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Politicians, big stars on Baptism of Richard’s June 15

Actor Richard Gutier­rez will have a triple celebration on Sunday – he will celebrate Father’s Day, throw a belated birthday bash for his son Zion who was born April 29, and have him baptized, too. Zion is Richard’s son with girlfriend Sarah Lahbati. The two were hounded by rumors about having a child un­til they finally talked about him publicly in the maiden episode of their reality show two weeks ago. They later posted photos of the child a few days later.

Zion was brought into the country early this year from Geneva where he was born, by his grandmother Esther, who had to cover the child’s stroller with a blanket to keep him from the prying eyes of people and media.

Richard refused to dis­close exactly where the triple celebration will be held. The names of some of Zion’s god­mothers and godfathers have been revealed, though. They in­clude actresses Marian Rivera, Angel Locsin, and Kris Aquino, “just the movers and shakers of my generation, the people I look up to.”

Asked how it feels to finally talk about Zion in the open, Richard said it’s “sobrang sarap” and that “life has more meaning” now. He added that the timing couldn’t have been more perfect because even Sarah is back in harness after disappearing from the pub­lic eye for more than a year to conceive and give birth to Zion, among other things.

“These are happy times,” quipped Richard, who has a movie under GMA Films  titled “Overtime” set to hit theaters on July 2.

The name Zion was picked by Richard who had an agreement with Sarah that he gets to do so if their first-born is male. The actor likes Zion because its “bibli­cal” (it’s the namesake of a hill in Jerusalem and can also refer to the Land of Is­rael) and unique.

The actor said that the changes in him now that he is a father “came natural­ly.” He spends more time at home these days and shares parenting duties with Sarah like they did in Geneva when they had to raise Zion by themselves.

Looking back on their decision to keep knowl­edge of Zion within the fam­ily for some time, and during one of the stormiest times in his and Sarah’s life, Rich­ard realized that “when things are falling apart, (that’s when) things are falling into place.” He disclosed that the reality show “It takes GUTZ to be a Gutierrez” wherein Zion was announced, will have a second season on strength of the overwhelming public re­sponse to the show. There are talks that the next countries on the itinerary will include Turkey.

Richard’s wish for their son is simple: “For him to grow up respectful and with faith in God.”