First of all, we want to improve the mass transport system in Cebu. We are also pushing for the LRT to be built, that is one thing that can help us with our traffic. Waste to energy (facility), renewable energy, those are the things we want for Cebu. We want to bring water to the mountain barangays. These are the things that require immediate action. I think we also need to go into the direction where Singapore has gone, which is water recycling. They recycle their water, wherein their waste water becomes so clean that they can drink it.
Not really, if you ask Richard Edison Uy Yap who is running for congressman in Cebu City North District against a political veteran.
“So far,” Richard admitted in an interview for Cebu Vote, the special election coverage of The Freeman, The Philippine STAR’s Cebu-based sister publication, “it has been going very well, I think, we’ve had a lot of resistance in the beginning. But I think people are now warming up to the idea that there’s another alternative.”
The well-loved star of the ABS-CBN soap Be Careful With My Heart, Richard is “a true-blue Cebuano, born here in Cebu at Chong Hua Hospital, we lived in V. Rodriguez Espina Village from 1967 to 2011,” grew up in Cebu, studied at Sacred Heart, went to Velez College taking up Medtech — “But,” Richard explained to Freeman, “I didn’t continue my pre-medical studies because my father was a businessman and he wanted me to go into business, so I transferred to De La Salle University and finished Business Administration. I came back to Cebu and worked for him but wa kaayo mi magkasinabot (we somehow didn’t see eye to eye on things). So, I went back to Manila to work for about two years, then I returned to Cebu for a few years again, handling a business, an office furniture company. Then I went into business in Manila, but I’m always here in Cebu, also because we have businesses here. I’m really shuttling between Cebu and Manila.”
Contrary to a rumor that, “win or lose” he would sign up with the Kapuso Network, Richard was quoted by Freeman as saying that, if he wins, he will have to give up showbiz.
“For me, I cannot juggle two jobs at the same time. Yes, I will have to do that. Actually, I have already given up my network contract. I didn’t renew already.” (Referring to his contract with ABS-CBN. — RFL)
In the next breath, Richard denied that he was using showbiz as a stepping stone to politics. In the first place, he explained, showbiz was never among his plans. In fact, he added that he never wanted to be an actor.
“It just so happened that I was doing commercials that is why I was asked to do showbiz. Pero I never wanted to be in showbiz even when I was offered that time. I said I had second thoughts about it. Well, my wife (Melody, a former flight stewardess) and my kids (Dylan and Ashley) told me, there are so many people who want to go into showbiz, and then here you are, it’s being offered to you…and then you won’t accept it? You can just try it out, if you don’t want to do it, you can just come out anytime and you can just leave it. That’s what made me decide. That’s what happened.”
So why did he decide to run and give up showbiz where he can “easily earn more” than he can in politics?
“People have asked me that also. There are other people who have been talking to me and they said, ‘You have been successful in your business, you have been successful in your showbiz career, the only thing that’s lacking in your life is public service.’ So that’s a little bit of what triggered this running for public office. But I think we all need to sacrifice. If nobody from the private sector comes to government, we will all be left with traditional politicians, so that is why…if we may need to sacrifice, I still have my own businesses, I still have income from other sources, so dili siya apektado kaayo (so it’s not really that affected), except for giving up showbiz. Showbiz is also not easy money because we work 20 hours a day, we sometimes sleep only three or four hours a day. It’s not as easy as people think. Behind the scenes, lisod sad among kinabuhi (our lives are also difficult).”
Richard sees a different kind of fulfillment in being able to do something for the country.
“We’ve had the experience when you do something and people appreciate it and then they tell you, ‘gitabangan ko nimo, imo ni nabuhat para nako (you’ve helped me, you’ve done this for me),’ lahi ang fulfillment ang makuha nimo (you get a different kind of fulfillment). Personal satisfaction, yes.”
Already, Richard has bills in mind should he win, one of them is a Cancer Bill.
“My father died of cancer, my sister also died of cancer, we need to help cancer patients,” adding that he would support a bill that allows medical marijuana. “I’m not talking about recreational marijuana, ha, but medicinal marijuana.”
But not a divorce bill.
“People have different beliefs. I am Catholic. For now, at this stage of my life, I don’t believe in divorce. There’s annulment, actually. That’s another avenue for them. I have been married for 25 years so I think there’s always a way for working out something. In certain cases, it may be advisable like if the other party is violent or abusive… Maybe I will support for an easier way of annulment for certain cases.”
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