The pain from his father William Albert Mott Sr.’s death less than three months ago is still heavy in Tom Rodriguez’ heart, as he braces himself from feeling the blow of his loss all the more come Father’s Day on Sunday.
The Filipino-American actor is grateful, however, that he was able to fly to his hometown in Arizona, USA a week before Mott succumbed to lung cancer on March 25 to be with his family and was by his father’s side during his last moments.
The 29-year-old actor stayed there for almost a month since and didn’t accept any projects after what happened. According to Rodriguez, it was a shock for their family and they were not able to prepare that it will happen anytime soon.
The Manila Times together with other members of the media was able to catch up with Rodriguez during his media launch as the newest brand ambassador of Essilor’s Crizal Prevecia. Rodriguez admitted that it was a tough time for their whole family but they are still partly happy that he’s not suffering anymore.
He added that celebrating Father’s Day come Sunday would be different as it will be the first time he wouldn’t be able to greet his dad.
“It was a tough thing that happened to my family and none of us have ever encountered or faced anything like that. But that’s life. You have to move on. You have to keep going and the best thing that I could do for dad is be the best that I can be because everything that I am, partly is because of him,” he shared.
“He helped mold and shape the person I am now. I am forever thankful for him so hopefully that will be the best father’s day gift that I can give for him—to show that he inspired me and impassioned me with so many things,” Rodriguez added.
It is obvious the sadness of Rodriguez while he was talking but it didn’t prohibit him from sharing his fondest memories with his late father.
“When I was five years old, he would open and fix the computer and when he was able to put it back together, I would copy once he leave and do what he just did but instead of fixing it, I broke it. The next day, he called me and ask to help fix it with him without even getting mad. Whether it was drawing, computers, whatever I wanted to learn, he let me and he knew that if you want something you’re passionate about, you explore and I am forever thankful for that. I miss him so much,” Rodriguez said.
“But the most memorable thing I miss and I will remember of him is with the horses. Right after highschool, before I went to college—I am with him always in the stables. Everytime that a horse would kick a post from the stables, we’d hammer it back in, everytime the roof of the stables would fly off from harsh winds, we would put it back together. We spend a lot of time with the horses, training them, making sure they were okay. That was the hardest part when he has to leave our place before, and that’s one thing he doesn’t want to talk about because he knew he was going to leave his horses—it was very hard for him,” he added.
Rodriguez’ ardent passion in digital art is evident in many of his Instagram post and according to him, he inherited the interest of art through his father. Many of his artworks comprise of creatures from Philippine folklore, plus superheroes and characters from animer, games and comics. He sketches and sculpts in between takes during drama filming or photo shoots. And now, he is also aspiring to become an app designer and have own company in animation and production.
“Ever since I am artistically inclined. I got it from my dad and my sisters. My dad draws also but they don’t like the chemical smell so for one Christmas, my dad got us all little graphics tablet. That’s how I started. I took up digital animation in college but even before that I was already self-taught and my dad help me with it,” he said.
“I am now considering investing. I just invested in the equipment and I’ve been trying to bring everything over here for a few years now. It’s for a different way of postproduction in animation. I’ve been proposing it, I spoke about it when I did a talk about animation before using real time renders and no one seem to want to do it so I said I will do it myself. I will be putting up my own animation and production company,” Rodriguez updated.
Now that he is slowly moving on, Rodriguez is busy taping his new romantic-comedy series “I Heart Davao” with on- and off- screen partner Carla Abellana.(See sidebar)