We asked Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres what has changed since their unica hija Juliana turned 18 this month.
With a sigh, Ormoc City Mayor Richard said, "Wala! Ano na, e... fact of life na aabot talaga siya sa ganong edad. Next year, college na siya."
Meanwhile, we asked Leyte 4th District Representative Lucy if they imposed restrictions on their daughter.
She answered, “No naman. Kasi, I think,‘yung pagpapangaral mo sa bata, hindi mo naman ibinibigay na isang bugahan, e.
“All throughout her life, from the time she was little, until now that she’s 18. Every day, you live by example, and every day, there’s some wisdom to be had from your mother.
“So, I’d like to think na cumulatively... oo.”
We caught up with the couple at the opening of Richard's second exhibit titled When Evening Comes, at the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City last September 23.
We also had a chat with Juliana that day.
Asked if her parents started treating her differently now that she's of legal age, Juliana said nothing has changed.
“Wala nama pong nabago. Same rules,” she said.
Where will she go to college?
Her dad Richard said Juliana is choosing among UP Diliman, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila University.
The young lady has taken the UPCAT and ACET, but has yet to take the entrance exam for DLSU.
Which among the three universities is her first choice?
"Uhm, first choice ko po talaga, UP," Juliana said. "Kasi, galing UP ang parents ko. Lolo ko, nag-UP. Tita ko, nag-UP.
"A lot of my family members went to UP, so, I want to be able to continue that. But if something else is meant for me, then sure, why not?"
Richard threw in: Is it possible for Juliana to study in Ormoc?
“Naku, wala pang UP doon! Wala pang UP doon!” Juliana countered.
The nearest UP Campus in Ormoc would be UP Cebu.
Juliana revealed she has no plans of being on her own once she goes to college. Staying in a dorm or renting a condo unit near the university is not an option.
"Ay, hindi po!" she exclaimed. "Siyempre, I’m lucky enough to be able to go back and forth from the campus to the house.
"So if puwede naman po, I’ll take it na. I don’t want to be away from home."
Is she excited to go to college?
"Nininerbiyos po ako! As in! Nininerbiyos ako, kasi, bagong world yon, e.
"Naging sobrang komportable ako sa high school. Same people every year. 'Tapos, in college biglang... iba na yung friends mo. Parang a lot of change!"
Does she have high school friends who are also thinking of going to UP Diliman?
“Naku, wala po!” Juliana said. “Halos lahat, mag-a-abroad.”
Juliana added that she wants to take up Communication courses, and leaves it up to fate which school she will attend.
"Kung ano po yung meant for me. 'Tapos, kung saan po ako makakapasok sa varsity,” Juliana said, who has taken up volleyball as her sport.
The young lady turned shy when we asked her about boys.
“Wow!” she exclaimed. “Boys talaga? Hahaha! Wala akong masasabi diyan!
“Lahat naman, ano—friends. Wala akong balak magka-relationship. Kae-eighteen ko pa lang, enjoy ko muna iyon! Enjoy ko muna for myself!”
At her disco-themed debut party last September 8, she had a groovy dance number with Dad Richard.
Juliana said they didn't really rehearse for the said number.
“Hindi po. Mahilig lang po kaming sumayaw. Kaya mali-mali nga po yung mga steps namin, kasi, hindi yun rehearsed.”
We mentioned it was similar to what they did at the Piñahan festival in Ormoc last June.
She beamed, “Opo! Ganun! Buti nga, naging okay naman sa video. Sinundan lang po namin yung mga dancers.
“Sila po yung, 'Sige, gawin mo to, gawin mo ito! Ayun!”
And while Juliana knows ballroom dancing, it's not something she will take up soon.
"Nae-enjoy ko naman po siya, pero hindi po siya yung sineseryoso ko."