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Alden Richards: My life before showbiz and why I established AR Foundation

After the successful virtual concert “Alden’s Reality,” Asia’s Multimedia Star Alden Richards gave his fans another treat via his documentary concert “ForwARd: Meet Richard R. Faulkerson, Jr.” held last January 30.

In an exclusive interview with Tonie Pua for “Stronger Together: GMA Pinoy TV Podcast,” Alden said that proceeds of the virtual concert will benefit the AR Foundation which gives scholarships and financial assistance to eligible students.

“I’m very happy kasi mas marami po tayong matutulungan na mga bata and mas mawa-widen po ‘yung reach natin to help these kids.”

Alden admits that he also had his fair share of hardships before he entered showbiz.

“Growing up gusto ko po talagang maging piloto but wala naman po kaming pambayad ng tuition fee for the course. Opo mahal po siya. Mahirap mag-aral, that time kasi we’re really struggling financially. I still chose to study and you know, do part time sa pagko-commercial and print ad, for me to be able to send myself to school.”

Alden cannot forget his career-defining moment when he chose to go to the audition of the Kapuso telefantasya “Alakdana” rather than attend his Physical Education class.

“That day po is my last day sa PE class na kapag hindi ko pa po pinasukan, babagsak na po ako. Ewan ko po, leap of faith, pumunta po ako sa audition. Late po ako nu‘n kasi nagko-commute lang po ako nu‘n galing sa Laguna. Audition po pala ‘yun para sa leading man ni Louise Delos Reyes and apparently ako po ‘yung nakuha for the soap and since then po ‘yun na po ‘yung start ng lahat up to this day.”

Though he did not finish his degree in college, Alden does not regret entering the entertainment industry, as it was his mother’s ultimate dream– to see him as a successful actor someday.

“Si Mama po kasi mahilig siyang manuod ng GMA. One day gusto niya daw akong makitang nakasakay sa kabayo parang si Sergio so siya po talaga, ‘yung nag-push sa akin na kaya ko daw po and may future daw po ako sa pag aartista.”

But unfortunately, his mom died in 2008.

“The sad part about that kasi hindi na po naabutan ni mama kahit first play ko po sa school. I mean lahat ng pinangarap niya sa ‘kin wala siyang nakita kahit isa. Pero I’m sure nakikita niya naman ‘yun sa langit. I think sa lahat po ng decisions na ginagawa ko since I started showbizness, she was there to help me make it.”

Now that he has been holding both fame and fortune, Alden believes that it is his responsibility to share his blessings with some friends in the industry who are in need especially those who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“Because I’m very blessed with so much. I’ve been very blessed in my race in the industry and these people who I am also helping po na kasama ko sa industriya , they deserve it. Parang, since they’re good friends of mine as well, I see to it na kahit papano in my small way makatulong man lang po ako sa kanila.

In his upcoming documentary concert, Alden will introduce Richard Faulkerson, Jr. to his fans.

As matter of fact, as soon as the concert poster was released, tickets were immediately sold out. Alden is also looking forward to meeting Kapuso fans abroad very soon. But in the meantime, he wishes for everyone’s safety.

“I really miss performing in front of a live audience. And you know, to see our fellow Filipinos all over the world kasi before the pandemic hindi po puwede na walang isang GMA Pinoy TV show so ‘yun po talaga yung isa sa mga nami-miss ko and I can’t wait for it to be back. So ingat lang kayo diyan mga Kapuso, malapit na malapit na po tayong magkita. Salamat po for everything.”

Alden’s success is a product of everyone who has helped him – his family’s love, the Kapuso Network’s trust, and his fans’ support. This is a testament that we are #StrongerTogether.

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