The Renaissance Man: Richard Gomez

The Renaissance Man: Richard Gomez


From athlete to actor to politician, Richard Gomez tries to master it all.

Related: Richard Gomez Says That the Days of Machismo Are Over

This is an excerpt from MEGA Man’s September 2022 cover story.

One of the most iconic scenes in Philippine TV commercials first aired in 1990. A young Richard Gomez can be seen rowing a boat over tranquil waters to the tune of Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” He was wearing a white tank top emblazoned with the word Bench, then a start-up Filipino retail brand, across his chest. Suffice to say, the ad catapulted Bench to becoming a household name, and as for Gomez, it pushed him further into a long career of gracing screens as the country’s Renaissance man.

Plaid Suit and Trousers by PAULO LAZARO, Black T-shirt by BENCH

At that time, Gomez was part of a sitcom, Palibhasa Lalake, which started in 1987 and aired for 11 years. “When I first took on the project, the owner of the brand [Ben Chan] did not really know who Richard Gomez was at the time,” Gomez tells MEGA Man. “They were getting me maybe as someone who represented the image they wanted for the clothes.” The commercial not only won awards during the Advertising Congress in 1991, but it also proved the strong appeal and selling power of one Richard Gomez.


Gomez started his career in show business in the mid-’80s. While working at a fast-food chain, he was spotted by someone who would later become his manager. This led to roles in both the silver screen and television. By the end of the decade, his career was on a high, entering the ’90s—the era of leading actors and matinee idols—as one of the most recognizable faces in the business. It was a different, pre-social media time. Those were the days when devotion to a particular actor meant so much more than engaging in comment wars or liking someone’s photo on a social media app—when fans made a lot of effort for actors who were adored from a distance.

Logo tank top by BENCH/, Beige trousers by PAULO LAZARO

But more than being an award-winning actor, Gomez wears quite a lot of different hats. First, as a family man. Gomez is husband to current Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez and father to Juliana, who’s currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in public administration at the University of the Philippines. As an athlete, he was able to bring home one bronze medal in 1995, two silver medals in 1997, another silver medal in 2001, a gold medal in 2003, and another gold medal in 2005—all for fencing. He also won one gold medal and one silver medal during the 2015 Asian Masters Championship.

Beige coat and trousers by PAULO LAZARO, White shirt by RYAN CHRIS

He is also into politics, having served as mayor of Ormoc in 2016 and re-elected the following elections. He is currently a first-time congressman for the fourth district of Leyte. He paints, he cooks, and he shares his recipes and cooking techniques through his YouTube channel, Goma at Home.

“Everything I do, whether as a student, or an athlete, or a father, I try to excel,” he says. “Even as mayor and now as a congressman, the basic mantra is to give your best all the time.” This, however, doesn’t mean things have always been easy, but Gomez has developed resilience through the years: “Challenges are a part of life–gano’n talaga—there will be failures and not everything will be successful. If you fail, just keep trying.”

White mesh shirt by BON HANSEN, Shorts by RAFAEL GONZALES

While excelling in each of his roles is important, he admits that at the core of it all is making sure that the things that make him happy are a priority. “If you love what you do, sometimes the awards don’t matter,” he says. “Whatever makes me happy is a form of success already. So even with friends, if I’m able to choose people that make me happy, then I’m successful in choosing friends.”

Yellow vest by BON HANSEN, Beige suit by PAULO LAZARO, White shirt by RYAN CHRIS, Multi-striped pants by HERBERT CUSTODIO

Read more about Richard Gomez’s leadership style and self-reinvention in MEGA Man’s September 2022 issue, now available on ReadlyMagzter, Press Reader and Zinio.

Photography PAOLO PINEDA
Creative direction NICOLE ALMERO
Fashion direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Grooming direction MIA CASTRO

Videography SPECTIVE PH
Shoot coordination KZ FRANCISCO and MJ ALMERO
Shot on location THE CABIN RESORTS


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