What Alden is up to

CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
What Alden is up to

2017, the Year of the Rooster, was very good to Alden Richards. As he turns 26 on Jan. 2, roughly a month before the advent of the Year of the Dog, what’s in store for Alden who is a Metal Sheep? — Photos by Ver Paulino


A Capricorn according to the western horoscope, Alden Richards is turning 26 on Tuesday, Jan. 2, Year of the Dog, which marks him as a Metal Sheep.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, Metal Sheep are kind and ambitious, having an iron fist in a velvet glove, and full of responsibility. When doing everything, they like to do it in a systematic way and have the ability to establish their own business or career. Advantages for them also include sticking to principles and acting in good faith. However, they sometimes are stubborn and inflexible. Therefore, they are fit to specialize in a specific technique and could obtain outstanding achievements.

The description perfectly fits Alden who looks back at 2017, the Year of the Rooster, with approval.

Asked how he would rate his career on a scale of 1 to 10, Alden broke into a wide smile, dimples digging deep into both his cheeks.

“I give myself a Perfect 10,” he said. “I’m very happy with how things turned out last year.”

Gigi Lara-Santiago, who handles the GMA Artist Center of which Alden is one of the 200 talents, volunteered the information that Alden would renew his contract with dozens of endorsements, among other prospects for 2018. It was Gigi who arranged this exclusive Conversation with Alden (yes, inside Alden’s car!) minutes before Alden entered Concha’s Garden Café (off Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City, right across from Il Terrazo, which he co-owns) to greet movie writers he had invited to a thanksgiving lunch Thursday (Dec. 28) last week, barely 24 hours he flew back from a much-deserved nine-day vacation in Japan with eight members of his family (including his dad, grandparents, siblings and other relatives).

“Travel refreshes the mind and the body,” noted Gigi. And Alden agreed. “You come back fully recharged,” he said.

The vacation (Dec. 19 to 27) gave Alden a chance to bond with family.

“It’s my first time to spend time out of the country with my family,” related Alden. “Nakaka-relax. Ibang feeling na kasama mo ang pamilya mo. Sometimes when I go abroad for a show or for promo, I would stay a few days behind to unwind. Pero iba kapag pamilya ang kasama mo.”

They stayed three days in Fukuoka and soaked up in the onsen in Furukawa town. Onsens are resorts developed around hot springs and there are so many of them in Furukawa than in any place in Japan.

“So invigorating,” said Alden. “So energizing.”

Then, they proceeded to Tokyo, explored the city (Akihabara, the electronics capital of Japan; shopped at the Sky Tree [Cheese Garden]; mixed with the holiday tourists in Shinjuku; but, sadly, missed the famous Shibuya Crossing where hundreds crisscross at a junction), and went out of town to bask in the snow around Mt. Fuji, strolled around Nikko (old Japan) where they wandered at the shrines and temples.

“At one of the shrines,” revealed Alden, “I wrote three wishes on a piece of wood — stability, peace and continuous blessings. I also wished for balance in showbiz, kasi ang daming imbalances sa showbiz, di ba?”  

Happily, Alden refrains from contributing to those “imbalances” by not being so active on social media, shrugging off bashers (unlike most showbiz denizens who are patola…as in pumapatol sa mga trolls) and not allowing negative forces to cramp his style.

Besides Concha’s, Alden plans to invest more in business (“Off the record muna,” reminded Gigi) in 2018 which promises to be as busy as, if not far busier than 2017 when, aside from his regular shows (Eat, Bulaga! and Sunday Pinasaya), he did two docu-dramas (about Martial Law and Marawi) and the soap Destined To Be Yours with Maine Mendoza with whom he might do another movie (after their 2016 starrer Imagine You & Me) also to be produced by Tony Tuviera (“Tuloy ‘yon,” he told movie writers during a Christmas lunch).

Not many people know that Alden has been supporting several charity projects which he keeps under wraps.

“That’s why he makes it a point not to attend during those projects’ activities,” shared Gigi.

“Secret projects,” said Alden. “If I go, siempre they will photograph me and the projects wouldn’t be secret anymore.”

“It’s enough that he is helping those in need,” added Gigi.

No regrets, or anything that he missed doing in 2017?

“None,” assured Alden. “I did my best and I promise to do better. If you continuously look for something that is not there, the unhappiness will always be there. I’m contented with what I have. Whatever I will have is more than a blessing.”

And how would he rate his lovelife on a scale of 1 to 10? As usual, Alden is mum on the matter.

The Metal Sheep are usually gooey over their love. They like to deal with the love relations sloppily. When meeting crisis for their love, they are difficult to make a decision. If they cherish their precious feelings, they try their best to maintain them. Otherwise, they end the relationship as early as possible.

So what was the best lesson that he learned in 2017?

“No matter how hard life deals with you, just keep going. As long as you’re doing good, nothing bad will happen to you.”

Yes, it’s called Good Karma.



(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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