinaw naman agad ni Martin ang ibig niyang sabihin at tinumbok pa rin ang topic na selos.
“’Yong standard ko para sa susunod... or ’yong the guy who will make her happy next is very high. So, there’s a little jealousy, sure. Because I wanna make sure, ‘Uy, teka nga, is he is better looking than me? What happened there? ’Yong mga past boyfriends niya, [when] I look at them...’ah, that’s why.’ Kasi walang tiyan...’yong gano’n, ’yong sexy, tight skin...’yong gano’n.
“So that kind of jealousy, yes; but jealousy na ‘I don’t want anyone with her?’ No, no. I want Pops to be happy. If I couldn’t give her that happiness that she truly deserves, then maybe she’ll find that with someone else—and if she does, I wanna make sure that he’s a quality guy inside and out...soul, ’yong spirit. Hindi lang kailangan malaki ang wallet, kundi malaki ang puso...More of concern, more of a care...care and love...”
“Ako rin naman I think I felt the same,” pag-agree ni Pipay (isa pang pet name ni Pops).
Ang very open at masayang tsikahan with ex-couple Martin and Pops ay naganap kamakailan sa press conference ng nalalapit nilang Valentine concert series sa The Theatre at Solaire sa Solaire Resort & Casino sa Parañaque.
At dahil napag-usapan ang selosan, nabaling sa pagre-reminisce sina Martin at Pops sa mga selosan blues nila noong araw.
“[I’m the] Very jealous type...nako, ang dami kong mga furniture na sinira...” very honest na lahad ni Martin. “There’s one time sa Penthouse Live, nag-dance siya ng ‘Smooth Operator’—that’s why I hate that song to this day. I hate that song because she did a sexy dance...”
“It’s not even sexy, I promise,” apila na naman ni Pops. “Naka-pajama ako pero turtle neck...”
“No, listen to this...No, no, it wasn’t supposed to be pajamas...” patuloy nang madaldal na si Martin. “It’s supposed to be something sexier. Pero dahil nakikialam si Martin naging pajamas, tapos pajamas na walang medyas...
“I’m telling you, sinuntok ko ’yong set ng Penthouse Live, pati sa dressing room ko. Nagalit sa akin si Eric Edralin, the choreographer. ‘What’s wrong with you? It’s only art. It’s part of showbiz!’ Gano’n.”
“And I wasn’t even sexy. I promise,” giit ni Pops. Tapos ay tinanong niya si Martin: “Teka muna, are you still like that? I’m just curious. ’Cause you’re very seloso...”
“Not anymore,” assure ni Martin. “I’ve learned now that it’s really part of the business,” say ni Martin. “I’ve seen you in so many movies... you don’t even know. I’ve watched all of your movies...”
“I’m not referring about me,” say ni Pops na ang gustong malaman ay kung seloso pa rin ba si Martin sa bago niyang ka-relasyon, or even sa mga dati after her.
But Martin was on a roll about his own reminiscing. And just like that, Martin and Pops took the members of the press present to a stroll down memory lane. Sila na ang nag-usap at para nalang kaming nanood ng talk show nila noong araw.
“I’m talking about all your love scenes,” patuloy ni Mart (na siya pa ring nickname ni Pops sa kanya.”
Pops: “Wala naman akong love scenes,” nagtatakang balik ni Pops. “Sobra ka naman. Meron ba?”
Martin: “...Mga rolling in the beach, you know, rolling in the beach...’yong Videoke King with Robin Padilla, hinalik ’yong paa mo. Remember?
Pops: “Hindi ko maalaala...ang naalaala ko lang nagagalit sa akin si Direk Mario J. [delos Reyes] kasi hindi daw ako marunong humalik. Hinahalikan ko si Goma [Richard Gomez], nagagalit siya. ‘My God!’ Kasi nakaka-consious...
Martin: “There’s a way...there’s a proper way of kissing someone?”
Pops: “I don’t know...”
Martin: “And I guess she didn’t learn from me then...you should remember what I taught you...You have to bite the upper lip...”
Pops: “Hindi ko maalala ’yon...”
Martin: “But after watching all those movie and scenes...’yong talagang inulit-ulit ko para masanay, wala na, hiwalay na kami. There’s nothing I can do or say...
Pops: “Wala na hiwalay na tayo.”
Fast forward to present, natanong ang dalawa kung may time daw bang pupuwede sana silang nagka-balikan, at kung meron man, an’yare?
“There was a time that’s all I wanted...for a time,” mabilis na pag-amin ni Martin. “But here’s the worst part—and I’m sure Pops will agree—every time we thought we had a chance for each other, we didn’t tell that person. I never told her, I never made it obvious that this is what I wanted. I mean, during the beginning part, yes.
“I even asked Pops this question many years ago: ‘Was there ever a time that you wanted me back or that you were willing to make this work again?’ ’Coz it’s really up to her. No matter how many times I ask, kahit mali ’yong timing ko, it’s still up to Pops, diba? And she said: ‘There was.’ But we never told each other during those times. That’s why the answer to your question is a bigger mystery to us than it is to you.”
Sa part ni Pops ay ganoon din daw.
“That was before, ha,” paglilinaw ni Pops. “That was how many years back... I think ang nangyari is, he wanted to come back, hindi ako ready; noong feeling ko baka naman p’wede, siya naman ’yong hindi na p’wede.”
Wrong timing daw palagi, say ni Martin. But after analyzing what they’ve been through at kung nasaan silang estado ngayon, sa tingin nila ay tama lang na hindi na sila nagkabalikan dahil mas maganda at mas malalim daw ang na-create nilang friendship ngayon.
Bukod pa doon, tila ang “mystery” ng hiwalayan/balikan ang patuloy na kumikiliti sa mga fans nila kaya nananatiling loyal sa kanilang tandem.
“I think there’s a reason for that,” subok na esplika ni Martin. “Maybe so that we can do things like this [concerts]... because of the mystery, the magic and the mystery of Pops and Martin... I think it will remain. And the one thing... it sounds weird to say but when we got married, that [magic] disappeared. We became just like everybody else.
“Same problem, same expectation, same pressures, same stress, same career moves...when she was busier than me, maybe nainggit si Martin along the way... na-feel sorry for myself blah-blah-blah...I have to do things to make myself feel better...
“All of these things come into play because we became...it’s like Superman na nawala ’yong powers. Ngayon, bumalik ’yong powers because there’s a mystery, there’s magic again.”
Twelve years lang nagsama bilang mag-asawa sina Pops at Martin at ngayon ay may 21 years na silang hiwalay. It took awhile bago sila naging magka-ibigan ulit. But now that they are, mas malalim pa ito kaysa dati to the point na tanggap na ni Pops sa buhay niya ang anak ni Martin na si Santino, she’s beginning to be okay with Santino’s mom Katrina Ojeda, at friends siya sa present non-showbiz girlfriend ni Martin.
Extended modern family ang nagiging set up na nila na parang sina Regine Velasquez-Ogie Alcasid-Michelle van Eimerren; Jodi Sta. Maria-Pampi Lacson-Iwa Motto; at iba pa.
Now, after so many years, muling magpapakilig ang incomparable chemistry ng Pops-Martin tandem through their Valentine shows na nauna na nilang dinala sa Amerika late last year at naging very successful. At bago nila ito dalhin sa Canada, Martin and Pops decided to reclaim a portion of the Valentine concert spot na dati nilang dino-dominate.
Kung mapupuno daw nila ang all seven days ng kanilang Solaire concert—February 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21—ay pag-iisipan nila kung muli silang babalik sa Araneta Coliseum.