The recently concluded Bench denim and underwear fashionshow, Blackout, is creating so much buzz, not so much because of the event per se, butbecause of the controversies surrounding it. The most talked about is thecomplaint of Richard Gutierrez's mother and manager, Annabelle Rama, on whatshe called "unfair" exposure of her son and other talents in Blackout.
This came about after reports that another Kapuso hunk,Dingdong Dantes, got the louder cheers and applause than Richard. Known fordefending her family to death, Annabelle spoke her mind.
In an interview with Dinno Erece that came out here in PEP(Philippine Entertainment Portal) last Monday, July 28, Annabelle said: "Sananaglagay sila ng mga names na lumalabas para alam ng tao. Tanungan nangtanungan, ‘Sino ‘yan?' sabi ni Dr. [Vicky] Belo, ‘she's pretty.' Si BubblesParaiso na pala yung tinatanong niya. Si Nitz [Miralles, PEP contributor]nagtanong pa sa kasamahan niya kung si Richard na ba yun. Nasa malapit na silang stage, ha, paano pa yung nasa bleacher?
"Unfair talaga ang ginawa sa kanya," she continued."Paano mo naman makuku-compare si Richard sa iba? Hindi naman siyanaghubad, hindi nagpakita ng briefs? Hindi niya ito kailangan. Pati ba namankasi ito pag-uusapan pa?
"Si Richard, pagod na pagod, galing pa sa Greece peronagpunta ng rehearsal nang walang reklamo at nag-stay siya talaga doon ng apatna oras. Wala naman siyang bayad dito. Wala namang bayad ang mga artista peroginawa pa rin nila, sana binigyan na lang sila ng konting importansiya, hindilang si Richard." (Click here to read related article.)
In a separate interview even before the start of Blackout,Bench owner Mr. Ben Chan shrugged off insinuations that there was favoritismamong the countless Bench celebrity endorsers who would walk the ramp.
"All of them had their moment. So, there's nothing thatyou can...walang favoritism, nothing like that. So far, all of them naman arevery cooperative," said Mr. Chan. (Click here to read related article.)
RICHARD SPEAKS UP. In his column in Abante Tonite that came out today, July 30,Allan Diones was able to get Richard's side about the reaction of his motherregarding his "unfair exposure" in Blackout.
According to the Codename: Asero star, he was the last toknow about the reaction of his mom.
"Ngayon ko lang nalaman na nag-react pala siya," saidRichard, who was taping Asero when he was interviewed by Allan last July 28. "E,siguro, coming from a manager's point of view and siyempre nanay ko pa siya,siyempre emotional siya.
"Emotional lang naman siya and kung anuman yung sinabi ni Mommy, well, ayoko naring palakihin. Kasi, naging emotional siya that night. Siguro, merong mgabagay na unhappy siya about the show. E, hindi naman natin maiiwasan ‘yon,siyempre minsan, nagkakaroon ng mga problema sa events na ganyan. On my side, Iwas proud of the show, I was proud of what I did, I'm proud to be part ofBench.
"And sa akin, okey lang naman. Pero siyempre, sa nanay ko, that's her opinionand naging emotional lang talaga siya, feeling ko. I think she is justprotecting not only me, but also her other talents. Kasi marami kaming talentsniya na nandun, na part of the show. So siyempre, may mga alaga siyangnandun, naging emotional lang siya," explained Richard.
Allan also mentioned to Richard about his mother's decisionnot to allow him again to join the next Bench fashion show after what happened.
"Talaga? Sinabi niya? Ah, ‘yan ang hindi ko alam," saidRichard.
Despite everything, Richard insisted that hisrelationship with the Bench people is still okay.
"Oo naman. Actually, before the fashion show even started,nagkakaroon na rin ng conflicts and issues. Kasi siyempre, hindi mo maiiwasan‘yon dahil ang daming artista sa Bench. Alam mo ‘yon?
"Naiintindihan ko naman na siyempre, gusto rin nilang bigyanng spotlight yung mga bagong sali o kung sinuman yung dapat bigyan nghighlight. Naintindihan ko naman din ‘yon. I mean, coming from a businessman'spoint of view, naintindihan ko rin ‘yon.
"Pero yung confirmation na hindi na ako rarampa ulit, yun ang hindi ko masasabias early as now. I mean, as early as now, ayoko ring magbigay ng final word.Siyempre, emotional lang si Mommy. Fresh pa kung anuman yung naramdaman niya.Pero eventually, magpapakumbaba rin si Mommy," assured Richard.
RIVALRY WITH DINGDONG. Allan also asked Richard about his rival, Dingdong Dantes.Do they have a problem with each other?
"Wala, wala," denied Richard. "Kami ni Dong, wala kamingpersonal [na away]. Actually, binati ko pa siya sa backstage bago siya lumabas.I said good luck to him. And after the show, I said congratulations.
"I'm okay with him. I mean, kami ni Dong, we go way back.Even before we had this rivalry, magkaibigan na kami. And now that we have thisrivalry, I guess it's good for us, di ba? It's more on professional [level]. I mean,maganda nga yun, e, nagiging makulay yung industriya, nagiging exciting. So,let's keep it that way. Masaya na may competition. Ako, masaya ako."
Richard also said that whoever gotthe loudest screams and applause is not an issue for him.
"Kung anong meron siya, masaya ako para sa kanya. Sana, ganundin siya sa akin,di ba?"
NO TO GIMMICKS. The young actor also said he did not need to resort to gimmicksjust to get more attention, like taking his pants down or wearing briefs.
"Hindi ko pa naman kailangan. I mean, masaya ako sa ginawako. Masaya ako na binigyan ako ng opportunity ng Bench. Ginawa nila akongfinale. Siguro, dahil matagal na rinako sa kanila. I mean, I grew up with them. It's been a long journey also beingpart of Bench. So, I'm okay with that. I'm okay na ginawa nila akong finale, nabinigyan nila ako ng sarili kong time. I'm good with that," said Richard to Abante Tonite.
Richard has been with Bench family for almost seven yearsnow, and Blackout was his third denim and underwear fashion show. He is nowjust waiting for his mom to calm down before talking to her.
"Nag-uusap kami nang maayos ni mommy at nakikinig naman siyasa akin. Minsan lang talaga, nauunahan niya ng reaction bago niya ako kausapin.Pero ganun talaga, e. Kasi nanay ko siya, siyempre!" Richard said with a laugh.