A Quick Alden Richards 101
Screen Name: Alden Richards
Real Name: Richard Reyes Faulkerson Jr.
Showbiz Aliases: Pambansang Dimples, Pambansang Bae, Kapuso Primetime Prince
Birth Date: January 2, 1992 (27 years old)
Religion: Devout Roman Catholic
Hometown: Sta. Rosa, Laguna
School/University: De La Salle Canlubang (Business Administration course, 2nd Year)
Titles: Ginoong Sta. Rosa 2009, Ginoong Laguna 2010
Artista Searches Joined: Startruck V, Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash of 2010
His Start in Showbiz
“Ito pong pag-aartista talagang dream po ‘to ng mom ko for me so sabi ko ayokong masayang kumbaga parang ito ‘yung legacy niya on me. This is her legacy and I’m doing this for her still.” — Alden Richards on his mom and how she inspired him to pursue showbiz (GMANetwork.com interview)
It wasn’t in Alden’s plans to be an actor. His original dream was to be a pilot or a manager like his dad, Richard Faulkerson Sr. But his mother, Rosario a.k.a. Rio, wished for him to be an actor, a star. She wanted for him to be seen on TV and to be a leading man. It was a dream that she always talked about with Alden, though he never took her dream for him seriously. After his mother died of perichronic pneumonia in 2008, Alden promised it to himself and the memory of his late mother to do everything to be an artista. That way, he could fulfill his mother’s dream for him and take care of his family at the same time.
He joined male beauty pageants (and won them), became a part-time commercial model, and auditioned for artista reality searches—all to reach that elusive dream of stardom. But it wasn’t easy. He was met with a lot of rejection. He joined Starstruck V (the batch of Sarah Lahbati and Steven Silva) and only made it to the top 60. He joined Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash of 2010 (the batch of James Reid) but also failed to make the final cut.
Then, just as he was about to turn his back on his showbiz dreams, opportunity knocked in December 2010. It came in the form of an audition call for a leading man role in Alakdana, the afternoon soap that was to launch teen actress Louise delos Reyes as a lead star. Alden auditioned, got the role three days later, and was signed to GMA Artist Center for a five-year contract. Thus was born Alden Richards—the actor and the star. And thus started a career that was to become a testament of devotion to the memory of his late mother.
The New Kid on the Block
“When good things started happening, my dad talked to me about the pros and cons of showbiz and told me puwede pa akong mag-back out. I told him, “Dad, I’m ready for this.” --Alden, sharing a heart-to-heart talk he had with his father (StarStudio, April 2012 issue)
Alden was launched as a GMA star in January 2011, the same month that Alakdana premiered. After being paired with Louise delos Reyes in Alakdana as one of her three leading men, Alden continued to be paired with Louise, forming a loveteam with her in subsequent projects. He became part of the network’s roster of up-and-coming teen stars and acted in the movies Tween Academy: Class of 2012 and The Road. It was the latter that won him attention from fans and acclaim from critics. It also brought him places, literally, as it had an international screening in the US. Alden had guest roles in GMA’s shows for the rest of the year and had a minor role in the movie Ang Panday 2, which was an entry at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival. In his first year in showbiz, he was nominated for a slew of awards. He won two of them: Outstanding Breakthrough Performance by an Actor for his performance in Alakdana at the Golden Screen TV Awards and th German Moreno Youth Achievement Award at the 59th FAMAS Awards.
Nakita namin yung kakaibang determinasyon niya so we felt na he really deserves to be given the proper buildup.” —Arsi Baltazar of GMA Artist Center on why Alden is headed for the bigtime (StarStudio, April 2012 issue)
With the artistic talent and incredible professionalism he showed early on in his career, he caught the attention of network executives, who saw in him a potential for greatness. GMA Artist Center thus began grooming him to be one of the Kapuso network’s future leading men.
First up was an endorsement for the clothing brand Folded & Hung. His sexy billboard for the summer collection of the brand brought him to the consciousness of the public. Then, alongside his loveteam partner Louise delos Reyes, he appeared in My Beloved, the primetime soap opera of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. His and Louise’s characters formed the secondary loveteam that supported the primary characters of Dingdong and Marian.
