Richard looks forward to his encounter with Coco
Richard Gutierrez (with Coco Martin and Yassi Pressman) adds excitement as the new cast member of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano
ABS-CBN
Richard looks forward to his encounter with Coco
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2020 - 12:00am

Until he was fully identified, Richard Gutierrez was simply billed as “Richard G” in the teaser for the resumption of the ABS-CBN series FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano now airing on Kapamilya Channel. Could he be, uhm, Richard Gomez (who is too busy with his obligation as Ormoc City Mayor to spare time for showbiz)?

Just when the guessing game was heating up, it was revealed that the “G” stands for Gutierrez.

As the newest addition to the cast of the action series originally set to end in September (but due to the nearly four-month rude interruption, it might be extended until December), Richard plays Lito, a wealthy businessman revealed to be the childhood friend and former sweetheart of Alyanna (Yassi Pressman), the wife of policeman Cardo (Coco Martin). The couple retreats to the town where Alyanna grew up to escape from the wrath of Lily (Lorna Tolentino) who has declared a “kill order” on Cardo and his men. That’s where Lito and Alyanna cross paths, and Alyanna learns that all along, Lito has been helping her relatives including the renovation of her childhood house.
 

With wife Sarah Lahbati and their sons Zion (seven years old) and Kai (two): In close touch with family even while locked in on the set.
Photo from Sarah Lahbati's Instagram

“As of now, mabait ang dating ng character ko,” Richard told Funfare, “but it’s a trap for Cardo. Eventually, Lito will create trouble in Alyanna and Cardo’s marriage.”

Oops! That’s going ahead of the story.

“What I am looking forward to is my encounter with Coco,” said Richard. “Dapat abangan ang paghaharap nina Lito at Cardo.”

An action star in his own right, Richard has had rigid training in martial arts and other skills (firing a gun, etc.) for his previous physically-challenging starrers (among them as the titular role in the nth reboot of the FPJ classic Ang Panday).

“I am excited to use those skills again,” he threatened.

Like the rest of the cast (and crew), Richard is locked in on the set during the shoot. They undergo swab testing (must be negative) and observe protocols (wearing face mask, face shields) and social distancing between takes. Richard stays in a room by himself and reports to the set fully prepared.

“What are in my bag?” asked Richard. “Multi-vitamins, lots of Vitamin C, zinc. I also had a flu vaccine and I brought along dumb bells, gym equipment and a stationary bike. I exercise in my room to strengthen my immune system.”

Richard shot for 12 days during the three-week shoot, taking breaks to be with wife Sarah Lahbati and their sons Zion (seven years old) and Kai (two). Otherwise, while on the set, he does Skype with the kids and sends them videos.

“You know what’s good about this quarantine? It makes our family closer, at naging closer din sina Zion at Kai. We guide them in online education, with Sarah as teacher at ako backup lang.”

The quarantine has also given them time for a honeymoon after their civil wedding (with strictly only family members in attendance) last March 14, three days before the lockdown, in lieu of what was touted to have been “the biggest wedding of the decade” (with Pres. DU30 heading the glittering roster of principal sponsors) that was promptly cancelled and postponed to next year.

“Technically,” clarified Richard, “it was not a honeymoon pero ganoon na rin ang dating.”

Will Zion and Kai have a new playmate...soon?

“Not now,” said Richard, adding, “but we’ll see.”

Ronnie helps Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI

Already awarded by the military for being the only actor army reservist who served as a frontliner, Ronnie Liang continues to perform duties he was sworn in for, especially during the pandemic.

Ronnie Liang continues to perform duties as army reservist during the pandemic.

Moved by the plight of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI) at the Rizal Stadium and Army Gymnasium, Ronnie has provided free plane tickets. “Sa abot ng aking makakaya gusto kong makatulong maski sa iilan lang,” said Ronnie. “Bilang isang Pilipino at army reservist hindi maaring wala akong gawin.”
He encourages everyone to unite despite the differences to help those who are badly hit by this pandemic.

“A small act of kindness can make a big difference. We can overcome this crisis if we join hands.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

RICHARD GUITIEREZ
Philstar
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