Before Eat Bulaga was born in 1979, Richie D’Horsie had already shown the potentials of a great comedian. His skills in the guitar and perfect timing in his comedy spiels gave him an advantage. But his biggest asset was his face which would endear him to jockeys and grooms.
He would be the favorite butt of jokes and scapegoats in Iskul Bukol and other sitcoms of Tito, Vic and Joey. With due consideration to his talents, there were grand plans for him that would have made him a star comedian.
But something came in between Richie and the reachable success. His star faded just like that. First offense was his unprofessionalism due to his unsavory vices. With the countless chances given to him by his benefactors, Richie was in and out of television.
Then came the time that his believers had finally lost trust in him. In the midst of the promotion of his comeback movie Kabayo Kids, Richie D’ Horsie was involved in illegal drugs again. The movie was pulled out with no fanfare.
Fed up with what was happening, Richie’s friends sent him a one-way trip to oblivion. In some stories that were sometimes written in tabloids, it was said that Richie was seen in a funeral wakes playing the guitar. But the guitarman was not the funny man anymore because he looked more like a zombie than a horsie.
“Nalulong talaga ako,” Richie says with regret. “Yung dati pa-syrup-syrup lang, wala yun kasi kaya kong tapusin yun. Pero paglitaw nitong shabu, ito ang tumapos sa akin.” He was caught for possession of 6 sachets but only 4 were reported which made the offense comparatively lesser.
Languishing in jail, Richie tried to survive by repenting with sincerity and blaming himself. “Aminado naman akong kasalanan ko talaga ang lahat,” Richie states with firmness in his voice. “Nakisama ako sa kulungan kasi akala ko wala na talagang pag-asa.” He was incarcerated for 5 years.
Pag-asa is not only hope, that’s also the part of Quezon City where his family was residing when Richie learned that he was completely abandoned. “Masakit talaga at lalong masakit isipin na wala na pala akong babalikang buhay kung lumaya man ako.”
Perhaps an answer to his prayers, one day a message suddenly arrived. “Nagulat talaga ako,” Richie smiles at the thought of his renaissance. He was given a call slip – a notice of film shooting where he would play a bit role. That was November 11, 2008.
Iskul Bukol, The Reunion, was Octo-Arts and M-Zet Productions’ entry to the 2008 Metro Manila film festival. Richie played himself, a former student of Wan-Ball University. And he came to the reunion with handcuffs. “Nakaposas ako,” he laughs, “talagang realistic, ano?”
For that movie, someone bailed him out. “Si Vic yun,” Richie is referring to the kind-hearted Vic Sotto whom everyone calls Bossing. But after every shooting day, he goes back to his cell in the Quezon City jail.
Another answer to his prayers, Richie was acquitted of his crime in February 2009. “Nag-retract yung arresting officer ko. Pero hindi binayaran yun ha?” The question of whether 4 or 6 sachets were caught in Richie’s possession was the crux of the matter.
“Parang nagulo yung mga statements nung arresting officer.” The consistency of testimony was lost and the case against Richie had weakened. “Pero hindi binayaran yun, kusa lang niya talaga,” Richie stresses. “Naawa lang talaga sa akin.”
With the impending liberty, Richie was issued a caveat that if ever he was seen in the black area again, there would not be pardon anymore. Authorities know that Richie was a victim of bad influence.
“Kasi napa-barkada ako sa mga tulak,” Richie confesses, with no hesi-tation, about the big influence of the drug-pushers. Many drug pushers are users themselves so they get customers by joining in the drug sessions.
As part of the bonanza, Richie and his wife had reconciled. “Balik na ko sa Pag-asa, dun sa dati naming bahay.” He now lives with his wife and 3 sons. “Pero sa pangalawa yan. Yung sa una may anak ako, 26 years old. Puro lalake lahat sila.”
As proof of Vic’s all-out support to the reformed friend, Richie was included in the cast of Ful Haus. “Para may regular daw akong kita.” Unfortunately, Ful Haus recently closed shop so Richie has no regular work.
Richie while being interviewed
Another lost opportunity was when Richie was given a big role in LOL (Love On Line). The movie featured Vic Sotto and Paula Taylor, the foreigner who was popular in the internet. “Ako dapat ang sidekick ni Vic doon,” Richie muses.
True to the saying that you cannot win ‘em all, Richie was not able to shoot for the movie. “Na-stroke ako, mild stroke nung April.” The vacancy created an opportunity for Wally Bayola. But the unfortunate incident of injury to Wally’s 3 toes paved the way for Jose Manalo to get the role.
During weekdays, Richie stays in his nephew’s house in Cainta. “Maluwag kasi doon, puwede akong maglakad-lakad. Parang therapy ba.” About his health, “Okey na ko ngayon, eto nga nagsu-shoot na ko.”
Richie is in the cast of Ang Darling Kong Asuwang, Vic Sotto’s entry to the Metro Manila filmfest. The controversial Cristine Reyes is Vic’s leading lady this time.
“Nagtatrabaho si Vic sa call center tapos ipinasok niyang janitor.” Richie proudly says. “Major support ako dito, malaki ang papel ko.” He laughs a bit before answering the question on talent fee. “Malaki, oo, ayos na ayos.”
And before Richie could say more, here comes Boy Ranay, the movie industry’s amiable page boy, who mumbles that the taxi is waiting. “Bayaan mo lang, ipababa mo na lang ang metro,” says Richie so the interview would continue.
Richie rides the taxi after giving Boy a tip. He looks around and throws a smile as if manifesting that life is so good to him. Although he had lost that semblance for a horse, Richie D’Horsie would remain a horsie to his fans of yore.
Comments to this article can be sent to email@example.com
Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/