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Entertainment

Alden Richards shares inspiration behind charity work

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
Alden Richards shares inspiration behind charity work
Alden continues the charity work he has started before through the AR Foundation, which grants scholarships to deserving students. His story as a philanthropist-education advocate will be captured in the upcoming documentary concert, Forward.
STAR / File

Time flies. Its moving forward trajectory challenges all to remain unperturbed in fulfilling their dreams and creating new experiences.

Alden Richards, among GMA 7’s prized talents, has successfully done that and made the most out of his time. The bedimpled actor continues to do so and knows by heart the key to it.

“Maybe, I’m really motivated and always hungry (for something new) every single day,” disclosed The World Between Us lead star in a recent virtual press conference. “(I’m thinking) ano pa yung pwede kong gawin, what (else) can I do for other people, what (else) can I do for myself.”

His mindset’s impressive result is, the showbiz aspirant has become a multi-hyphenate. Alden is known now as the actor-singer-host-entrepreneur, in that order, according to his career run. Recently, he has added the words “philanthropist” and “education advocate” to his resume with his AR Foundation. The GMA Artist Center talent has done a lot of charity work even before.

“With the guidance of people, who are close to me, they told me to open a foundation,” said Alden of this new chapter in his life. “So at least (I) could also inspire others, in these trying times that we are in right now, and show them that we can still help.”

Alden reported that he has 14 scholars. From this number, two graduated from college with degrees in IT and Electrical Engineering. He has already granted scholarships prior to the launch of the foundation. “I want them (the people) to see that the foundation is there for them, especially the kids who struggle with their education,” said he. “Sa totoo lang po talaga, ako’y naniniwala na kahit papaano medyo hadlang ang kahirapan sa edukasyon. I’ve been there and I know the feeling that you wanted to study but you didn’t have the resources. I experienced that when I was young. I don’t want that to happen to these kids. I want to break that cycle po, sana with this cause that I’m doing.”

Since the foundation is just taking its baby steps, Alden and his team have also talked about its sustainability, like how it will “hold up” itself in the years to come.

“We could now project a budget until 2025,” said he. “If we want to achieve this certain number of scholars and sustain our current scholars that we have now, (we also have to think that) this is what we have to do, these are the funds that we need to raise.”

Scholarship granting is the first phase of the foundation, according to Alden, who teased everyone that “we have other bigger plans (which have been plotted) all throughout the year. Talagang very wholistic yung development ng foundation.” AR Foundation is created for the long run, if one may say.

For the public to understand what the foundation is all about, Alden will single-handedly, as he put it, produce a documentary concert, Forward: Meet Richard R. Faulkerson Jr., on Jan. 30, 2022 at 8 p.m., whose tickets are available at the Ticket 2 Me.

“I told them (the people I work with), ‘Why don’t we have a concert, so that viewers will have a deeper understanding about it (the foundation)’,” recalled Alden, “(like) ano ba talaga ito, bakit ba ito nabuo, ano ba yung mga pinanggalingan niya para magkaroon tayo ng AR Foundation. Si AR Foundation po talaga ang bida sa concert na ito.” The foundation will also serve as a place, where people, who want to help others, converge.

The documentary concert revolves around a specific aspect of Alden’s life, which will be explored through songs. The storytelling is done through performances. Forward is different from his previous shows that narrated his show business journey. He said that the Alden Richards the public knows is just a part and parcel of a whole that only long-time followers are privy to. “I want also other people to see what I stand for,” Aden continued, “ano ba ang pinaglalaban ko sa buhay ko, how do I see myself, how do I see my future.”

Asked where the adrenaline rush or the inspiration was coming from for him to jump from one project to another, Alden answered, “Perhaps, it’s my goal now that (since) I’m not getting any younger is to do things na hindi ko pa nagagawa. The time is always now. Hindi po yan, ‘Ay, bata pa ako, hindi ko pa dapat gawin yan, kapag ganitong edad na ako.’ It’s really more about acquiring different experiences and experiencing things for the first time.”

Also after a quick reflection on the inquiry, Alden managed to add. “Perhaps, maaga rin po akong tumanda. At the age of 17, I lost my mom, ang aga po ng stage of maturity for me, and maaga po akong naging motivated to really be of help, especially, lahat naman po nag-sisimula sa pamilya, siguro ngayon nga lang na na-bless tayo with a good career and a platform to spread (the good) influence to a lot of people, parang now is always the right time, parang gawin na natin ngayon yung mga pwede nating gawin.” Through these efforts, Alden will be able to inspire the youth to carry on the culture of charity and the value of paying it forward.

Aside from gamely sharing the nitty-gritty of his documentary concert and foundation, Alden  also generously informed all that “before the year ends, we’re starting the movie, the one with me and Bea Alonzo, the Korean adaptation and we’re gonna grind soon… and there’s a teleserye next year.”

With a plate full of things to do now and the next year on his working table, Alden is not in a rush. He simply wants to seize the moment.

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