Richie D' Horsie shares story on 'Pipol'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2011 07:51 PM | Updated as of Dec 28 2011 03:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Comedian Richie D' Horsie, who rose to fame as a sidekick to Tito, Vic & Joey, shared how his addiction to illegal drugs led to his downfall.

In a special episode of ANC's Pipol, D' Horsie talked to Ces Drilon about how fame and fortune got to his head and how illegal drugs pulled him down.

D' Horsie, who is Richard Vista Reyes in real life, gained popularity in the late 1970s playing the sidekick of the country's most popular trio - Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon.

It was Tito Sotto who discovered him, while he was performing at a folk house in West Avenue, Quezon City.

Vic Sotto christened him with the screen name "Richie D' Horsie."

Because of Martial Law, D' Horsie and the trio focused on doing commercial jingles for radio in 1977.

D' Horsie made his television debut on the show "Discorama" with Tito, Vic and Joey.

In 1978, D' Horsie also became part of the TV show "Iskul Bukol," and in 1979, he joined "Eat Bulaga."

"Sige Richie, ikaw ang parang working student, janitor ka. Doon nagsimula yon, Iskul Bukol, 1978. Tapos 1979 nagkaroon kami ng Eat Bulaga and dumami ng dumami. At habang dumarami ang aking pera ang dami na ding pusher na nasa tagiliran ko," he said.

"Kapag sinabing Tito, Vic and Joey, nandoon si Richie D' Horsie at pinagmalalaki ko yon na dahil kay Tito, Vic and Joey ay nakilala ako,” he added.

As money poured in, the comedian admitted he squandered the opportunity that was given to him.

Richie D' Horsie

"Oo, hindi ko binigyan ng halaga. Ang tamang words -- nalunod ako sa kasikatan, nalunod ako sa pera, nalunod ako sa kasikatan sa karangyaan," he said.

In 2000, police arrested D'Horsie for drug possession.

Addicted to drugs, D'Horsie would resort to performing for as low as P1,000 a night, just to earn money to buy shabu. This was a far cry from his earnings as a TV comedian.
"P1,000 ang isang gram ng bato, makakadalawang gramo ako, kulang pa akong P500, may utang pa ako. Sasabihin ko bukas na lang, may kanta ulit ako ibibigay ko sa iyo. Ganoon ako katalamak," he said.

In July 2004, D' Horsie was once again arrested for illegal drug possession. He tried to ask for help from his former mentor Vic, who taught him a lesson by turning down his appeal.

"Ang unang tinawagan ko si Vic Sotto, boss kailangan ko ng P50,000 para lang makapag-bail. Sabi sa akin ni Vic Sotto, dinig na dinig ko: 'Sabihin mo kay Richie ayaw din lang niyang umalis sa bisyong yan kanya kanya na lang tayo, may sarili din kaming problema'," he said.

"In fairness, si Gus Abelgas ang nag-iinterview, naka-patch up. Ayaw ko ng tawagan sabi ni Sir Gus, tawagan mo baka tulungan ka. Sabi ko boss Gus ayaw nga eh kaya dinig na dinig niya ang sinabi ni Vic Sotto na kanya-kanya na muna tayo. Noong binaba ko sabi ni Gus, wala na nagalit na talaga sa iyo.".

D'Horsie ended up behind bars again, but he continued to be hooked on drugs.

"Noong nandoon ako sa jail kapag may konting pera na pinapadala sa akin ng kapatid ko eh mauuwi pa yon sa bato kasi sa BJMP nakakalusot... basta may pera ka kahit ano pwede especially drugs," he said.

One day in jail, D'Horsie said a miracle happened as he finally discovered God.

"Isang araw doon po sa chapel may Christ nakapako nakalagay sa ilalim niya 'kasama mo ako hindi kita iiwan.' Doon ko po nalaman na ang Panginoon hindi ako iniwan. Kasi that was July, August, September, pinalaya niya ako October 11. Doon ko naramdaman na hindi niya ako iniwan. Tinanong ko God bakit ganito ang buhay ko? HIndi pala sapat na magdasal ka lang, dapat isapuso. SInabi ko sa kanya that time na bigyan mo ako ng himala at pagkakataong makapaglingkod sa iyo. Hindi ko alam about Christianism wala akong alam doon," he said.

In 2008, D' Horsie finally got out on bail when "Iskul Bukol" was remade into the film "Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After."

It was Vic who bailed him out.

"Pero tignan mo pagdating ng 2008, kulang ang Iskul Bukol si Richie D' Horsie. May bail pa ba yon, P200,000 bail-an natin. Ayaw niya ng P50,000 gusto niya P200,000 kaya isa sa miracle ni God yon para sa akin kasi ginamit din yan wala naman siyang pwedeng gamitin," he said.

In an interview dated November 11, 2008, Vic admitted there were times that he already gave up on helping D'Horsie.

"Inaamin ko there was a time na taas kamay na ako kakatulong sa kanya, so many times in the past na maliligaw ng landas. Tutulungan naming mag-rehab, paglabas ayos, after a while balik, rehab, ayos, balik. Parang nagsawa na ako, bumitaw na ako. So pinuntahan ni Director Tony Reyes tapos when Direk reported back to us, sabi niya matino ang itsura, mukhang matino, mukhang okay, magandang manalita, mataba naman siya. So we decided sige, lahat naman ng taong nagkakamali may karapatang magbago bigyan ng pagkakataon ulit," Vic said.

As he battled drug addiction, D' Horsie grew apart from his wife and children and remains estranged until now.

"Hindi ko naman maalis na magalit ang asawa ko sa akin. Pinagpalit ko talaga parang ganoon at nakipag-asawa ako sa bisyo, hindi ko sila inalintana, at that time may trabaho ang asawa ko. Gusto mong humiwalay, di humiwalay ka ikaw ang magpakain diyan,"
he said.

Right now, D' Horsie lives with his distant relatives and has found God again.

Asked of the best lesson he learned from his experiences, the comedian said the best weapon is prayer.

"Ang Panginoon po sa modern time walang cellphone, pero hindi niya pwedeng lokohin dahil siya ay smart. Siya ang gumawa ng globe at sa kanya ang sun, totoo po yan. Bawal sa kanya mag-text pero pwede kang tumawag. Ayon sa 33:3 kay Jeremiah, 'Tumawag ka at ikaw ay aking pakikinggan at ang lahat ng hindi mo alam ay ipapaalam ko sa iyo', yun lang po. Tumawag ka araw-araw kung wala kang load papa-load-an ka niya dahil ang Panginoon ay unlimited," D'Horsie said.

Now, D Horsie may no longer fill theaters but churches, not just with laughter but food for the soul.