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Richard Reyes Faulkerson Jr., popularly known by his stage name Alden Richards, is a Filipino television host, actor, and model. He currently hosts the noontime show Eat Bulaga! and has been since 2015.

Already a Kapuso heartthrob and primetime leading man, Alden joined Eat Bulaga! as a guest co-host for a month. The Dabarkads welcomed the actor in the variety show for him to learn different hosting skills before working on a new project. Since his presence on the show was positively received by the audience, the big bosses instead decided to make him a regular co-host.

Alden was 23 years old when he joined the show.

He was then paired with showbiz newcomer Maine Mendoza after she broke out of character upon seeing him in the segment Problem Solving. The unintentional formation of a loveteam between Alden and Maine known as AlDub became phenomenal and unconventional as it repeatedly trended on Twitter worldwide and brought in unprecedented ratings for the noontime show. Alden immediately gained fame and became known as the "Pambansang Bae ng Pilipinas". Thanks to AlDub, he was recognized by various award-giving bodies and became one of the most-talked about names in the Philippine showbiz.

Despite the phenomenal success surrounding him, Alden remains the same and keeps his focus on what is important—his family. His showbiz success is all thanks to his late mother, who dreamed of seeing him on television.

Early life

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Alden Richards with his mother and sister Riza

Richard Reyes Faulkerson Jr. was born on 2 January 1992 in Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philippines. He is the the second child of Richard Peralta Faulkerson Sr. and Rosario Reyes, with three siblings: older brother Richard Daniel and sisters Riza and Angel. Alden is of American descent through his paternal grandfather. Growing up, Richards wanted to be a pilot but his mother urged him to pursue acting instead. Being very young at that time, Alden did not take it too seriously.

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Alden and his father at his high school graduation

But in 2008, Rosario passed away after bouts with chronic pneumonia from being a heavy smoker. From his mother’s medication expenses to his and his siblings’ education, his father’s earnings were not enough to support their family. In that trying moment, it dawned on him that there was no better way to honor his mother than fulfilling the one thing she desired most.

So Alden tried to find a way to enter the Philippine entertainment industry.

He studied high school at Paco Catholic School in Paco, Manila, and then Colegio de Santa Rosa de Lima High School where he graduated. Although he wanted to be a pilot, he wasn't able to pay its tuition fee so he ended up taking Business Management at the De La Salle Canlubang in Biñan, Laguna. In 2011, Alden withdrew from college to become a full-fledged celebrity.

Prior to Eat Bulaga!

Fulfilling his mother's dream

Alden as Ginoong Santa Rosa 2009

Alden as Ginoong Santa Rosa 2009, with his father and grandmother

Alden Richards achieved consecutive victories as the Ginoong Santa Rosa in 2009 and Ginoong Laguna in 2010. He also began working as a part-time commerical model.

Alden also auditioned for reality television shows Starstruck in 2009 and Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010. Unfortunately, he didn't make it far in either show. He only made it in the Top 60 of Starstruck before being eliminated.

"After a year of auditions and rejections, I considered quitting. Sabi ko, ayoko na, because sayang ang time, sayang ang pera. I lived in Laguna, which meant I had to rent a van to get to and from places in Manila.".

Alakdana Louise & Alden

Alden with Louise delos Reyes in Alakdana (2011), his first acting stint on GMA-7

Alden was a freshman in college when he was invited to audition for a role in the 2011 afternoon fantasy-drama series Alakdana on GMA Network. Initially, he was hesitant to go to the audition because he was one absence away from failing a class. Luckily, he went as a last-minute decision and landed the lead role. He was paired with actress Louise delos Reyes and their loveteam became known as DenLou. Their tandem became a hit that it propelled each of them to stardom. His role in Alakdana also earned him the Golden Screen TV Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance by an Actor in the same year.

He was then included in the cast of Reel Love Presents: Tween Hearts (2011), Party Pilipinas (2011), and My Beloved (2012) before bagging a lead role on GMA-7's primetime block.

In the limelight of Kapuso primetime

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Alden as José Rizal in historical drama series Ilustrado (2014)

Alden and Louise became household names with the popularity of their characters in the 2012 drama-romance series One True Love as Tisoy and Elize, star-crossed lovers who fought for their love all the way until the end.

Because of his versatility and love for his craft, Alden was also given the opportunity to showcase more of his talent and work with some of the industry’s respected artists and directors, most notably when he was paired with Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera in the 2014 drama series Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw. He then hosted Bet ng Bayan, a talent search television program, together with Regine Velasquez.

