Unlocking ‘Uncle’ Tom’s Cabin

CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

We gasped in suspense watching him grapple with his sexuality, caught between his wife (played by Carla Abellana) and his lover (Dennis Trillo) in the landmark GMA bromance My Husband’s Lover, which made him an overnight sensation. And now, night after night in My Destiny (also on GMA), we enjoy Tom Rodriguez’s flirtation with, again, Carla who is rumored to be his current real-life flame but which both of them deny with a guess-what’s-the-real-score-between-us smile.

Thus far, in talk shows and interviews, Tom has bared more of himself, wittingly or unwittingly, not just his soul but also his to die-for body (check out his Bench Underwear billboards). The Samar native has remained level-headed through it all, taking his work seriously even as he shrugs off the downside of showbiz.

His dimples add to his appeal, making him a virtual kuya or “uncle” to his fans. To know more about your “Uncle Tom,” Conversations put him through the “Who/What/Where/When/How” routine, which is one of this corner’s “broken series” (Body Talk, Sexy Talk, Complete the Sentence, Alphabet Game, etc.).


Who is your role model?

“My mom and dad. My mom is one of the strongest people I know and my dad has the best work ethic ever.”

Who is the biggest influence in your life?

“My dad. I’ve looked up to him ever since I was young. He is my hero.”

Who is the most important person in your life?

“My entire family. I can’t choose just one.”

Who do you run to when you have problems?

“My sister. Since I was a kid, she has been my voice of reason.”

Who were you before you joined showbiz?

“The same person I am now. Simpleng tao lang na simple ang hangarin sa buhay — ang sumaya at makapagpasaya ng iba.”


What’s the first thing that you did when you woke up this morning?

“Kissed my dog.”

What nasty habit do you want to overcome?

“I drink too much coffee.”

What makes you mad?


What makes you sad?


Fully dressed or barely dressed (also as Bench model), Tom is definitely an eye candy. ‘When was I last naked? This morning, in my bathroom.’

What’s the real score between you and Carla?

“She inspires me in many ways.”


Where are you most comfortable?

“Around loved ones.”

Where do you go to unwind?

“To my artwork. I find solace just sketching in my condo with my dog on my lap.”

Where is your Achilles’ Heel (sensitive part of your life, not of your body)?

“My family. I want the best for them.”

Where do you want to get married if and when?

“Anywhere I can make a home and when I have the means to do so, kapag nakapag-ipon na ako ng sapat para sa future family ko at nahanap ko na ang babae para sa akin.”

Where do you want to eventually settle down?

“Either sa States or dito sa Pilipinas.”


When did you lose “it”?

“When I was in high school.”

When did you realize that you are famous?

“I still don’t. I am blessed to have supporters and followers but I still don’t want to view it in the context of ‘fame.’ It’s an arbitrary concept.”

When were you last naked?

“In my bathroom…this morning.”

When was the last time you cried (over what)?

“Talking to my little brothers. Just happy tears seeing how grown they are now. I’m proud of them.”

When do you lose your temper and when are you in your best mood?

When someone I love is being hurt. And I’m in my best mood when there is peace and love all around.”


How can you tell that you are in love?

“When the very thought of the person making your heart swell to the point of bursting.”

How do you mend a broken heart (if you’ve ever been broken-hearted)?

“Though it’s hard, you step back and try to find the lesson in it all and just accept that it wasn’t meant to be and that’s okay.”

How do you deal with bashers?

“I don’t. There are real problems and atrocities going on in the world like war, genocide, calamities, etc. A few people who want to hurt you with words is nothing compared to those.”

How do you plan for your future?

“Always with God’s guidance. I keep short-term goals but keep an overall long-term goal as well.”

How different are you (in real life) from your screen persona?

“I’m just the same in interviews as I am when I am with friends. Makulit at masayahin.”

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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