10 YEARS IN PROGRESS: ALDEN RICHARDS CELEBRATES A DECADE IN SHOW BUSINESS WITH THE PROMISE OF MORE
To call Alden Richards an "overnight sensation" for his huge surge in popularity due to the AlDub love team is an outright lie. Cheers to the man who has created an enterprise of a career with countless projects and ventures, while maintaining his sparkling personality.
For Alden Richards, a decade in the limelight means ten years of constantly moving forward to hone his craft, and explore a world of opportunities made possible because of his genuine smile and passionate work. A lot of us might know him as one half of the country’s most phenomenal love team, AlDub with Maine Mendoza, or from his outstanding performance in box office hit, Hello, Love, Goodbye with Kathryn Bernardo. But behind those huge successes, Alden has been known for his countless ventures and projects in-between, creating a steady collection of his life’s work throughout his youthful years.
From 2009 to 2010, he has won celebrated pageants and modeling competitions as a teen in his hometown, Laguna, before he eventually booked his first major acting role in GMA for afternoon fantasy-drama series Alakdana. With the success of his first show, and his booming love team at the time with Louise delos Reyes, a number of productions got him as well for other roles. In that first year alone, he was honored with the Golden Screen TV Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance by an Actor.
The award officially launched Alden into local stardom, with leading roles in coveted primetime shows in the Kapuso network, working alongside industry veterans such as Marian Rivera, Regine Velasquez, and more. With raw talent and versatility under his name, Alden also scored the role of national hero José Rizal in the internationally-acclaimed historical drama Ilustrado. This iconic role landed him his first Best Actor award from the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television in 2014.
With all that success in acting, an unexpected blessing was also in the works for Alden—something he, or anyone for that matter, could never have imagined. In 2015, he was invited to be a guest host in the Philippines’ longest-running noontime show and cultural icon, Eat Bulaga! As he grew more and more comfortable with his new hosting role, and the show’s viewers rapidly became enamored with his natural charm, AlDub happened.
Even if you weren’t a fan of local showbiz news, or you hardly knew anyone from the local entertainment industry, it would be near impossible to not have any clue who or what AlDub was, and just how big of a cultural rewrite the pairing was to the industry. Maine Mendoza, who played Yaya Dub, was also enjoying her first few days in the dubbing role when the unexpected interaction with local heartthrob Alden Richards happened. As unexpected as it was for the two new cast mates to virtually meet each other over split screen, the reaction of Filipinos were even more shocking.
With that 1-minute clip of genuine surprise and kilig between the two, a phenomenon was born. Overnight, Maine Mendoza, who had never been in the spotlight before Eat Bulaga, grew in popularity by the millions. And Alden Richards, who was more known by Kapuso fans, suddenly became the talk of the town. For years, the network played on the organic story of Yaya Dub and Alden with hundreds of episodes trending each day on social media, and alongside it, their individual “star power” was also shining brighter and brighter with each new episode and segment.
In fact, the live event and special episode “Sa Tamang Panahon” at the Philippine Arena in October 2015 landed on the Guinness World Records as the even with the most used hashtag in 24 hours after amassing more than 40 million tweets. This was the much-awaited event where Maine Mendoza used her real voice for the first time, and the pair could interact freely in front of thousands of their fans. The special episode sold out 55,000 seats, and became the highest viewed television episode in 2015. Proceeds from the event went out to families affected by Typhoon Lando, while a part funded the construction of school libraries across the country.
To this day, the AlDub pairing has maintained its legendary status, even with no new projects together outside their Eat Bulaga hosting duties. After making the mutual decision to focus more on their individual careers for the time being, Alden then took on more leading roles and commercial endorsements left and right to maintain the success of his career. Although nothing was comparable in terms of national impact as AlDub’s nationwide success, he steadily and ceaselessly worked hard to provide for his loved ones, and give back to his supporters.
Then, in 2019, another unexpected collaboration came about in the form of Hello, Love, Goodbye. In this film project, Alden worked with Kathryn Bernardo, who is also supported by millions of fans for her KathNiel pairing with on-screen and off-screen partner Daniel Padilla. It was a bold move to take up a romantic role with another half of one of the Philippines’ most beloved love teams, but it proved to be worthwhile as the film became the highest-grossing Filipino movie in history with P880 Million worldwide sales—dethroning KathNiel’s The Hows of Us to second place.
Most moviegoers who originally only knew Alden from his AlDub years couldn’t deny his talent in acting. Once again, the Philippines fell in love with this leading man who seems to be consistently delivering good and phenomenal work, while avoiding the controversies, scandals, and other frivolous things stardom usually brings.
That’s one thing you have to admit about Alden Richards: he seems like a genuinely nice guy. He also seems like one of the rare actors who truly care about his craft, and his own personal growth as a human being.
Throughout the years, Alden has explored many ventures and projects to continuously grow and learn. He has released several singles and albums, with his most successful one, Wish I May, being the fastest-selling Filipino album in 2015. By October 2016, the record has exceeded 8-times platinum, and has reached Diamond Record status.
Alden has also explored business ventures with franchises of Concha’s Garden Café, which was originally opened in Cavite. Under his name, he opened two branches in Tagaytay, and Quezon City back in 2016. On the same year, he released his first autobiography titled In My Own Words, documenting stories from his personal life, and other insights into his mind.
This year, as we all adjusted into quarantine life, Alden kept himself busy by entering the world of online game streaming and esports. Through his #ARGaming videos on his Facebook page, he was able to show yet another side of him to his fans, while simultaneously reawakening his love for video games. With this new-found way to connect with himself and his supporters, Alden also found a way to dedicate a special stream to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Ulysses, raising over P200,000 with a single stream.
With everything that he has achieved and accomplished throughout the years, Alden has also received several awards for the values he has promoted, and the inspiring contributions he has made to the youth—making him a multi-awarded personality even outside acting, and his numerous entertainment accolades. Some of these values-oriented awards include the Anak TV Makabata Star Award, and the Catholic Social Media Achievement Award in 2015, and the People of the Year title in 2016.
All these accolades, recognitions, and records tucked neatly under his belt, he continues to explore possibilities and challenge limitations of his career. In fact, during quarantine, the 28-year-old actor has worked on a new track called “Going Crazy” released to coincide with a digital concert that he promises to cross boundaries with immersive VR technology happening today, called #AldensReality. Through this, Alden creates an experience to thank and check fans, the most personal way he can, maximizing new technologies amid a time of uncertainty.
Looking back at all this—a ten-year old career full of consistent work, work, and more work—it’s clear that Alden Richards is a man of many talents, and even more passions. Which, sometimes, amount to a greater level of success for individuals who know how to be persistent and passionate in whichever work they choose to explore. On top of all the acting roles, endorsement contracts, music releases, published works, business ventures, and gaming adventures Alden has traversed to throughout his career, he shows no signs of slowing down. More importantly, he shows no signs of a growing ego, or a declining attitude.
Ten years in the entertainment industry is no easy feat, and that alone warrants a huge celebration for Alden and his fans. But to maintain one that’s founded on solid hard work and good values, with an excited energy for more, that’s a career that will go on for the ages.
Photography by Ed Enclona
Produced and styling by Leo Balante
Fashion by Kelvin Morales (Hand-embroidered and painted moth shirt) and Edwin Tan (trousers)
Grooming by Lala Flores
Hair by Mark Familara
Shot on location at the 10 Hours Studio
Special thanks GMA Artist Center