Tom Rodriguez recalls how he almost quit showbiz: “Na-frustrate na ako...I was jobless, I had debts to pay, parang wala na talaga."

Tom Rodriguez recalls his struggles prior to bagging his breakthrough role in My Husband's Lover: “I haven’t told this to a lot of people, pero I want to share that I really went through so many challenges in my life. There was a time na wala akong trabaho talaga. I had guest roles here and there, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me. Marami akong gastusin. Marami akong utang.”


Naging emosyunal ang Kapuso leading man na si Tom Rodriguez nang magkuwento ito tungkol sa mga pinagdaanan niyang hirap bago siya nabigyan ng malaking break ng GMA-7.

Hindi napigilan ng aktor na maluha noong nagbalik-tanaw siya sa mga panahong wala siyang trabaho at unti-unti nang nauubos ang kanyang ipon.

“I haven’t told this to a lot of people pero, I want to share that I really went through so many challenges in my life.

“There was a time na wala akong trabaho talaga. I had guest roles here and there, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me.

“Marami akong gastusin. Marami akong utang.

“I was also paying rent sa tinitirhan ko.

“Kung wala akong makuhang trabaho, paano ko mababayaran ang tinitirhan ko?

"I would be homeless,” kuwento ni Tom nang nakapanayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa press launch ng Marimar noong nakaraang August 17, sa Studio 7 ng GMA Annex Building.

Naikuwento rin ni Tom ang pagbisita ng kanyang ate sa Pilipinas noon at ang reaksiyon nito noong nakita ang sitwasyon niya.

“Naawa yung sister ko sa akin. She knew that I was struggling.

“Naka-survive ako with the help of my family. Kung wala sila, hindi ko alam kung ano ang mangyayari sa akin,” aniya.

ON THE BRINK OF QUITTING. Noong umuwi si Tom sa U.S. para bisitahin ang kanyang pamilya, inisip daw niyang huwag nang bumalik sa Pilipinas dahil dismayado siya sa naging takbo ng career niya.

Pagbabalik-tanaw ni Tom, “When I was in the States, I thought of not coming back anymore.

“Na-frustrate na ako sa showbiz. Hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko talaga.

“I was jobless, I had debts to pay, parang wala na talaga.

“Then I thought of calling up Popoy [Caritativo, his manager]. I remember him telling me that he can help me get back on my feet again.

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“Sinabi niya na huwag muna akong gumawa ng any final decision kasi may nakikita siyang magandang mangyayari sa career ko.

“Yun ay kung gusto ko pang ituloy ang career ko sa Pilipinas. If nothing works out, then I can decide on leaving and staying in the U.S. for good.”

UNEXPECTED BLESSING. Pagkauwi ni Tom mula sa U.S. ay mabilis na pinapirma ito ng GMA-7 para sa isang exclusive contract.

Saka niya nakuha ang sinasabing “biggest role of his career” sa breakthrough teleserye na My Husband’s Lover noong 2013.

Dagdag niya, “Doing My Husband’s Lover changed so many things in my life.

“Sa teleserye na ‘yan ako mas nakilala ng marami at doon nila nakitang marunong pala akong mag-Tagalog at umarte.

“That is why I am forever grateful to GMA-7 kasi nagtiwala sila sa akin.

“Kahit na alam nilang galing ako sa isang reality show [Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up in 2009] sa kabilang channel, still, hindi sila nagdalawang-isip na papirmahin ako ng kontrata.

“It was a blessing that I was able to know my manager Popoy, because if it wasn’t for his encouragement, malamang wala na ako sa showbiz, and I am working nine to five in an office in the U.S.”

Ngayon ay isa na namang malaking teleserye, ang muling pagbabalik ng Marimar, ang pinagkatiwala kay Tom kunsaan kasama niya si Miss World 2013 Megan Young.

REPRISING DINGDONG'S PORTRAYAL. Pinaghandaan daw niya nang husto ang role ni Sergio Santibañez, na unang ginampanan ni Dingdong Dantes sa unang Marimar remake noong 2007.

Dasal ni Tom na kung paano raw minahal ng marami si Dingdong bilang Sergio noon, sana ay mahalin siya bilang bagong Sergio.

“It is truly an iconic role at hindi ko maiaalis ‘yan sa isipan ng maraming tao kasi si Dingdong Dantes ang unang gumanap nito sa TV.

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“But I want them to give me a chance—bigyan naman nila ako ng pansin bilang ang bagong Sergio.

“Itong Marimar namin ay iba ang takbo ng istorya as compared sa unang Marimar nila Marian Rivera at Dingdong.

“Pero yung plot na true love against all odds ay nandito pa rin.”

GETTING IN SHAPE FOR NEW ROLE. Inaabangan ng maraming fans ni Tom ang pagpapakita ng kakisigan ng katawan niya sa Marimar.

Sinigurado ng aktor na maa-appreciate ng marami ang pangangatawan niya bilang Sergio.

“Iniba namin ng aking trainer ang workout ko.

“Gusto namin na kahit na well-toned ang mga abs at muscles ko, mukha pa rin akong healthy at hindi mukhang haggard.

“Yung naging training ko kasi when I did Bench [fashion show], nabigla ang katawan ko that time.

“Na-pressure ako kasi na pumayat ako agad just in time for the show.

“I only had like two weeks to prepare kasi kaya nabigla ang buong katawan ko.

“Kaya ako nagkasakit. Tumaas ang blood pressure ko and I had to be taken to the hospital.

“That time kasi, I was also busy hosting the game show Don’t Lose The Money and I had a teleserye, yung My Destiny.

“Kaya sobra akong napagod plus nag-training pa ako kaya naospital ako.

“Ngayon, mas tinama na namin ang workout and we made sure na hindi ako yung nagutuman.

“I can eat anything basta hindi masyadong marami.

“Unlike noon na I have to eat kamote lang. Iba ang naging effect sa katawan ko. Ayoko nang dumaan sa gano’n.

“Now, I feel healthier and much better for my role as Sergio Santibañez.”


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