If there’s a will, there’s a way. Take it from Alden Richards who has religiously stuck to a weight-reducing program. Says Alden, ‘I feel lighter and better,’ fit and fabulous for his movie (Hello, Love, Goodbye) with Kathryn Bernardo and his limited AxA collection.
Alden minus 25 lbs.
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 7, 2019 - 12:00am

The baby fat is gone…for good, hopefully!

“I worked hard for it,” Alden Richards, who stands 5'11”, told Conversations in an exclusive interview.

He looks good and feels better, on and off screen.

The big “loss” is very visible in Hello, Love, Goodbye, Alden’s much-talked-about and eagerly-awaited team-up with Kathryn Bernardo (should we call them KathDen or AlKath for short?), and even more so in AxA, Alden’s project with designer Avel Bacudio (good friends from way, way back) who designed limited edition clothes just like what he did with Matteo Guidicelli.

with good friend Avel Bacudio

Alden shed those unwanted (unbecoming) pounds for both his movie with Kathryn and AxA. In the movie directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina and shot entirely in Hong Kong, Alden and Kathryn submerged themselves in their characters as OFWs after not just talking with our kababayan in Hong Kong but actually “moonlighting” in places of work (Alden as a bartender, Kathryn as a domestic). But more on that in another story.

For now, this Conversation is limited to Alden and Avel who had the pictorial when they met up in New York where Avel was attending a workshop (fashion deign/branding and interior design) and Alden happened to be there for a show.

ALDEN

Did you decide to lose weight for Victor Magtanggol (the GMA adventure series)?

“I’d been wanting to lose weight, but I realized that I was in the wrong path. Nag-stick ako sa intermittent fasting; I was eating food na hindi tama para doon sa diet, so I ended up gaining more. I thought pumapayat ako at that time, hindi pala. Pero yes, I intended to lose weight and make more muscle.”

How many pounds have you lost so far?

“I used to weigh 185 lbs. and now 160 na lang, so I’ve lost 25 lbs. in only almost two months now. I decided to continue the diet even after the movie kasi mas maganda ‘yung itsura and ‘yung dating.”

What kind of workout do you do and how often do you do it?   

With Kathryn during the movie’s shoot in Hong Kong

“When I was in Hong Kong shooting for the movie, I stuck to high-intensity workouts and I practiced intermittent fasting. But during the times na puede na akong kumain, I still incorporated healthy food into my diet.”

Oh, your diet. What are the do’s and don’t’s…and do you have “cheat” days?

“Mahirap ‘yung early part. You really have to reset your body to accept the new diet and the types of food you’re eating now, kasi ‘yun ‘yung pinaka-crucial. Your temperament sometimes gets bad, sometimes you’re not able to think better and to think well. But now that my body has already adjusted, di na siya mahirap i-maintain.”

What do you like about Avel’s clothes?

“I’ve always been a fan of Avel’s designs. I’ve been wearing his clothes in formal events and casual events as well. He has been a good friend for the longest time, starting when I was with Boardwalk. So with that, I was really psyched when I learned about the idea that we’re going to do AxA. I immediately said yes because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity collaborating with the Avel Bacudio, of course! We’re going to release the collection in August.”

I heard that AxA is for a good cause.

“It has meaning. More than just the nice designs, more than just the clothes being comfortable, there is an advocacy behind the collaboration. Proceeds of this collection will go to the blind kids of Baguio City. Kasi ang maganda doon also, the color palette we chose was based on Avel’s post-eye-surgery experience. After that, the first color he saw was black then eventually after the cast was taken off, he saw different shades of maroon, like the blood clots from the operation.

“And eventually his vision became gray, and then eventually white. ‘Yung mga ganung small details of the collection, they mean a lot to me and also mean a lot to Avel; we’re really looking forward to help the blind kids of Baguio City, especially because I’ve met them already.”

How is Avel as a friend?

“As a friend, ilalaban ka niya ng patayan. That’s the way I know him from way back…a loyal friend. He chooses his friends, very few but for him it’s more than enough. Hindi siya basta-basta nagpu-fall. Hindi kasi showbiz si Avel, that’s why I’m very comfortable around him. As a designer, may sarili talaga siyang style, he knows what he wants, he has a vision, he has originality na hindi ko nakikita sa ibang designers and that’s what makes him unique.”

AVEL

You have known Alden for seven years since you designed clothes for him for Boardwalk when he was a virtual unknown. How has he changed all these years?

“He hasn’t changed at all. He is different from other showbiz guys. He is the same Alden then and now. Kung tutuusin, mas bumait at mas humamble pa siya now that he’s a big star. He is meticulous and caring. When he learns that I have a problem, he reaches out and asks me how I am, no matter how busy he is. That’s true friendship. Every now and then, he would tell me, ‘Pare, parang nami-miss ko ang laing mo.’ And I would cook laing for him. People follow and love Alden for who and what he is, mabuti ang kalooban niya and that’s why people love him.”

Avel during the AxA pictorial in New York

Is Alden vanidoso (vain)?

“I don’t think so. He loves to be comfortable in what he’s wearing, ‘yung nakakagalaw siya ng maayos para maka-focus siya sa pagpapasaya ng mga manonood sa kanya. That’s why he was the one who suggested that we make a line of tracksuits; that’s his idea. Gusto niya ‘yung tracksuits kasi comfy and stylish siya without trying hard.”

Paano nabuo ang concept ng AxA (after your limited pants edition with Matteo Guidicelli)?

“It started in 2014 but it’s only now that we are able to put it together kasi pareho kami naging busy. Alden has been hands-on, from choosing the material to the hangtag. And, of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without Team Alden and Team Avel who gave their 110 percent support.”

“Alden is right. Part of the proceeds will go to the Northern Luzon Association for the Blind, a school in La Trinidad, Benguet na tumutulong sa mga visually-impaired kids.

“Matagal ko nang advocacy ang NLAB because ako mismo, may retinal detachment. I lost my eyesight for a few days and it was a hard experience. It’s my mission in life. Alden met the kids already. He cried when he saw the kids who don’t let their condition be a hindrance.”

By the way, where can people buy the AxA stuff?

“It’s a limited edition collection and we will have four different drops. Every two months, people can expect another new capsule collection. We’re partnering with MegaWorld Lifestyle Malls for our pop-ups because MegaWorld also supports our NLAB advocacy. Those out of Metro Manila or abroad can shop online with Zilingo or from AvelDesigns.com. We’re officially launching it in August so keep posted on Facebook and Instagram (@avelbacudio @aldenrichards02 @aveldesigns) for updates, pop-up locations and special promos.”

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

ALDEN RICHARDS
Philstar
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