Ormoc’s ‘hottie’ execs create social media buzz
Two newly elected officials in Ormoc City, Leyte, are creating a buzz on social media, largely because of their good looks that one of them said could help push their plans for the city.
They are incoming Mayor Richard Gomez, an actor who started out as a matinee idol in the 1980s, and his vice mayor, Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr., scion of one of the city’s most influential and landed families.
Their photos, particularly the one taken in one of their campaign sorties, had gone viral after they were proclaimed winners.
Many netizens dubbed them “political hotties.”
Gomez is considered not only one of the best actors of his generation but also one of the most good-looking.
But Locsin can give Gomez a run for his money because the 40-year-old vice mayor does not only have a well sculpted body but is good-looking as well.
While Gomez, 50, is outgoing and moreno, Locsin is shy and mestizo, a result of his Spanish lineage.
Locsin, who is serving his second term as vice mayor, is the son of Leo Carmelo and Ma. Victoria, who were once mayor and representative of Leyte’s fourth district that includes Ormoc, respectively.
The congressional seat is currently occupied by Gomez’s wife, Lucy Torres, hailed as one of the country’s most beautiful women. She just won her third term.
The reelected congresswoman and the vice mayor were classmates in grade school.
Locsin got a degree in Business Management from the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde in Manila.
“Well, I was kind of shocked when I heard that our photo went viral. I didn’t know how to react. A lot of people have been texting or calling me,” Locsin said.
“My life was kind of private until now. I didn’t know what happened,” he added, referring to his newfound popularity that came only after three years as an elected official.
He admitted that while he was in politics, he was really a private person and did not like being in the limelight.
“I just want to keep a low profile,” said Locsin who refused to talk about his personal life during the interview.
But he talked at great length about his other passions like going to the beach, planting mangroves, building artificial reefs and farming.
During the campaign, the father of two admitted that he was nervous and had to muster the courage to speak before a crowd, a skill that his partner, Gomez, has developed through the years in show business.
Asset in governance
Gomez, in the meantime, said he found it amusing that people made a fuzz after discovering that “the local officials of Ormoc are good looking.”
He said his and his vice mayor’s good looks could help them achieve their dreams for Ormoc and its people.
“Beauty is power,” he said, laughing.
“If there is something that we’ll do, like we need some help with our tourism programs, people will respond: Hey, the good-looking officials are asking for help.”
He added, “Isn’t it like that in some cases?”
Gomez said he expected his being an actor would help him get assistance from national officials and bring investors to the city.
Ormoc, which has a population of more than 190,200 based on the 2010 census, is 110 km west of the provincial capital of Tacloban City, Leyte.
Ormoc is known for its vast tracts of land that are planted to sugarcane.
It is also home to the country’s first geothermal plant, located in Barangay Tongonan, that supplies power to the Visayas.
Asked what he intended to accomplish in the next three years as mayor of the city, Gomez said he wanted to address the serious problems of illegal drugs and peace and order so investors would come and put up businesses to provide employment to his constituents.
He also plans to develop the tourism potential of Ormoc. The city offers, among others, the stunning but barely known Lake Danao, which is ideal for kayaking and swimming.
Aside from geothermal resources that keep the Tongonan power plant running, Gomez said there were many other natural resources in the city that were ideal for ecotourism.
Gomez said he was confident that he would be able to achieve his objectives for the city with the help of his vice mayor and members of the city council.
In the meantime, Gomez and his team are busy working on the handover from the outgoing Mayor Edward Codilla, who lost in his reelection bid.
With his new job as mayor of Ormoc, Gomez’s career in show business will have to take a back seat, for now.
And Locsin will have to find ways to stay private despite the attention his photo is drawing on social media.
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