GMA 7’s latest heartthrob isn’t just another pretty face


ALVES. Gears up for stardom in the local adaptation of “Coffee Prince.”

WHILE reviewing the initial takes of newcomer Benjamin Alves on the first day of his taping for the local adaptation of the popular 2007 Koreanovela, “Coffee Prince,” director Ricky Davao reminded the 23-year-old model-turned-actor, “Nagpi-Piolo (Pascual) ka dito ah.” Up close, GMA 7’s newest heartthrob looks and talks (and even laughs) like the Kapamilya network’s premier heartthrob, although he can hardly be blamed for the eerie physical resemblance. After all, Benjamin is Piolo’s nephew!

Alves isn’t just another pretty face. In fact, while we could hardly sit through last month’s doppelganger tale, “Guni-guni,” the fresh-faced actor acquitted himself well alongside Lovi Poe and Empress Schuck in Tara Illenberger’s confounding big-screen chiller.

If his formidable mix of “beauty,” brawn and stellar pedigree is impressive, his brains will blow you away: BJ, as he is fondly called (“There are three PJs in our clan”), graduated summa cum laude last May with a degree in AB English from the University of Guam—a four-year course that he finished in only two years!

Priggish half-brother

The handsome comer’s acting mettle will be tested further when he shares the spotlight with Aljur Abrenica, Kris Bernal and Max Collins in GMA 7’s “Coffee Prince” (its telecast begins on Oct. 8), where he portrays Errol, the priggish and more responsible half-brother of impulsive Arthur (Abrenica).

BJ’s eyes playfully lit up when we asked him how he relates to his role: “Like me, Errol is very successful—joke (laughs)! Seriously, I’m responsible, and I know what needs to be done. I take every bit of information in before I express myself—but, this is due to Errol’s sad back story, which involves Collins’ character breaking his heart.”

Benjamin is no stranger to heartbreak and rejection. In 2006, after finishing high school in Guam at age 17, he found himself dabbling in modeling on Manila’s catwalks and runways! But, like his famous uncle, what he really wanted was a career in show biz. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out as intended. So, after three difficult years, he went back to Guam and decided to get a college degree.

He recalls, “It was a devastating decision! It was hard for me to watch GMA Pinoy TV or TFC, because I could see my contemporaries making something out of themselves—and doing what I wanted to do! But, in retrospect, I’m glad that I went through those struggling years, because I can now fully appreciate the big breaks that are coming my way.” Indeed, good things come to those who wait.

What should a girl do to catch his attention? He replies, “I’m not big on serendipity—I can’t date someone I hardly know. You know what my biggest weakness is? Girls who can sing well—perhaps because I’m inadequate at singing. But, I’m not comfortable with aggressive girls—they terrify me (laughs)!”

If he were to turn a book into a movie, which novel would it be? He answers, “I’d love to see another screen adaptation of Kobo Abe’s 1962 novel, ‘Woman in the Dunes,’ about a bug collector who gets stuck in a sand quarry with a young widow, who becomes his lover.”

What advice from his uncle Piolo has he taken to heart? He shares, “Because of the unstable nature of this profession, he cautioned me to save for a rainy day. I shouldn’t scrimp, but I shouldn’t spend beyond my means—that’s Kuya PJ’s best advice!”

Kuya? “Yes,” BJ beams. “He doesn’t want me to call him ‘tito’—baka magalit.”

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Eureka_Naiba

    Parang awa nyo na, GMA 7, sawang-sawa na kami’t inuumay na kina RICHARD GUTIERREZ at MARIANNE DELA RIVA nyo, wala na ba kayong ibang artista na pwedeng isalang sa’min???  Tapos magtataka kayo kung ba’t unti-unti na kayong ino-overtake ng TV 5.

    • Matthew Reyes

      Nagtataka naman ako sa ‘yo ‘teh. Nasusuka ka na nga sa mga artista nila,. pinapanood mo pa rin naman? Hindi na fault ng network kung LOYAL ka sa sinasabi mong nakakasukang artista nila.

      Pwede namang sa Channel 5 ka na lang eh di panoorin mo sina Ritz Azul at Daniel Matsunaga. Problema ba ‘yon ‘teh?

    • Jake Dela Merced

       ino-overtake ng tv5? wow!!! GMA Network na lang ang KUMIKITANG TELEVISION STATION NGAYON, both abs and tv5 bankrupt at lubog na sa utang. Before magcomment, please research ka muna, ng di ka magmukhang ignorante at nahuhuli sa balita, tsk tsk tsk

    • archerfan

      hahaha TV5 kumikita??  obviously wala ka alam pero para makatulong sayo,  and TV5 venture ni mvp ang isa sa pinagsisisihan nya na nagawa nya!! sobra pagalit inabot nya sa mga boss nya sa first pacific, yung mga indonesian at malaysian na pulitiko na totoong may ari ng lahat ng kumpanya na binili kuno ni mvp, dahil lugi sila ng malaki! kaya binabawi nila sa singil sa tubig at kuryente.  kaya di tumitigil si mvp na bilhin GMA7 kasi kumikita ito. wag na pagusapan abs kasi bilyon na utang nito at impluwensya na lang ni kris sa mga sponsors ginagamit para magka pera.  kung natalo si penoy, magsasara na ang abs.

  • archerfan

    sa totoo lang, si Richard G, wala sa acting. puro papogi lang. wala sya sa acting kahit na Alden or even DD.  and her mom is not helping him. malapit ng mawala sa liem light si RG at alam yan ng nanay nya kaya nga kakandidato na lang para magkapera. kung di dahil kay RG, wala trabaho pamilya nyan at mga talents nanay nya.  But one thing na masasabi ko, at kaya rin nagtatagal si RG, eh dahil natural at totoong mabait na bata yan. di mayabang sa fans at magalang.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos