Juliana Gomez chooses to celebrate her 18th birthday on September 8, 2018, without the usual frills of a traditional debut.
"Walang cotillion," her dad Mayor Richard Gomez told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) yesterday, June 24, at Mimay’s Seafood House in Ormoc.
Juliana seconded, “Wala talaga!”
Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez respects her daughter's decision.
"She doesn’t want a traditional na parang cotillion, gano’n. I’m sure, there will be a program of sorts.
"Usually, during our generation, ha, pag debut, parang wala ka namang say masyado, e. Because there are musts—you must have ano...
"I wanted her to have the kind of party that she wants to have. After all, it’s her birthday."
Juliana's idea of a celebration, according to her mom, is a "party where she and her friends can have fun."
More importantly, "Walang pressure na they must do this, they must do that," said Lucy.
NEVER NAGLUPASAY. So far, Juliana has not given her parents any headache.
Lucy remarked, "She’s an easy child. She’s always been an easy child naman. Ahhh... even no’ng bata siya.
"Parang...if I go to a store, I never had that nightmare na yung maglulupasay dahil gusto ng toy."
One mommy tip from Lucy was to set a limit on the number of toys.
The politician-host continued, "Kasi bata pa siya, sinanay namin siya na...we brought her to Toy Kingdom, batang-bata pa siya, and we told her, ‘Juliana, you can have any toy you want, but only one, so choose well.’
"Nasanay siya sa gano’n."
Juliana may be shy, but she does not turn down people who wish to have a picture with her.
"Mahiyain pa rin 'yan," a smiling Lucy said.
"Mahiyain pa rin 'yan, but she’s comfortable with people familiar to her. She grew up with these faces," referring to their kababayan in Ormoc.
Lucy recounted that her unica hija's first playmate was Douglas Quijano, the late manager of Richard.
"Ang unang playmate yata niya, si Tito Dougs, di ba? So, kilala niya sina Pilar Mateo [entertainment writer].
"But I remember nung medyo malaki na siya, maybe that’s why she’s adult in her ways and in her thinking, she never grew up naman with little people, e.
"Kasi puros...wala naman siyang mga kapatid, di ba?"
Laughing, Lucy revealed that her usually-quiet daughter actually listened to the conversations of her parents and their celebrity friends such as John Estrada.
"So sabi niya, 'You know, mama, when I was growing up, I learned to master the art of pretending not to understand what you’re talking about.'
"Kasi raw, andiyan kami lahat, and then, si John, magkukuwento ng mga escapade niya, and then, sabi niya, 'I had to pretend, mama, that I didn’t understand yung mga binabaliktad na words.'
"Nakagano’n lang siya sa phone so pag nagtawanan daw kami, gano’n lang daw siya. Kunwari, di niya naintindihan.
"Pero naiintindihan daw niya lahat.
"And sabi niya, ‘Naaalala ko pa lahat ng kalokohan ni Ninong John, mama.’"
At the time, John and his then-wife Janice de Belen were already separated.