In October 2014, Alden topbilled the internationally-acclaimed historical drama mini-series Ilustrado. He played the role of Filipino patriot José Rizal that gave Alden his first Best Actor award from the 29th PMPC Star Awards for Television. He was the only nominee from his home network against a field of respected actors from the rival television network.

Invitation from Eat Bulaga!

While waiting for a new project from GMA Network, Alden was invited to co-host the noontime show Eat Bulaga!. He was only supposed to be on the show for a month before he would leave for the United States to perform in a series of shows for GMA Pinoy TV.

As an Eat Bulaga! Dabarkads

Becoming the Pambansang Bae

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Alden's first day on Eat Bulaga!, with co-hosts Julia Clarete and Sam YG

On 18 April 2015, Alden Richards joined the longest-running noontime show as a guest co-host in the segment Pinoy Henyo High. He was 23 years old at the time he joined the show.

The addition of a fresh and young face to the noontime show was positively received by its viewers. He began to host other segments such as You're My Foreignoy: Artistahin Talaga!. Although his hosting stint was supposed to elapse on 23 May 2015, the big bosses of Eat Bulaga! liked his performance and the viewers' positive reception so much that they invited him back on the show when he returned from the United States to become a regular co-host.

On 6 July 2015, he received his big break on Eat Bulaga! as the main host of That's My Bae: "Twerk It" Dance Contest. His undeniable charm and boy-next-door appeal as the host of the segment earned him the title of "Pambansang Bae ng Pilipinas". His tandem with co-host Sam YG in the segment also became a hit.

The AlDub phenomenon

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Maine breaks out of character after seeing Alden on-screen

Upon discovering Maine had a crush on Alden, the show's producers immediately capitalized by scheming an 'ambush' on Maine. On 16 July 2015, Alden was invited to sit out on the studio stage and watch Juan for All, All for Juan: Bayanihan of d' Pipol where a camera can readily focus on his face. While Maine was preoccupied doing one of her Yaya Dub dubsmashes, Alden's video feed was propped up on the opposite screen. Maine glanced at the monitor and found Alden watching her. Unable to contain her "kilig", Maine broke out of her character and smiled. Maine desperately tried to revert back to Yaya Dub mode. Netizens subsequently trended her spontaneous reaction online as they saw the potential of this new loveteam, which would later be known as AlDub. The noontime show simply went with the flow and more screen time was given to the pair in the segment Problem Solving. Overtime, Problem Solving gradually morphed into an improvised comedy soap opera titled Kalyeserye, which focused on AlDub's forbidden love story.

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Maine and Alden doing the pabebe wave

Soon, Alden and Maine gained a large following among the masses. The loveteam had created a loyal fandom called AlDub Nation, generating millions of tweets daily on Twitter. In fact, the official hashtag for the sold-out "Sa Tamang Panahon" special episode of Eat Bulaga! at The Philippine Arena on 24 October 2015 was acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the most used hashtag within 24 hours after amassing more than 40 million tweets. The most awaited event was a milestone for the loveteam as it was Maine's first time to speak with her actual voice and the tandem was able to interact with each other without any hindrance from Lola Nidora. The "Sa Tamang Panahon" event, as well as other milestone episodes of the phenomenal loveteam, helped the show garner some of its all-time high ratings.

A debt of gratitude

Reeling in some record-breaking tweets and the show's highest ratings, AlDub made local pop culture history and changed the careers of Alden and Maine forever. Alden Richards has expressed his huge debt of gratitude to the noontime show as it gave me him opportunity to touch more lives and "to do good, to spread the goodness,”. The actor has also learned how to deal with the pressures of his public image.

Along with his Kalyeserye co-stars, Alden received a star at the Philippine Walk of Fame in December 2015 at Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City. Now that he has reached success, appearing on TV and the movies with projects on end, as well as product endorsements on his plate, Alden is looking forward to new opportunities on his road ahead. Alden Richards dedicates his current success to his late mother, “This is her legacy and I’m doing this for her still.”

Beyond Eat Bulaga!

A sought-after Kapuso star

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Promotional poster for Imagine You and Me (2016), first solo film of AlDub

In 2015, Kalyeserye stars Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Alden Richards were included in the lineup of celebrities who will be co-hosting GMA Network's new Sunday noontime show Sunday PinaSaya. The variety show is produced by APT Entertainment, a subsidiary of TAPE Inc.

