Nagpatawag si Annabelle Rama through publicist Jun Lalin ng isang mini-presscon para sa bagong alaga ng ina nina Ruffa, Richard, at Raymond Gutierrez—ang Kapamilya actor na si TJ Trinidad.
Pagdating sa venue sa isang bagong bukas na cake and coffee house sa Tomas Morato, ang unang katanungan palagi sa one-fourth Spanish, one-fourth Norwegian, and one-half Filipino brown-eyed looker, kung magiging Kapuso na ba siya. Very identified kasi ang bago niyang manager sa GMA-7.
"I don't know, pag-uusapan pa namin ito ni Ate [tawag ni TJ kay Annabelle]," sagot ni TJ but he hopes to stay a Kapamilya.
Raul "TJ" Trinidad Jr. (the TJ stands for Trinidad Jr.) led a charmed life even before he entered showbiz. The youngest son of a retired pilot, TJ finished high school at Colegio San Agustin and his B.S. in Commerce at De La Salle University.
He has been a commercial model since 1986, starting with San Miguel and Close-Up but it was only in 2003 that he entered showbiz as Judy Ann Santos's other leading man in the ABS-CBN soap opera Basta't Kasama Kita with Robin Padilla. Their team-up was successful enough to warrant a second soap (Krystala) and a movie (Aishite Imasu 1942) until Ryan Agoncillo entered the picture. And so, TJ was paired with Kristine Hermosa in Gulong ng Palad, with a reunion soap in Prinsesa ng Banyera.
Although low-key, TJ is fortunate enough to be paired with the biggest leading ladies of ABS-CBN from Juday and Kristine to Claudine Barretto (Walang Kapalit) and Heart Evangelista (Hiram Na Mukha).
For the past four years, he has been handled by former manager June Rufino.
Why did he change his manager?
"I feel I needed a change. We [he and June] parted well, wala namang naging problema," paniniguro ni TJ.
Kung may balita raw na hindi sila ayos ni June, he knows na sa kanilang dalawa, the parting was amicable.
Why Annabelle Rama?
"Long-time friend ko na sila, from Tito Eddie [Gutierrez, Annabelle's husband] pa. Si Richard ka-boxing ko sa The Fort. Me and June parted muna before I spoke with Ate, so walang problema sa kanilang dalawa."
Back to the original question, it was Annabelle who answered kung ililipat niya ba si TJ sa GMA.
"Pag-uusapan pa ang lahat," sagot ni Annabelle. "Pero sa tingin ko naman, kung hindi kailangan, huwag na. Ang gaganda ng projects na ibinibigay ng ABS kay TJ, ang lalaki ng mga naka-partner niya. May meeting pa kami next week sa ABS, doon ko pa lang malalaman kung ano ang balak nila kay TJ. Pero sa tingin ko, meron pa."
Dagdag naman ni TJ, "I feel I am a Kapamilya talaga. I started my career there. I'm not closing my doors to GMA though."
Annabelle and TJ's first project as manager-talent is the upcoming Star Cinema movie of Richard and KC Concepcion, For The First Time. Ang last project naman ni TJ for June is the pilot episode of Love Books sa TV5 na "Have Baby Will Date" with Valerie Concepcion.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked TJ two last questions. Halos nakapareha na niya ang biggest leading ladies of ABS-CBN, sino pa ang gusto niyang maka-partner sa Kapamilya? At kung sakaling malipat siya sa GMA-7, sino ang gusto niyang maka-partner?"Si Bea [Alonzo]. Hindi pa kami nagkakatrabaho kahit guesting lang," sabi ni TJ. "Sa GMA, siguro si Marian [Rivera]. I've worked with her sa Desperadas and we were able to talk. Wala siyang ere, mabait, friendly pero prangka. Yun ang gusto ko sa isang tao, e, hindi plastic."