Richard Yap on the 2019 elections: Good intentions are not enough

When Richard Yap (a.k.a. Sir Chief) ran for congressman of Cebu in the 2019 elections under the PDP-Laban banner, he said in an interview that if he won, he would quit showbiz because he might not be able to do both duties simultaneously (couldn’t serve two masters at the same time). When he lost, his fans rejoiced and cheered him right on, happy that he would go back to where he rightfully belongs…in showbiz!

“We wanted to do something,” Richard told Funfare in his first-ever (belated) post-election interview after he signed up as a Kapuso last Monday. “I wanted to bring change to the country, especially how it is being run by politicians who think of it as their own kingdom but,” adding without sounding bitter, “unfortunately, I learned that good intentions were not enough because people still look for money when it comes to politics. We need to educate the people that the P500 that they got would cost them years of suffering. You know, instead of voting for someone who gives you money, why not vote for someone who can make your life better?”

It was at that time when Richard’s contract with ABS-CBN had expired but he didn’t renew it because, according to him, “I might not be able to fulfill a new contract once I started to campaign.” That is, in case he won.

Seven months after the elections (he accepted his loss gracefully like a true gentleman), Richard got an offer from GMA for a teleserye but there was never any formal negotiation. No offer, not even a “feeler,” from ABS-CBN.

“Me and my management decided that I go freelance na muna.” Until a renewed Kapuso offer came.

The clue came several weeks ago when Richard appeared as “judge” in the Bawal Judgmental segment of the GMA show Eat, Bulaga!.

“At that time,” Richard clarified, “it was just a simple guesting. We were not even talking about me being part of GMA. I didn’t know that it was going to happen.”

His contract with GMA television is exclusive (“I am now under the network’s Artists Center”) but allows him to do movies for other companies.

As you will see in my YouTube interview (TheRealRickyLo) with Richard, he looks as fit as fabulous as he was during his Kapamilya days, at the peak of his popular rom-com (with Jodi Sta. Maria) Be Careful With My Heart in which he was called “Sir Chief,” a monicker that stuck.

During the pandemic, Richard upgraded his gym at home and works out regularly.

“I exercise a lot, maintain a diet and try to get as much sleep as I can. The lockdown is a blessing for everybody, I suppose. At home, my wife (Melody) and our children would sit at the dining table and just talk, enjoying the things that we couldn’t do pre-pandemic since we were busy at work.”

Any pastime to avoid boredom?

“I don’t watch a lot of TV, not even my own shows, and I am a bit more into newscasts.”

What can we expect from him at GMA?

“Aside from rom-com,” said Richard, “I want to do action and comedy.”

And who are the Kapuso actresses he hopes to work with?

“There are so many of them in GMA…Heart Evangelista, Marian Rivera, Solenn Heussaff, Jennylyn Mercado, Lovi Poe and Rhian Ramos.”

Why not all of them together in his maiden Kapuso show?

“Why not?” Richard laughed. “That would be great!”

Come to think of it, what would make him change his mind about politics?

“Well, we have to see because the passion for doing something is still there. I see so many things that are not done well by these politicians who are in power. So, I hope that if it’s not me, there will be other like-minded people who will step up, you know, who will run just to help make this country better.”

Meanwhile, Richard has a promise to his fans.

“To my supporters, I am still the same Richard Yap but you’re going to see a different Richard Yap. We’ll give you shows that are worth-watching.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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