Richard Gomez, Bench's image model for over 20 years, just laughs off the intrigues surrounding the recently concluded Blackout: The Bench Denim and Underwear Fashion Show held last July 25 at Araneta Coliseum.
Richard related to Allan Diones of Abante Tonite an anecdote about the top young actors-models
Piolo Pascual, Richard Gutierrez, and Dingdong Dantes.
"Nagkakagulo silang tatlo—si Piolo, si Dingdong, at saka si
Richard kung sino yung lalabas bago mag-finale," Richard said. "So, sabi ni Ben [Chan, owner of Bench], ‘Kung ganu'n na nagkakagulo kayo, tanggalin na yung
Richard also revealed that the trio indeed got booted from
the show but the managers of the three resumed talks with Mr. Chan. "Knowing
Ben na mabait, pinagbigyan naman," Richard remarked.
PIOLO'S ABSENCE. Richard also shed light on why Piolo
did not attend the fashion show. According to him, Piolo did not want to get
involved in the ruckus about who was going to go last in the fashion show, so he
opted not to join.
The good news is that the issue was resolved with Dingdong
getting the finale for the "Lesley Mobo" segment and younger Richard, the "Blackout"
ANNABELLE'S RANT. Annabelle Rama made a statement
about her not being too happy with what happened to son Richard during his
moment on the catwalk. Annabelle said that aside from Richard not having his own
video, the overhead TV also didn't flash his name—one of the reasons why the
audience was not able to "recognize" Richard and their not-so enthusiastic reaction to
"Wala talagang pangalan kahit sino, e!" Goma exclaimed when
he heard about Annabelle's statements. "Ako, hindi ko alam, ha? But ang
pagkakaalam ko lang, all the numbers were presented to them, how it will be
presented, doon sa mga meeting-meeting nila. In fact, during the rehearsal night,
nandun sila para makita nilang lahat. Actual rehearsal yun. Kung ako ang
tatanungin mo, dapat noon pa lang gabi [rehearsal] nakita mo na, nakorek mo
na if ever you wanted to make some changes."
GIMMICKS WORK. Goma, on his reaction on
Annabelle's rant about her son not getting any applause has this to say: "Who
are we to say na palakpakan n'yo ako o hindi? Who are we to blame? At saka pagdating talaga sa stage, pagdating sa modeling, lalo na yung mga big show na
ganun, mga gala, alam mo, kanya-kanyang gimik ‘yan!"
Stressing his point, Goma added that people on the catwalk
should create their own gimmicks to get noticed. "Ano'ng ginawa ni Jake [Cuenca] kaya napansin siya? Ano'ng ginawa nung isa [PBB housemate Kian Kazemi], naglagay ng
rose dun sa ano niya? Si Dingdong, what did he do? He took his time, tinanggal
niya yung pantalon niya nang dahn-dahan, nag-build ng excitement. Gimik
talaga!" he said.
FAIR ON BOTH SIDES. Goma, who watched both
Dingdong and Richard's performances on the catwalk, said that both had their
time onstage and both were alone. Goma also said that he was not going to
take sides since both Dingdong and Richard were good friends of his.
"Mas marami akong time with Richard, kasi nung bata pa
siya, kasama ni Tito Eddie [Gutierrez], kasama ni Tita Annabelle. Magkakaibigan
kami. And then some of his projects, si Douglas [Quijano, Goma's manager] ang
nagha-handle. So, parang he's part of our family also."
PASSING ON HIS CROWN. If ever the time comes for
Richard Gomez to pass on the ultimate Pinoy hunk or the Adonis of local
showbiz, whom will he give it to? Richard, Dingdong, or Piolo?
"Kahit kanino. To anybody deserving," Goma said to Allan. "Sa pogi
factor, lahat naman sila mga pogi, e! But I'm really happy for them. I'm happy
for Richard, Dingdong, even from the other station like Piolo, because he's
also a Bench member."
On a parting note, Richard said, "Lahat sila, naghirap,
nagtiyaga. Siyempre, hindi madaling sumikat, di ba? Ang mahirap is how to
sustain it, at i-maintain ‘yung popularity mo, eh!"