Politics, the pandemic, the city of Ormoc, family, and of course, the forever beckoning of the entertainment industry, are the constant preoccupations of the power couple and showbiz royalties, Richard and Lucy Torres-Gomez.
The Gomezes hold key political positions in their beloved Ormoc, Richard serves as its present mayor while Mrs. Lucy Marie is on her last term as Congresswoman.
With the next national election just around the corner, Lucy expresses her nearest future political plans: “Nothing is definite yet. I have my options but nothing is cast in stone. Our main concern is keeping Ormoc and the district safe.”
“What we are currently doing for the betterment of Ormoc, especially these trying times, I hope that it will not be misconstrued as we are planning to run for a higher position in government. Of course, it is possible that my husband may run for Congress next year. But nothing is certain as of the moment,” she carries on.
“What we do now is to honor the work that is with us. This is not part of a plan or a road map. We don't intend to make politics a career. This is not pre-planned. Whatever will come our way, we will just go with the flow but we don't want to be driven by a dream or a grand ambition,” adds the lovely Mrs. Gomez.
On the other hand, the Gomez patriarch is currently super hands-on in keeping Ormoc City COVID-19 free.
“We try to keep the infection low by telling people to wear masks and face shields. We have policemen who patrol 24 hours to remind everyone to wear their masks and face shields.”
Admits the forever heartthrob-looking mayor: “We know that all our efforts will not please everybody. Our best will never be good enough. There will always be some people who will choose to see it the other way. Even if we know what we did is right, some people will still have things to say otherwise. We don't mind them but we just continue with the work that has to be done.”
The pandemic, for the Gomezes, made their small family closer than ever. In their home, Lucy puts her creativity to great use by rearranging their kitchen and rooms, gardening, marathon conversations with her husband and daughter Juliana, and watching on YouTube her former dance shows.
Gomez, on the other hand, keeps his hands busy with pets that include chickens, ducks, goats a pig named Hamlet, and an occasional surprise visitor, a monitor lizard! He is also doing a vlog that features his cooking skills and love for Filipino delicacies. Shares the home-chef: “Mas maraming nanonood at nag-sha-share ng vlogs when I feature Pinoy staple dishes rather than the fancy ones. The response to my vlogs inspires me.”
Will he ever appear on a TV show or movie soon? Gomez’s quick reply: “I spent more time of my life in showbiz than in politics. I will never forget showbiz although my job as a mayor keeps me busy and prevents me from doing movies even if I want to. The last movie I did was with Sharon Cuneta) which was shot here in Ormoc. If there will be an offer, I hope they will also be willing to shoot here in our place. I love doing romantic dramas. Some of my favorite movies are Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit and The Love Affair, kung saan I am paired with Dawn Zulueta. Also in my top tier is Dahas with Maricel Soriano kasi it was a totally different bad boy character.”
Admittedly, Lucy is a Richard Gomez-Dawn Zulueta fan: “When the restored version of Hihintayin Kita Langit, my daughter and I watched it together. We cried buckets, She was surprised how good that movie is and yes, dun ako unang nagka-crush kay Richard.”
Juliana, who is a maiden of 20 springs, is all woman now. Beaming with pride parents are happy that she does well in her public administration studies. They share some special moments with her unica hija.
“We fence together,” says Richard. “She is part of the Philippine fencing team and ang sarap sa pakiramdam to play with her, to teach her. But I dare not coach her. Hayaan ko na lang ang isang professional coach to guide and harness her fencing potentials.”
“I asked her once if she is lonely that she is an only child,” mommy dearest Lucy reveals. “You know what she did, she brought me to her bathroom and showed me 11 other toothbrushes there. Gamit of her friends who from time to time, sleep in her room at sa amin nagstay. And sila ang parang other sisters ni Juliana.”
The only daughter is also being courted now. Richard wants suitors of her daughter to visit their home and do the wooing the traditional way.
He says: “Lucy just turned 23 when I married her, and now Juliana is in her twenties. Time flies so fast. I hope she does not tie the knot yet when she reaches her mom‘s marrying age.”
To this, Lucy divulges: “When we attend weddings, 'pag father and daughter dance na, I whisper to him: Can you imagine si Juliana 'yan? Hala, tulo na ang luha n’yan! And then he will look up to heaven and say, ‘God, no not yet!”
To the cynical and jaded, the love and romance of the Gomezes, Richard and Lucy are proof positive that yes, true love is indeed forever. And for it to thrive and go better with age, commitment, communication, friendship, honesty, trust, time well spent, and working the promise of to have and to hold, for richer and for poorer, and till death do us part, are not only keys, but essential.