Richard Gomez always means business

!hola - MJ Marfori - The Philippine Star
Richard Gomez always means business

From showbiz, fatherhood, sports to YouTube and politics, there isn’t an endeavor where Richard Gomez, also known as Goma, doesn’t go full throttle.

Now that he’s a congressman, with a Monday-to-Wednesday office schedule, it was a rare occasion when he invited several members of the press, including yours truly, for a midday catch-up in Quezon City.

“Mas marami na akong oras ngayon! (I have more time now),” said Richard, who switched roles with wife Lucy Torres-Gomez, now Ormoc mayor. Goma held the position from 2016 to 2022. “Maganda talaga at mas maraming nagagawa kapag mag-partner iyong mayor at congressman ng isang lugar because you have the same goals for the town.”

Rep. Gomez (with wife, Ormoc Mayor Lucy Torres, and their daughter Juliana) will push for bills that benefit the entertainment industry, where he built a solid career before politics beckoned. One of these is House Bill No. 936 that intends to put up a National Arts Archives, while the other is House Bill No. 1428, which hopes to give incentives to artists and creatives who compete in international filmfests.

Going back to his present work, Goma’s first two bills are for the entertainment industry, one of which is House Bill No. 936.

“In layman’s term, gusto ko mag put up ng National Arts Archives kasi sayang iyong mga pelikulang nagawa noong unang panahon and I remember doon sa time na pumunta ako ng Quiapo, iyong bumili ako ng torotot for New Year, pagbukas ko nung torotot (anduon) yong mga negative ng film. Sayang talaga,” he said.

“These materials are of historical value and of cultural value, so kailangan talaga itago at kung hindi natin natago iyan, mawawala na iyan permanently. So ayan film recordings, whether (they are in) VHS form or betacam form, we have to keep an archive, especially doon sa mga hindi malalaking producers.

“Mga established studios, they have their own archive, pero iyong mga maliliit na studio sometimes kapag wala na sila, tinatabi na lang nila iyong mga stocks at sayang. So I’m hoping na pumasa iyong bill,” Goma continued.

Next is the House Bill No. 1428, which hopes to give cash incentives and non-monetary benefits to artists and creatives, who compete in film festivals abroad. It will take at least a year for review before the bills will come into fruition. There’s no guarantee it will and these are the adjustments Goma has to make now.

“Pinaka frustration ko dahil galing ako sa local government, mas mabagal lang iyong procedure at proseso ng Congress kasi mahaba at marami pinag-uusapan,” he shared.

“Unlike sa pagka-mayor, kapag may kailangan ako ayusin, like kunwari tanggalin mo nga iyang poste na iyan, mamayang hapon wala na iyong poste. Nagtanim ka nga ng puno rito mga lima, mamayang hapon andoon na iyong mga puno! Ganoon ka bilis! Unlike in Congress, swerte na isang taon!”

Just to reiterate to people, who do not know this yet since Goma is shadowed by his outstanding career in showbiz and being one of the original heartthrobs, Rep. Gomez was recognized as an Outstanding Student of the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1993. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Perpetual Help, and is pursuing graduate studies at the Film School of Continuing Education of the New York University. He also earned his doctorate degree in Public Administration from the Cebu Technological University in 2019.

It seems like Richard and Lucy’s tandem and career in politics have also rubbed off on their only child Juliana. Right now, she is a staff member of Richard in Congress and hands-on with the bills that her dad wants to file. Goma even shared how reliable her daughter is as a runner.

“Madali lang. ‘Juliana, do this, ha? I-research mo ‘to.’ Si Juliana, she’s a leader by herself, ‘no? Kasi, nakikita ko sa group of friends niya, e. Nakikita ko, siya ang nagtitipon sa mga kaibigan niya. She’s an achiever.

“Sa sports naman, ayaw niyang natatalo siya. Training siya nang training. Gusto niya, nananalo,” said Richard, who always reminds Juliana about possible outcomes of sports training. “Sabi ko, ‘It doesn’t mean na pag nag-te-training ka, ikaw lagi ang mananalo.’ Maraming magaling na kailangan mong pag-aralan.”

Meanwhile, Richard had a thing to say about the SONA meme of him with former nemesis and fellow showbiz heartthrob Robin Padilla, who is now a senator.

“Siyempre, noong kabataan namin ni Robin, mainit ang mga dugo namin, e!” he recalled. “Alam mo, noong bata kami, ‘Hindi, mas pogi ako sa ‘yo!’ ‘Hindi, mas pogi ako sa’yo,’ ganun.

“Pero ngayon na mature na kami, and mga public servant kami, then, we talk about what good we can do for the country. And then, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Natutuwa ako na nanalo tayong pareho! So, let’s work together,’ di ba?”


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