Remember when we were kids? Our teachers in school would ask us to write essays — one at the start of the year and one at the very end. They’d want to know what our new year’s resolutions were, or how the past 12 months have been for us. Being kids, we were nothing but full of wonder. We believed the world was ours for the taking. So we didn’t think much about our answers. We couldn’t have fathomed the gravity those two questions held. Not until today, not until we actually started living.
If you’re asked those same two questions now — would you be able to answer them with the same innocence when you were younger? Would your eyes widen while thinking about what you’ve gone through? Would your heart flutter because of the endless possibilities? Much can be said about how fast life changes. But have we ever stopped for a minute to think about the things that really mattered?
Reflections With Alden Richards
December has a way of bringing out the melancholy in us. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the food. One thing’s for sure — nostalgia is always in the air during the yuletide season. Every year hits differently for each of us, and the last month of the year acts like a big throwback of sorts. Either with loved ones or your lonesome, one can’t help but reflect on how time flies so fast.
Without a doubt, 2020 stands out more than the other years in recent history. It’s at the crossroads of the decade that’ll pass and the decade that’s dawning. For ALDEN RICHARDS, 2020 marks his 10th anniversary in show business — an affair that highlights a lot of unexpected but deserving fortune.
In the past 10 years, Asia’s Multimedia Star has grown more than he ever hoped — not only as an artist but also as a person. Despite acknowledging that the global pandemic has taken a toll on so many things he’s accustomed to, he still thinks that the good things he experienced outweigh everything else. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that now is the best time to straighten out some priorities. Although, looking back, he’s irrevocably grateful for all the blessings.
The End of a Decade
“If not for this job, I won’t be here. I was a very different person back in 2010. Hindi ako ganito ka-hardworking, ka-pursigido. ‘Yung buong journey ko sa show business made me who I am today.”
Just like Alden Richards, we didn’t think things would turn out the way they did. Ten years ago, no one could’ve anticipated any of this. Alden still thinks it’s amazing that we got this far. With everything that’s happened, a little bit of anything can go a long way. You just have to make sure you keep one foot in front of the other.
“Can’t say whether the Alden in 2010 was surviving or thriving eh, so I wouldn’t know na,” Alden shares. “I consider being an artist as the greatest turning point in my life. If ‘di ako napunta dito, I may be working as a manager for a hotel or a restaurant now. Pero sure akong magiging happy pa rin ako. I try to make the most of what I have, be satisfied, maging happy, and share what I have,” he continues.
The Past Ten Years
“Regardless of the blessings that come my way, I never really get to enjoy them if I’m unable to share them with others. I guess it’s my purpose as an actor, artist, as a public figure.”
COVID-19 doesn’t define this decade. We need to remember that. The decade ends with it, but it surely didn’t become the foundation for the 10 years that led to it. The journey from 2010 to 2020 wasn’t entirely smooth, but it was one for the books. Like with all hurdles, we work through and around the setbacks we face. And if we were lucky enough, we might’ve found our purpose too. If not, at least, we were given more time to figure things out. What’s important is we didn’t lose ourselves.
“If nakikita ko ‘yung pinaghihirapan ko na may natutulungang ibang tao, it’s quite fulfilling. To be honest, I don’t really publicize all my outreach activities,” Alden confesses. “Kapag nakikita ko na nagagawa sila, iba ‘yung dala na happiness — mas motivated pa ako to work harder so I can help more people. If ever my charity work does get attention on social media, I hope I get to inspire more people to be kinder,“ he explains further with a bit of glimmer in his brown eyes.
The Epilogue of Alden Richards
In times like these, what matters is how you hold up and get along with others. Despite long-standing traditions being set aside, new habits are being adopted for the new norm. We’ve been forced to distance ourselves for our own and everyone else’s safety, but relationships shouldn’t be taken for granted. In hindsight, social interactions define who we are as people. The pandemic hasn’t affected how our society behaves, it only made us look for creative alternatives to continue with our lives.
