After coming back from training camp in Korea last week, Richard Gomez said he learned a lot from the overseas experience. “Ang hirap ng training, tiring. But the Koreans there are really good, ang galing talaga, ang lakas. Kaya it's a good thing that we learned something,” he said.
Goma, as he is fondly called in showbiz by close friends, admitted that he really trained hard to make it into the Philippine National Volleyball squad. “Matagal yung proseso. But I prepared for a long time and then nung nag-open ang national team tryouts, nag-try out kaming lahat, we were almost about a hundred players. And then nag-cut down sila to 30, and then to 18 until it became 12,” he shared during the Bench Body Whitening Lotion event held last April 3 at the Bench Tower in BGC, Taguig.
Having been active in volleyball since grade school, Goma said he only thought about trying out for the Philippine team when he found some extra time in his schedule after retiring from fencing in 2008. “Wala lang ako magawa (laughs). Ang daming time eh. But I've been playing volleyball for a long time hindi lang seriously. And then in 2007 to 2008 ang dami kong oras so I started playing it seriously. I'm the oldest in the group. I have personal training, kailangan eh. Kailangan may weights training, may running. Lahat kami nahihirapan, pero salamat sa multivitamins (laughs). But seriously, siyempre may effort na rin di ba? I'm not as young as I used to be, but I try to cope up with the younger players. I was never intimidated. Siguro I was watching some younger guys, and siguro they were looking at me na, 'Ay si Goma ito ah! Medyo may edad na ito pero pagdating sa laro laban talaga kami lahat,'” he explained.
From April 8 to 16, Richard will be part of the squad representing the country in this year's Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championships to be held at the Mall of Asia Arena and Cuneta Astrodome. Richard said his family's continued support is part of what keeps him passionate about sports. “My wife is very supportive sa mga endeavors ko and I'm very thankful kasi if she's not supportive mahihirapan din ako eh. I'm very happy that Juliana also is picking up the sport. Sabi ko sa kanya, I was playing volleyball since I was in elementary, high school, college and then I stopped for a while and then binalikan ko lang,” he said.
With volleyball being the fourth sport he has gotten into seriously after fencing, rowing, and shooting, Richard said he is still eyeing one more sport to join on the national level. “Tapusin ko muna itong voleyball (laughs). I've been a member of four national teams of different sports. Parang kaya ko pa hanggang lima eh (laughs). Sa tingin ko ah. Meron pa pero I'll try to achieve it first. Pag na-achieve ko yun I'll let you know. Kailangan achiever lagi di ba?” he said.
Richard said he is currently busy right now taping for a show with Sharon Cuneta on another network. “Nag-start na kami nung show namin ni Sharon (Cuneta). Nag-taping na kami actually. Nakaka-three days na kami. It's a dramedy, a drama comedy. Ang gusto ko kasi per project basis para I'm not tied down with one company. Anyways friendly naman lahat eh di ba? And then yung movie namin ni Gretchen (Barretto) niri-revise pa yung script,” he said.
Richard said he is also busy helping his wife Ormoc City Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez with ongoing rehabilitation projects after the calamity that hit their area last year. “Ormoc is slowly recovering. Kami tuloy-tuloy pa rin yung relief efforts namin at saka yung bangka project namin. Madami pang trabahong kailangan gawin, but we're doing our best,” he shared.