Parent Act

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What struck Richard Gomez about fatherhood was how simple it could actually be. It seems that becoming a dad to his first and only child is something he effortlessly added to the roster of roles he’s played since he became a fixture in the film and television scene in the ‘90s. The actor, athlete and politician and his daughter Juliana’s bonding moments (usually sports-related) have always frequented headlines and advertisements. The thing about Richard and Juliana—what makes them almost a kind of poster duo for the father-daughter relationship—is how they never seem to overplay their roles or milk the public for attention.

Both admit to sharing a simple sensibility, to believing that “nothing should ever be complicated.” Nowadays, the self-professed quiet people (“We enjoy each other’s silences,” said Juliana) are both busy with their respective routines—Richard as a mayor for Ormoc City and Juliana as an incoming college freshman.

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What’s something about fatherhood that you thought you’d experience, but didn’t?

Richard: I didn’t have to go through the usual headaches, the pains of growing up. My parenting style is very easy, very relaxed; my rules are very plain and simple. I know that she’s a very independent person and I just tell her to never do things na makukulong siya or ma-oospital [siya]. Those are the basic rules.

What are the lessons you learned from politics and showbiz that you bring into fatherhood?

Richard: It became more difficult, actually. I had lesser time with Juliana when I became mayor, so it’s a good thing that our foundation is very strong. I’m always in Ormoc and I’d come home [to Manila] only on weekends, so that’s the only time I see her. It’s not easy to always be away from home especially given Juliana’s age now. It’s a good thing that Lucy is based in Manila and she’s the one taking care of Juliana most of the time.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to new fathers?

Richard: Spend as much time with them as you can. Especially when they’re growing up. Hold on to them as much as possible. There’s nothing more worth it than being with your child.

How are you planning to celebrate Father’s Day?

Juliana: It’s not really a big thing in our household. In the same way that Mother’s Day isn’t a big deal also. I don’t know.. we celebrate that every day when we’re together anyway.

What sports do you bond over?

Juliana: Volleyball. He played volleyball before and it’s my sport now so we talk about it a lot. A lot of the sports he played, I also played.

Can you define your personal style?

Juliana: My dad and I are really into athleisure. When we travel, especially, we buy a lot of

athleisure. If there’s an Adidas or Lululemon, I go crazy.

What do you and Juliana love to do in an SM mall?

Richard: I love going to the grocery, so whenever I go there, she joins me. When we

travel abroad, the first thing that we go to is a grocery, always.


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