Love life inching its way up Alden’s top priorities
There’s no denying, Alden Richards said, that having a love life would have made toughing out the quarantine a lot better.
“Syempre, mas masarap pa rin when there’s someone checking up on you and taking care of you,” the GMA 7 star said at a recent video conference for “Love on the Balcony,” the maiden episode of the new weekly drama anthology “I Can See You.”
Alden sees himself prioritizing that fact of his life once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. But he’s taking it easy for now. Besides, there’s only so much one can do, given the current situation.
“Contact with other people is limited. And you can’t risk it just because you want to have that (romance) at this moment. But I’m enjoying myself so far. Eventually, when things go back to normal, we will have to prioritize that. I’m not getting any younger. I’m 28, turning 29 in January,” he said.
“That’s in my top priorities. But for now, chill muna because the pandemic is such a big hindrance to all our plans. We can’t move freely. We just have to seize and make do with the opportunities we have. And of course, you can’t let yourself get infected by the virus,” he added.
Despite the pandemic, Alden seems to be looking better than ever—something the members of the press couldn’t help but point out during the virtual chat. That’s what having sufficient rest does to you, he surmised.
“Since I’m not doing a soap opera, I have more time now. Taping is typically three times a week, and that’s what really robs you of sleep. You start on Monday and continue until Tuesday dawn. You sleep a little bit, do your other engagements, and then it’s an early call time again on Wednesday… and so on,” he related.
The good thing about being at home, health-wise, is that he gets to watch what he eats. “Being on the set is what’s hard because of all the food being served. There’s always someone bringing food, so you go try them all. So I end up gaining weight,” he said. “You also have more time for exercise at home.”
Meanwhile, Alden has nothing but good words for his “Love on the Balcony” screen partner, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, whom he has always seen as a “great actress.”
“That’s why I really wanted to work with her,” he said of Jasmine, who was part of the supporting cast of his 2016 film “Imagine You and Me.” “She continues to get better with her craft. And that’s a great thing to see in a partner. She’s really passionate about what she does. And that brings out the best in me.”
Alden spent the first three months of the lockdown at his family home in Laguna. And he made the most out of the long break by spending quality time with his loved ones, doing chores and serving as the household runner.
“I haven’t had a break this long since I started working in show biz. The longest I have been on break I get is Dec. 18 to Dec. 28 during the Christmas season. That’s what I get every year because I’m working constantly, doing shoots, taping and hosting ‘Eat Bulaga,’” he said.
But before long, the novelty wore off. No work, no income. The responsibilities of owning businesses eventually came knocking. “It’s tough. Things are OK in the beginning. But the longer this pandemic lasts, the more you start feeling the effects—especially on the business side of things. The restaurants aren’t performing well, so you just hope you can cover the expenses,” he said.
Since show biz work is still very much limited to hosting, or one-off acting projects, even Alden has to explore other sources of income. “You start thinking how you can compensate for the loss … How else can I earn and stay safe at the same time?” related the actor, who also busies himself with video gaming and streaming.
Still, he remains thankful because he’s not totally without work. He has “Bulaga” and “I Can See You.” He also continues to score endorsements. But not everyone is as fortunate so he makes sure to pay it forward.
“I feel for all my celebrity friends who have lost work … I try to help others as much as I can. I use a chunk of what I earn to help. When much is given, much is expected,” he said. “My mantra in life is that the more blessings you get, the more blessings you give out. God is just using you as a channel to share your blessings with others.”
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