July 15, 1977 – July 26, 2021
Marvin “Ate Shawee” Martinez was an actor and stand-up comic known for her impersonation of music icon Sharon Cuneta.
In 1992, Martinez started joining impersonation contests and later worked on hit television noontime show Eat Bulaga in 1995. She rose to prominence after her successful impersonation of music icon Sharon Cuneta, which she recalled was only “accidental.”
“Maaga kasi akong naulila, so habang ako lang mag-isa rito sa bahay ay gumagawa ako ng diskarte para makakain, so kung kinakailangan kong sumali ng contests para may makain. Pag panalo, may makakain. Pag talo, ang gagawin ko lang dito ay mag-aabang ako sa labas ng mga kakilala ko, hihingi ako ng mga barya-barya,” Martinez was quoted in an interview with songwriter John Nite and YouTube personality Jovan Dela Cruz.
“Idol ko si Sharon Cuneta that time, pero hindi naman ako nag-expect na gagayahin ko sya, idol ko lang siya talaga. Ngayon sinabi nila kahawig ko raw hanggang sa ginaya ko,” Martinez added.
Martinez was not a member of any regular television program, but was given TV guestings and shows in different channels and countries. Among the films she was casted in are “Kung Ikaw ay Isang Panaginip” (2002), “I Love Dreamguyz” (2009), and “Kusina Kings” (2018). Martinez also had several guest appearances on Sharon Cuneta’s TV shows.
Throughout her career, Martinez remained grateful to Cuneta for helping change her life, having earned the “Megastar’s” blessing to use her image as a stand-up comic. “Sobra-sobra naman ang pasasalamat ko kay Mega. Talaga namang sinabi niya sa akin na ako ‘yung official impersonator niya. So love na love ko talaga si Mega until the end talaga.”
According to film producer Manny Valera, Martinez was always a big hit when performing in the late ’90s at Mr. Melody Comedy Bar in Quezon City.
“Her repertoire didn’t only focus on Sharon Cuneta songs but also excerpts from the musicals Miss Saigon, Dreamgirls, and many more. Kay galing, kay husay, at kay bait,” Valera wrote in a Facebook post.
Martinez died of liver cirrhosis at age 44.
Megastar Sharon Cuneta mourned the passing of her “favorite impersonator.”
“I love you and always will, my Ate Shawee, my Marvin. Maraming salamat sa pagmamahal, marespetong pagganap sa akin, at pagpapaligaya sa aming lahat. Mami-miss kita talaga.”
Martinez’ talent manager Freddie Bautista also paid tribute to her on Facebook, “Maraming-maraming salamat sa raket, bonding, at magagandang samahan. Ate Shawee, mami-miss ka namin.”
Actor and commercial model JC Alcantara remembers Martinez as one of the kindest and sweetest impersonators in the entertainment industry, “Sobrang bait niya at palagi kang patatawanin pag kasama mo siya at nakilala mo siya.”