Alden Richards on soon-to-be bride Maine Mendoza: She’s getting the love she deserves
They may have had their share of “differences and misunderstandings” in the past, but Alden Richards couldn’t be more thankful that he and Maine Mendoza have remained “good friends.”
“She’s a huge part of my life. That’s how I feel. I haven’t been vocal about this for the longest time and I think now is the right time, but I have immense gratitude for her, for trusting me,” Alden told reporters at a recent press conference for GMA 7’s new talent show “Battle of the Judges,” which he will be hosting.
And now that Maine is about to get married later this month, Alden had nothing but well wishes for his former screen partner.
“She’s going down a path that, she told me, she has wanted ever since. Maine is very goal-oriented in life—by this age, I should be this. And now she’s there,” related Alden, who believes that Maine is getting the “love she deserves” from her soon-to-be husband, Arjo Atayde.
“I’m happy for them, sincerely. And I tell her that. I really wish her well. She deserves it,” he said. “Show biz came unexpectedly [in]to her life, so I think this is her reward.”
But despite Maine’s upcoming wedding, many ardent “AlDub” supporters continue to hope against hope that it’s still going to be her and Alden in the end. Some even concoct and hold on to tales that the two stars are secretly married and are hiding a baby.
‘Let them be’
Even with Alden’s and Maine’s repeated denials and clarifications, such rumors continue to circulate in some local AlDub fan clubs or circles. At this point, Alden, with an air of resignation, surmised that he’s better off letting those people believe what they want to believe.
“Let’s just give it to them. We said our part. We addressed the speculations—we don’t have a child, we’re not married … everything. The reality is this: Maine is engaged to Arjo and they’re getting married. But I don’t want to crush them (AlDub fans) or rub it in their faces by saying it over and over again,” he said.“
Maine has said her piece. I’ve said my piece. But if [believing we’re married] will make them happy, let’s just let them be. Whatever it is that they want to speculate about, it’s up to them. But we’re still grateful for all the support we have received during our time. It’s the truth,” the 31-year-old actor added. The phenomenal rise of Alden and Maine’s love team all started in the “Kalyeserye” segment of “Eat Bulaga!” While Maine was able to join Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon (TVJ) and the rest of the “Legit Dabarkads” in their new noontime program “E.A.T.” on TV5, Alden can’t follow suit because of his contractual obligations with GMA 7 as an exclusive talent.
It’s saddening, Alden admitted that he can’t appear on “E.A.T.” But the actor also acknowledges that he’s “just an employee” and has no actual say in the situation.
“I had been in talks with people I’m close with in Team Dabarkads—hosts, members, etc. I love these people dearly. The past seven or six years of my life and career I spent with them. Half of my career I was in ‘Eat Bulaga!’ I’m just an employee. I have no right to meddle with their decisions. But personally, I feel sad I won’t be able to come back,” he said.
Friendships remain intact
But they’re all friends, Alden said, adding that his friendship with Jose Manalo—one of the judges in “Battle of the Judges”—has only grown stronger. “Mas lumalim pa … because of the challenges,” Alden stressed. “They say that you see a person’s real character in circumstances like this. True enough, we remained intact.”
Out of respect for his former cohosts, Alden doesn’t see himself becoming a regular or making gratuitous guest appearances on the revamped “Eat Bulaga!” on GMA 7 or “It’s Showtime” on GTV. And Alden personally has the blessing of the Kapuso network’s senior vice president Annette Gozon-Valdes, who’s also a judge in “Battle of the Judges.”
“I told her that I had a request amid everything that had happened in the noontime setup. And I didn’t have to explain myself. She knows where I came from,” he said.
Alden might be required, however, to do promo on either show. “I may do promo [for my projects]. But a regular hosting job or normal guest appearances? Not now,” she said.
His heart is still with TVJ and their move to another network won’t change that. “I can’t let go of the experiences we shared in the past seven years just because they changed networks. I feel like it’s my right to defend the relationship I have with people in show biz,” he said.