Jerry Donato – The Philippine Star

October 23, 2021 | 12:00am

Every journey begins with a single step, as the saying suggests. But Alden Richards’ foray into showbiz started with a parent’s wish that he fulfilled. Since then, it has paved the way for the bedimpled and dutiful son to successfully try his hand at acting, recording and hosting.

“It played a big factor and that was what she wanted for me,” answered the lead star of GMA 7’s The World Between Us when asked about heeding his late mother’s advice in a recent media call via Zoom. “As a young kid, I wanted to graduate from college and be a manager like my dad, (supervising) a business or (working) in a company. She’s really a fan of telenovelas (and fond of watching them).”

Alden’s mom pictured him as a leading man riding on a horse, said he. Not knowing what the future might hold for him, Alden brushed it aside because “most actors on TV are good-looking and very good at acting,” added he. “I didn’t have that confidence yet. I really owe it to my mom.”

Given his mom’s health condition at that time and the inevitable, the actor recalled, the family matriarch never even had the chance to watch his first school play and to witness the milestones he has since achieved in his career.

“I think she’s looking down on me from heaven, very proud and happy,” said Alden, who still seeks for his mom’s guidance in every professional and personal decision, especially now that he’s looking at the possibility of resuming his studies.

“I really want to finish school,” said he, who has started getting information about universities that offer a Business Economics program. “I’ve been really into that lately, like stock market, you know anything that involves the economy of a country. It’s very interesting to see. With that knowledge, I will know if my country and other countries are performing well. It’s one of my plans (to do) in the near future. I’ll just look for a time window for it and I will pursue that.” 

If his mom’s dream was to see him succeed in the entertainment field, securing a college diploma is his dad’s. “Sabi niya, ‘Kahit anong mangyari tapusin mo pag-aaral mo. Yun yung dream ko for you.’ (He encouraged me to finish my studies no matter how busy I am.),” said he. “Ako naman bilang anak na mahilig mag-fulfill ng dreams ng magulang, I said to him, ‘Dad, I will give it to you.’”

Alden’s story proves that those who succeed in life are the ones who listen to their parents, if one may put it. “(I have faith in it that) anything you do and you do it for your family and your loved ones, and you put the Lord in it, you will be successful in that field.”

The actor is reaping the fruits of being a good son. Alden recently renewed his contract with GMA and was grateful to how the latter steered his career.

“(It) first trusted me and gambled on me,” recalled he. “Hindi sila sigurado but they decided to give me a chance. As a newbie then, I was thinking, ‘Who was I to take it for granted?’ The only thing I could give in return (was) to really work hard, wholeheartedly and passionately. It’s the least thing I could do for the trust.”

Alden described his career journey with GMA as limitless “because throughout the years I’ve been with GMA and the kind of work I’ve done under their wing and outside their wing is also limitless,” said he. “What I really appreciate about my bosses in GMA and GMA Artist Center is they really give me the opportunity to fly further, doing projects outside the walls of the network. They do not restrict me, walang ganun, as to the potential that I can (showcase and) give.”

With that, Alden has committed himself “to stay with GMA perhaps until the end of my career,” said he, who thinks that “I’m on the right track and so far, I’m doing good.”

The Kapuso actor is determined to “keep going, keep doing what (I’m) doing, keep on improving myself to give more so that the efforts of people behind me will not go to waste.”

This means seeing Alden in acting pieces and edgy roles. His Louie in the series The World Between Us can attest to it, especially when it returns to air next month. Fans will witness how his character will transform by “leaps and bounds” and how Alden has taken on the challenge.

“The reason why I accepted this role was the change in my character, yun talaga yung naging selling point niya sa akin,” said he. “Now that we’re done doing it, I’m very happy and very proud of the outcome. And I can’t wait for the people to watch it. This November, may patikim na ng parang Alden version 2.0 (It will serve as a preview of my 2.0 version).”

Part of his immediate future is to embark on collaborations with different actors. His film, A Moment to Remember, with newest Kapuso Bea Alonzo, will push through, shared he.

“There are a lot of potential leading ladies out there,” said Alden, “maraming magagaling na senior and new actors and I’m really looking forward to working with them all. I’m not picky in terms of people I work with. To be able to work with most of them is an opportunity for me to discover something new in them and to discover something new in me.”

Hands down, Alden is off to continue the career that was jumpstarted by a parent’s wish.

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