Tom Rodriguez excited for three comeback projects

Tom Rodriguez on three comeback projects: I’m excited to ride the wave again

/ 12:25 AM May 15, 2024

Tom Rodriguez on three comeback projects: I’m excited to ride the wave again


I can’t wait to ride the wave again,” said actor Tom Rodriguez. After a two-year hiatus, he is back to acting in not just one but three projects: a serial soap, a stage musical and a dramatic film.

The actor took a leave of absence from show business after his controversial breakup with ex-wife Carla Abellana in March 2022. They were married in October 2021, after dating for seven years.


“Yes, I’m here to stay. To be honest, I’m feeling nervous right now. I’ve had this feeling since I began working on an episode for ‘Magpakailanman.’ Just like in that show, I trust everyone I’m with. I’m willing to throw myself into work again and ride that wave,” Tom told reporters during the recent story conference and media gathering for Joel Lamangan’s romantic drama “Huwag Mo Kong Iwan.”


Tom was last seen on the big screen in the 2019 horror film “Maledicto” by Mark Meily. On TV, he was part of Dominic Zapata’s drama “The World Between Us.”

“I accepted the movie project because, first of all, it’s a movie by Joel Lamangan. I was so excited when Direk asked Popoy (Caritativo, Tom’s manager) if I could do the project,” said Tom, who last worked with Joel in the film “The Significant Other.”

“That’s one of my favorite movies. That’s why saying ‘yes’ to this one was a no-brainer, especially when I read the script. It’s so beautiful. It attempts to subvert the typical expectations in terms of where the story goes. I think the audience will be more surprised when they finally see the actual movie.”

Socially relevant rom-com

A production of Bentria Productions, “Huwag Mo Kong Iwan” follows Lala (played by Rhian Ramos), a provincial lass and frustrated bride, who lands in jail in Manila. It is also because of this incident that she is forced to choose between two men: her devoted childhood sweetheart and fiancé (JC de Vera) who left his career as a musician abroad in order to marry her or her earnest suitor (Tom), a lawyer who will stop at nothing to win her freedom.

Rodriguez (left) with “Huwag Mo Kong Iwan” costars Rhian Ramos and JC de Vera

Rodriguez (left) with “Huwag Mo Kong Iwan” costars Rhian Ramos and JC de Vera

According to scriptwriter Eric Ramos, the concept for “Huwag Mo Kong Iwan” came from director Joel. “I just had to execute his story concept. It’s a romantic drama that turns comedic in the end, but around the middle, it’s still a Lamangan movie with the trademark socially relevant theme,” he told Inquirer Entertainment.

“If I have to describe it, I’d say it’s ‘a socially relevant rom-com.’ If the audience is familiar with ‘Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag’ (by National Artist for Film Lino Brocka), it’s by the same stroke. The structure is similar in the beginning, but it goes a different way eventually,” the writer said.


Meanwhile, the film is Rhian’s first with Tom, although they have done two TV series for GMA 7 before, she said. “I’m so excited because I’m already comfortable working with Tom. We have a great working relationship on set, and even as friends. I’m happy that we get to do a movie together, and that he’s back,” she added.

Meanwhile, real-life ex-couple Rhian and JC have not worked on any project together since their onscreen team up in 2008. JC is confident this will not be a problem for them on the set. “I don’t think we will feel uncomfortable. We both have our respective partners now, and we’ve already gone through so much in life that has helped us become more mature,” he said.

JC also admitted feeling excited and nervous to do the film. “This always happens, especially on the first shooting day because you still don’t know what the flow of the shoot will be like and expectations are always high. I feel this way also because this is a Joel Lamangan movie, and because the experience is always different for every project we do together.”

Iconic character

He continued: “I also think that feeling nervous is a good thing. Without it, you tend to become complacent. That’s not how actors work; we can’t be too comfortable on the set. Also, it’s normal for me to feel jittery on the first day because it’s the first time I will show the character that I helped create and bring to life.

For his part, Tom said he will be working on a new Kapuso-produced TV program. He will also be playing the role of Crisostomo Ibarra in the restaging of Tanghalang Una Obra’s musical “Ibarra.”

Tom added: “All of these are happening at the same time. I’m happy and thankful that blessings have been coming nonstop since I came back. ‘Ibarra’ is a really big musical. I’m thankful to Direk Frannie for considering me for the lead role. I’m excited to attend voice training, too. We’re done with script reading and analysis.

“We will start rehearsing this month. Of course, I have to make sure I’m good with my Tagalog so I won’t stutter. The challenge in doing ‘Ibarra’ is different. Our current musical director is also working on ‘Miss Saigon.’ We’re going to be working closely together very soon to help me get used to my role.”

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Tom is familiarizing himself with the story of Ibarra in “Noli Me Tangere,” he said. “I’ve had to read up on the character. Yes, I feel the pressure because I don’t think there’s a Filipino who doesn’t know this particular work of Dr. Jose Rizal,” he declared. INQ

TAGS: Entertainment, Tom Rodriguez

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