“Ito kasing past 4 Decembers, I’ve always celebrated Christmas abroad with the family. But ngayon, dito lang muna. Maganda rin kasi sa ilang years na palipad-lipad every year, dito naman muna kami sa Philippines. I have two 80-year old grandparents kasi. I really don’t want to risk their health,” Alden explains with a stern but gentle look on his face. “As long as I’m with family, Christmas will always be the same,” he adds.
The Start of a Decade
“I wouldn’t redo anything from the past 10 years. Whether it’s a good or bad experience, I’ve learned something from it.”
History teaches us a thing or two about mistakes and successes. Just because things started out fine and ended up going downhill, doesn’t mean all is lost. If anything, 2020 taught us one valuable lesson — to take things slower. We’ve been going at it for a long time, but we never really cared to stop and to take a look around. Our idea of living is to work and to succeed, but what are we really working on? Why are we really persistent in succeeding?
“The experiences in my life contributed to making who I am, 10 years later after I started on the path I’ve taken. If there’s a redo moment, I don’t want it,” Alden says. “Pero syempre, if I can relive anything naman, it’ll be the moments with my mom. Siya may gusto nito eh. It’s too bad na ‘di na niya nakita. Pero sana kasama ko pa siya ngayon,” he reminisces, a somber smile escaping his mouth.
The Next Coming Years
“There’s a lot of things in store.”
Expecting things to go back to what they were pre-pandemonium may be a long shot, but it’s what keeps most people afloat. Not knowing what the future holds bears a heavier burden for us, but what’s certain is that everything is fleeting. Moreover, the showbiz industry is only one of the several industries that COVID-19 affected. Being able to set food on the table humbles Alden Richards even more. He’s grateful that he’s still able to do all the things he loves doing. For now, he’s just as excited about the future as we are.
“I just celebrated my 10th year through a concert. It was a good way to end the year, and to celebrate the past 10 years. Other than that, I’m so happy to still be doing my daily jobs, like Eat Bulaga and All Out Sundays. Of course, there will be more game streamings. And hopefully more restaurants too,” he says yearningly. “I also have a single. We released during the concert. It’s called Going Crazy, and it’s a collaboration between FlipMusic and GMA Music. The song is about how a certain pair who wanted to be with each other but can’t because there are certain aspects in life that push them back, na parang pinipigilan sila to do that.” he continues, his voice clearly full of excitement.
The Prologue of Alden Richards
The future is full of twists and turns, but it’s a mystery we can’t wait to unfold. Nothing is set in stone, and everything we know so far can and will eventually change. It’s true that our past doesn’t define who we are, but it should be a beacon to light our way for a better tomorrow. Who knows what the future brings? Who knows where we end up?
“To the 18-year old me, you’re doing a good job. Whatever it is you’re doing, just carry on. Tuloy mo lang ‘yan. Kasi you’re already on the right path. Never lose your faith, and just love yourself,” Alden exclaims as he gives encouragement to a version of himself who’s fighting to survive.
“To the 38-year old me, siguro I’d like to congratulate you. For having a family and kids. Kung sino ka man noong nag-start ka when you were 18, you just maintain the attitude. And never forget the people behind you. I’m really looking forward to meeting you,” he continues, his knowing eyes lingering on his hands. He then smiles that perfect smile of his — his dimple showing.
You may ask, does it matter how your year went? When we were young, we may not have realized how much time we actually had. Days, weeks, months, years — they dragged on when we were little. But when we started to grow up and to slowly become responsible for our own time and decisions, it felt like time was finally caught up. Gone were the times when we thought that the world was in the palm of our hands. The moment has arrived for us to slowly reap what we sow. So to answer your question, yes. Everything does matter.
Alden Richards makes up one of the 7 billion people in this world whose future shines bright. Seven billion sounds like a lot of people…because it is. Alden’s a part of a bigger picture, more than his past and his future could. His story matters. He matters. Just like how you’re part of this picture too. Your story matters. You matter. Go live your best life possible.