Two sides of Alden

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Alden Richards

Alden Richards

Two entertainment scribes share with The Manila Times differing views on how 24-year-old TV sensation Alden Richards is dealing with his phenomenal success. One says he is blessed because he remains humble in the midst of fame. Another claims that the actor, exhausted by the demands of his popularity, seems to have lost the energy to be courteous along the way. Which side are you on?

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The detractors of Alden Richards must probably be seething with anger or envy. Just when they thought they were ready to dismiss the GMA Network actor’s success as a fluke, 2015’s biggest male celebrity continues to get more good breaks in his career.

It was when Richards joined the top-rating show Eat Bulaga last year when his star began to rise. He did have several projects on GMA before joining the noontime show, but sad to say most of them were unable to boost his popularity. But thanks to Philippine TV’s longest running program, what was supposed to be a short stint became permanent—and phenomenal—spot for the very patient actor. And together with Maine Mendoza, a.k.a. Yaya Dub, “AlDub” on “Kalyeserye” will soon mark its first anniversary in July.

Richards is also basking in the success of his first solo concert held at the Ynares Center in Antipolo before Holy Week. It was a sold-out event, proving that “AlDub Nation” (the moniker the tandem’s fans call themselves) is as solid as ever.

He also had successful shows in Dubai; and back on the home front, bagged another yet another plum endorsement as the face of Bench Clay Doh Lite. As expected, during his launch at Quezon City’s Trinoma Mall, AlDub fans came in full force all over again, in support of Richards as well as Mendoza who was given her own perfume line by Bench.

Richards says that up to now he is overwhelmed by all the success that has come to him. Not even in his wildest dreams had he imagined his popularity to soar to this phenomenal level.

And, what is truly admirable about Alden Richards is that he remains humble and level-headed even as he continues to be the top male celebrity in showbiz today. It must really be in his nature to be humble and grounded. And for that, he is continually blessed.

RICKY CALDERON

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Veteran showbiz columnist and former TV host Cristy Fermin can only empathize with well-meaning friends based in Canada who produced Alden Richards’ series of shows in that part of North America.
She tells this
writer how successful those shows had been in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, where Richards performed along with fellow GMA Network artists.

But quoting her source, Fermin relates that a seemingly tired Richards—upon arrival at the airport—proceeded straight to his hotel and opted to rest, barely sparing some time for pleasantries with the producers. Allegedly, he also “snubbed” the food prepared by a restaurant owner due to exhaustion, which his entourage was all too happy to consume.

On the day of the show, the venue was jam-packed as Richards performed for a thrilled Filipino audience. But while one would think that all’s well that ends well, the source added that the producers found themselves in an awkward situation when the actor’s entourage demanded they pay an extra $500 for the services of a makeup artist they had brought along. Supposedly, Richards will not allow anyone else to groom him.

Refusing to get into an argument, the producers just had to pay for the fee even if they claimed there were so many makeup artists willing to give their services to Richards for free.

And then, on the day of the group’s departure, the producers, according to Fermin’s source, had to shoulder another unexpected expense, when Richards’ entourage asked them to cover for their excess baggage. Apparently, the actor had been gifted with an assortment of souvenirs from his Filipino fans in Canada, which went beyond their check-in limit.

All the same, Fermin is most certain that Richards hardly knew about the whole thing as he would have apologized to his producers, otherwise. She could not come to his defense though when the same producers felt slighted that the actor failed to even mention their names when he returned to Eat Bulaga to thank his fans in Canada for their support.

“It’s such a big turn-off!” Fermin quotes her producer-friends to have remarked in dismay.

Whatever else happened over in Canada, may this serve as warning to other producers overseas planning to bring Alden Richards to their part of the world.

Aside from being prepared for “excess baggage”—both human and inanimate—they may just regret promoting a supposedly “thankless” performer.

RONNIE CARRASCO 3RD

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