In the middle of My Beloved’s run, Alden and Louise were pulled out of the show to headline their own primetime soap opera entitled One True Love. Originally meant as a filler show (a show meant to run for only eight weeks while the next show was being readied), One True Love became a runaway hit due to the dramatic storyline and strong performances from the cast, especially from the leads Alden and Louise. It was One True Love that heralded Alden as a promising dramatic actor and a Kapuso primetime leading man, and his breakthrough role as the underdog Tisoy brought him acclaim from fans and critics alike. It also boosted the popularity of the DenLou teamup.
Malaking threat si Alden sa mga artista natin sa kasalukuyan. Humanda na ang mga naka-puwesto because darating na si Alden.” —Jaclyn Jose on Alden Richards as the actor to watch out for (GMANetwork.com interview)
The year 2013 further cemented Alden’s status as one of the Kapuso network’s top leading men. In March 2013, he reunited with Louise delos Reyes for the primetime soap opera Mundo Mo’y Akin, “a family drama that follows a compelling storyline that explores the insatiable quest for beauty and wealth” (SunStar Davao). The show also became a tremendous success among viewers, and it earned Alden a nomination at the 5th Golden Screen TV Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor for his role as Jerome. It was also in 2013 when he became a full-fledged recording artist, releasing his debut album entitled Alden Richards under Universal Records on May 26, 2013. Some of the songs on his album were used as theme songs for certain GMA dramas.
"Siguro isa sa masasabi kong maipagmamalaki ko sa kanya, mahal niya yung trabaho niya…Natutuwa ako sa kanya kasi masyado siyang dedicated sa trabaho." --Marian Rivera on Alden Richards as her leading man
In early 2014, Alden’s career soared to new heights as he was paired with Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera for Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw. He also starred opposite Superstar Nora Aunor in Kinabukasan, a short film directed by internationally acclaimed indie director Adolf Alix Jr. The short film had screenings at international film festivals in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In late 2014, he was tapped by GMA News and Public Affairs to portray national hero Jose Rizal in the first bayaniserye on primetime TV, Ilustrado. He also showcased his hosting skills in the reality talent search Bet ng Bayan alongside Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez. All these prestigious projects ultimately prepared him for the next stage of his career.
“Luck always favors the prepared and I think his time has really come. He has prepared all these years, and…[n]akita ko talaga ang kanyang dedication.” --Dingdong Dantes on Alden’s phenomenal success with the emergence of the AlDub loveteam (GMANetwork.com interview)
“If you wait with patience and you pray for it hard and true sa puso mo, it will really come.” —Alden Richards on the rewards he’s reaping now
On April 18, 2015, Alden became a guest host for Eat Bulaga, the Philipines’ longest running noontime variety show. In a recent interview with YES! magazine, he revealed that he was only supposed to be on it for a month before he would leave for the United States to perform in a series of shows there. The big bosses of Eat Bulaga and TAPE Inc. liked his performance so much that they invited him back on the show when he got back from the US and turned him into a regular Dabarkads.
His popularity increased, especially among the ladies, when he began hosting a segment called “That’s My Bae.” However, it was with the emergence of the phenomenal loveteam AlDub that Alden Richards finally achieved the stardom and success that he had dreamed about and that he had deserved for so long.
The AlDub story needs no retelling here as almost everybody knows how and when it happened. Suffice it to say that when it did happen, it brought about drastic, 180-degree changes in Alden’s life and career and turned him and his loveteam partner Maine Mendoza into overnight superstars. It also brought them legions of staunchly loyal fans (a huge number of who would storm Alden’s mall shows all over the country and turn them into on-the-spot rallies), several big-time endorsements, anticipated movie projects, recording contracts, and so many more blessings. The AlDub tandem and the kalyeserye segment of Eat Bulaga became—and continue to be—potent forces to be reckoned with, destroying the competition, breaking ratings and Twitter records, and electrifying the Filipino masses here and abroad.
It can no longer be denied.
Alden Richards has arrived. And now is his “tamang panahon.”