Martin and Lani jam for a colleague’s wife struck with TB meningitis



By Boy Villasanta


Lani Misalucha and Ricky Topacio


Pop superstars Martin Nievera and Lani Misalucha were generous enough to share their talents for the medical expenses of Joy Laygo, wife of singer and member of the popular Society of Seven Michael Laygo.


Their jamming session with other artists in the US was successful it gathered enough funds to sustain the hospital bills and other treatment receipts of Joy who had been diagnosed with TB meningitis.


Held at the Fiesta Filipina Cuisine in 8545 W Warm Springs Road in Las Vegas, Nevada, Martin and Lani helped the Laygos who have been experiencing continuous agony over the malady that struck Joy, a former actress in the Philippines and a talent manager.


Although All Star Talents had published a disclaimer that the event was not a concert or show, the occasion was more than jovial and interactive. According to All Star Talents, “This will be an informal ‘jam session’ where you can enjoy dinner in the company of these artists. They will be singing a few songs, no formal program. All artists and staff are volunteering their talents and time to raise funds for Joy. Thank you for your understanding and patience.”

Ricky Topacio and Martin Nievera


Jam session it was for Martin and Lani together with Michael who sang very casually in a restaurant in front of diners. The three power voices lent songs to the delight of the audience and although unconscious, to the listening pleasure of Joy who is still confined at the Centennial Hills Hospital in Las Vegas for months now. Joy had been in and out of the hospital.


The jamming was especially designed for her benfit. “She knew it. I know she’s thankful for the love and care of our colleagues in the music industry,” Laygo said.


Martin, Lani and Michael belted out a very impressive “My Prayer” which was deeply appreciated by the listeners. Other songs sung by them were warmly applauded. 


Pam Topacio, Michael Lagyo, and Ricky Topacio

Lani, Michael and Martin have had many significant relationships, personal and otherwise, but mostly professional. Michael and Misalucha were together in the many shows of Society of Seven in Las Vegas when she just starting her international singing career in the US.


Society of Seven is an iconic and durable group which started in Honolulu, Hawaii in the early 60s pioneered and spearheaded by Bert Nievera, Tony Riuvivar among others until it was transported to Las Vegas for the longest time.  The late fantastic solo artist Gary Bautista was also part of the group. There was a time Martin also did a gig with them in Las Vegas. “Martin was my idol even when I was just starting my singing career in the Philippines,” admitted Michael.


Laygo was discovered by talent manager and reporter Jobert Sucaldito who brought the newbie to the controversial talent manager and TV host Boy C. de Guia, who is now missing in action. Boy was producing and hosting the youth-oriented show “StarBrighters” in Channel 4 and he gave Michael the chance to lead other neophytes in the singing profession. Laygo became the forerunner and trademark of “StarBrighters” because of his impeccable musical talent and stage presence.

Michael became a recording artist for Alpha Records and made a couple of hits including “Minahal Kita.” Then, he and Joy decided to migrate to the US in search of greener pastures.


After the Martin-Lani jam session, Michael proceeded to the hospital where Joy was confined and thanked the people who supported the cause including singer Gloria Belen, Imelda Papin’s elder sister. “Hindi ko na kayo lahat mapapasalamatan. Alam na ninyo kung sino kayo (I couldn’t thank you all but you know who you are. From the bottom of our hearts, including Joy’s, I am thanking you endlessly. I would like to thank Lani, Ate Gloria and my idol Martin for sharing their talents with us.”



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Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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