The longevity of Richard-Dawn team-up

LIVE FEED - Bibsy M. Carballo - The Philippine Star

Dawn Zulueta’s latest appearance on television is as the mother of Anne Curtis, the lead role in Dyesebel. Richard Gomez has been doing the rounds of TV guestings, one of which featured him with Sharon Cuneta on TV5, discussing their past partnering as well as romantic dalliance.

There was also a recent primetime series from ABS-CBN titled Walang Hanggan with both Richard and Dawn in the cast. Richard had returned to ABS-CBN after 10 years since his last teleserye Your Honor, a first Pinoy courtroom drama in 2001. Both Dawn and Richard have kept the presence felt by the public who doesn’t seem to mind watching them in adult married roles. Both are also married — Dawn to Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo Jr. and Richard to Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez.

We wondered what was the role of the love drama Hihintayin Kita sa Langit in their lives today, the film that made the public take notice of their immense screen presence together. In other words, bagay na bagay sila as lovers.

At a then press conference for Walang Hanggan, Dawn confessed they could have ended up together had Goma (Richard’s nickname) stayed faithful. Dawn had been quoted to saying, “We had the potential. But unfaithfulness takes a toll on the girl in any relationship. She doesn’t know where she stands. It’s possible that the guy loves her but can’t help himself. He probably doesn’t have emotional attachments to the girls he dates on the side. Still, that’s hard to accept. That was how I felt… It takes a certain kind of a woman, like Lucy… she has so much confidence to allow her husband to work with an ex. He’s so lucky,” Dawn said.

It is, nevertheless, difficult to ignore the fact that although both Goma and Dawn are in their 40s, the public always seems to move back the hands of time to return to Hihintayin Kita sa Langit, a romance-drama film released in 1991, produced by Armida Siguion-Reyna for Reyna Films and directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna. Hihintayin is a Philippine adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights, where the moors are transposed to the romantic beaches and ocean cliffs of Batanes. The ill-fated lovers are passionately played by Richard and Dawn, who, at the time of the movie’s release, were also involved in a real-life relationship.

Richard is Gabriel, who got picked off the streets at age 12 to become an adopted son of a rich clan. When Gabriel and Carmina (Dawn) grow up, the passion of their great love ends in tragedy. Hihintayin Kita won the FAMAS Best Film of 1992, and was viewed in the Vancouver International Film Festival. Moreover, the strong on-screen chemistry of Dawn and Richard was noted by critics. The effect of this on-screen/off-screen love affair sensationalized in the local press catapulted the actors into favorite stars for the season, and the island of Batanes into the best discovered romantic setting of the year.

The Manunuri noted that after a severe drought of quality films in Philippine movies, Hihintayin Kita sa Langit was well worth the wait. The script by Raquel Villavicencio, supported by acting of Dawn, Richard, Michael de Mesa, Jose Mari Avellana, Jackie Lou Blanco and Eric Quizon, plus the breathtaking cinematography of Romy Vitug, and the superb direction of Siguion-Reyna were certainly among the best in a long time.

There is no doubt of the role Hihintayin played in the longevity of Richard and Dawn as actors. There is no doubt either of the film’s role in popularizing Batanes as a destination which many others decry. But time goes by whether we like it or not. Richard and Dawn are no longer lovers and have their own lives to live. Batanes is no longer the hidden island with its pristine beauty.

(E-mail your comments to bibsy[email protected] or text them to 0917-8991835.)

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