Singer-actor Tom Rodriguez is joining Luminary Talents, the management agency of Popoy Caritativo, who handles the careers of Marian Rivera, Dennis Trillo, Martin Escudero, Janice de Belen, among others.
The “Pinoy Big Brother” alumnus said in an interview with the press during a Christmas party at Annabel’s Restaurant that his contract with ABS-CBN’s Star Magic expired as early as March this year. But he stayed with ABS-CBN because of his guaranteed contract with the network. That contract expires on Saturday, December 8.
“I made a decision not to renew my contract with Star Magic anymore when I went to the States recently,” revealed Tom, who has opened a lot of eyes with his portrayal of the title role in Atlantis Productions’ ongoing production of the musical “Aladdin”.
“Two years din naman ako with them, and I appreciate everything that they did for me ever since I joined ‘PBB’. I guess it is time for me to move on to better things for my career.”
One reason Tom cited for leaving Star Magic is his longing for a more personal approach when it comes to managing his career. For all its success as the industry’s biggest starmarker, he noticed that Star Magic has become too overloaded with talents.
“Masyado na kaming marami sa Star Magic. Almost every day, may bagong dumarating na artista, either bagong artista or galing sa ibang network. So ‘yun mga dati, tulad ko, hindi na nabibigyan ng priority. Sad to say, marami kaming napag-iiwanan doon,” he lamented.
Given his leading-man looks and versatile talents, one would think that somebody like Tom would be swamped with projects. Sadly, that has not been the case for the Samar-born Filipino-American who had left his family in the States when he joined “PBB” in late 2009.
“In my case, I really need to work kasi nga nag-iisa lang ako rito. Minsan walang trabaho, and I have to wait ng ilang months before I get to have a regular show,” he confessed.
Nevertheless, he remains grateful to Star Magic. ”I have nothing against them. Mababait sila Mr. M (Johnny Manahan) and Tita Mariole (Alberto). It’s just that masyado na nga kaming marami and may iba silang pina-prioritize na mga talents.
” So I think it’s best that I find myself a new manager who will focus on what I like to do in this business,” he explained.
Tom met Popoy Caritativo last year on the set of “Temptation Island”, the movie in which he played leading man to Popoy’s prized ward, Marian Rivera.
“I saw kasi how he is with his talents. Personal niyang inaasikaso ang lahat. That is what I’m looking for—’yung may personal touch. Hindi lang basta talent ka but you are treated like family. So we had a talk last year pa and then again early this year when my contract ended with Star Magic last March.”
Tom will wrap up his “Aladdin” stint on Sunday, December 9, at the Meralco Theater, the same day he will officially join Popoy’s Luminary stable.
“The musical will end this Sunday, and that is when we can talk about reinventing my career. Ang sa akin lang naman, I just want to work—have a regular job. I’m a workaholic kasi. I need to move around, and I don’t want to just wait if there’s something for me or not.”
It’s not yet clear if Tom will automatically jump over to the Kapuso Network, which could certainly use his talents as a dramatic leading man. It’s possible that he will continue to be seen on ABS-CBN or be a more regular presence on TV5. After all, his new manager fields talents in all three major networks.
Tom trusts that Popoy will take him where his best interests could be served.
“Maybe kung saan na lang may work for me, doon ako. It doesn’t matter if it’s Kapuso, Kapamilya or Kapatid. Sa TV5 naman, I already worked with them sa show na ‘My Driver Sweet Lover’ in 2010. Bida roon sila JC de Vera, Danita Paner and Arci Munoz.
“Kung sa GMA-7, it will my first time kung saka-sakali. But I’ve worked na with their stars like Marian, Lovi (Poe), Aljur (Abrenica), Mikael (Daez) and Sweet (John Lapus) sa ‘Temptation Island’.
“Kung sa ABS-CBN pa rin, okey naman because sila pa rin ang original family ko,” he concluded.