Alden Richards is one of the top—if not the most important—homegrown talents of GMA Network at the moment. Beyond his mother studio, he is regarded as a major star after riding the waves of Eat Bulaga’s AlDub phenomenon with Maine Mendoza, and as such, is currently a greatly admired personality and the most sought after male endorser and in the country.
On September 27, The Manila Times witnessed the so called “Pambansang Bae” renew his contract with GMA, eager to stay with the media conglomerate that has helped him fulfill all of his dreams.
“I am really happy to be part of GMA and to be still part [of the network]in the years to come. I remain loyal to them because they have been very good to me. I can feel their support and their love for me, so this is home. It’s where my heart is.”
Richards, who is a multi-platinum recording artist continues to be a mainstay of Philippine TV’s longest running program Eat Bulaga—a production of TAPE Inc. and a block timer on GMA Network—and has just begun to appear in the remake of the iconic fantasy series Encantadia as Lakan.
He considers his TV projects, as well as his outrageous schedule for endorsement shoots and personal appearances as a blessing. Losing personal time for the past year and half for Richards is a small price to pay for his success.
“Those are just small things. If you consider sacrifices as a negative thing, then what you’re doing is not worth it. My work as an actor and as a public figure, is very demanding so I rarely get time with my loved ones, my family, nor time for myself; but the sacrifice of time compared to what I can give back to those who put me here is nothing,” Richards opened up.
Contemplating his position in life, he added, “We can give happiness to people who are going through tough times. Our presence becomes a blessing to other people so nothing that I sacrifice is against my will. All of the things that I’m doing now, I always see the good side of them.”
According to the 24-year-old actor, he still manages to rest despite his busy schedule. He has learned the skill of balancing work and me time, enjoying simpler things like a rare massage or quick play time with his dogs as treats despite his fame.
But while Richards thrives in positivity, there are still many who envy the success he has achieved. He revealed during the interview that he has received death threats on social media, and with GMA network’s assistance, has taken the matter to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“For a long time now, I’ve been getting threats on my life, but it’s only now that I’ve decided to take legal action against whoever those people are. I’ve always believed that if you threaten someone, there’s a 90-percent probability that you will not hurt them— because it is just a threat. Those who really want to hurt other people don’t say they will anymore and they just go ahead and do it. But in any case, just to be careful, I’ve decided to raise the issue with the authorities,” Richards explained.
Despite his detractors, Richards keeps moving forward with the endless opportunities available to him. His return to acting for TV via Encantadia is very exciting for him, and he is looking forward to more projects for prime time.
“It’s been almost a year since I had my last soap. [Before Aldub] I’ve been known as an actor for soap operas. I’ve missed it, but of course we focus on the things that can give more happiness to viewers especially with Eat Bulaga every day,” he explained.
Still mum on his next TV project—although The Manila Times Entertainment columnist Lhar Santiago has said in Showbuzz that GMA is working on a teleserye concept for Richards and Mendoza—he promises something that will thrill his fans.
While on the topic of Mendoza, Richards was unable to avoid questions on whether what fans see on TV is real, and if so, whether they have taken their relationship into the next level.
“Whatever Maine and I now have, we just keep it between us. We can’t dictate whatever the fans think but as long as they are enjoying the thought of us, and if they are happy that we’re always together that’s what matters,” he explained.
What the star is certainly taking to the next level is his recording career.
Soon after his second album Wish I May went eight times Platinum, he is all set to release another one as a follow up to his last single release “Say it Again.” Under GMA Records, “Say It Again” will have its official launch on October 9.
“In the new album, I added more religious songs. I think the reason why my previous album did so well is because I have one praise song there, so I said I wanted to include more praise songs in my second album. Also, there will be more original and upbeat songs in the mix that are more danceable,” he enthused.
Asked what keeps him going in such diverse endeavors, Alden Richards simply said, “Inspiration.”
“Ever since Aldub, I’ve just been inspired to be able to touch and change lives by what I do. That’s why I keep going,” he ended.