Together with Maine, Alden starred in some of Vic Sotto's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries, including My Bebe Love#KiligPaMore (2015) and Meant to Beh (2017). He was also included in Enteng Kabisote 10 and the Abangers, Vic Sotto's MMFF rejected film entry in 2016.

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Alden as Victor Magtanggol (2018), his comeback series on GMA's primetime

The success of AlDub gave Alden and Maine various opportunities on film and television. AlDub topbilled "God Gave Me You", a 2015 Lenten season drama special of Eat Bulaga!. In July 2016, Imagine You and Me premiered in cinemas as AlDub's first anniversary offering to fans. In February 2017, AlDub starred in its first primetime television series Destined to be Yours. In the same year, AlDub then headlined the Eat Bulaga!-produced television film entitled Love Is..., with Adolfo Alix Jr. as the director.

Alden also appeared in the reboot series of Encantadia (2016) where he played as a Mulawin named Lakan  His first appearance in said fantasy series generated public interest and became a trending topic in a social media website. In 2018, Alden made his big comeback on primetime as headlined the fantasy television series Victor Magtanggol.

Modeling and endorsements

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Alden featured centerfold in Cosmopolitan's 2013 issue of CosmoMen

Aside from being an actor, Alden Richards also does modeling stints. In 2010, he was fourth on the list of Candy Magazine's "Celebrity Cuties" and had his earliest modeling gig at the Candy Fair held in Pasig City. In July 2012, Alden appeared on the cover of MEGA Magazine dubbed as "GMA's new breed of rising talents". Since then, he has continued to appear in a number of magazines with Maine Mendoza, including Preview Magazine, Reader's Digest AsiaInside Showbiz, PeopleAsia, BizNews Asia, Cosmopolitan, Rank, and Garage Magazine

A more mature side of him was revealed when he posed for Cosmopolitan. Alden was included in the Top 10 male celebrities that was featured in the September 2012 issue of that magazine. He then posed for the centerfold of the magazine's CosmoMen 2013 issue. Alden also took part in the 2012 and 2013 Cosmo Bachelor Bash.

Alden Richards is one of the most effective and most trusted endorsers in the country. He appeals to people of all ages and classes since he is well-mannered, good-looking, and has good values.

Diamond-certified in music

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Wish I May (2015) reaches Diamond Record status in October 2016

Alden debuted as a singer in May 2013. His first single "Haplos", a revival of Shamrock's hit song was included in his self-titled debut album. The song was used as soundtrack on his primetime show Mundo Mo'y Akin.

His second album, Wish I May, was launched on 17 October 2015. The first single, "Wish I May," landed on the top spot of iTunes Philippines song charts. As for the album, Wish I May reached the gold status from PARI twelve hours after it was released digitally. It was the fastest-selling Filipino album in the Philippines in 2015. The album then received a platinum record award for selling more than 15,000 copies. In December, the album turned double platinum. The album earned a triple platinum award in January 2016 and quadruple platinum award in February 2016. In March 2015, the album received a 5x platinum record recognition. The album received the 6x and 7x platinum record awards on 27 July 2016 and the 8x platinum award on 18 September 2016. On 9 October 2016, the album became certified as a Diamond Record.

The theme song for GMA Network's 2015 Christmas station ID entitled "MaGMAhalan Tayo Ngayong Pasko" was performed by Alden Richards. Aside from singing the theme song, he also appeared on the station ID's music video with Maine Mendoza and the Kalyeserye's lolas (Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros).

Business ventures

Opting to invest in a food business was an easy decision for Alden as he’s been a regular customer of Concha’s Garden Café in Silang, Cavite since 2014. When the owners offered a partnership that entails opening a new branch, Alden immediately said yes. Concha’s Garden Café is an offbeat garden-inspired restaurant serving classic and well-loved Filipino dishes. Alden opened a franchise of the restaurant in April 2016 in Cliffhouse, Tagaytay. In the same year, he opened a second branch in Quezon City.

Writing in his own words

On 19 July 2016, his first autobiography entitled In My Own Words was published by Summit Media. The book is a 120-page snapshot of his life, his thoughts on many different things, and messages from special people in his life. Alden said that the book is his gift to his fans for their steadfast support, to those who believed and continue believing in him, and to those who never gave up on him.

Personal life

“For me, one of the reasons I can endure siguro yung physical exhaustion, yung stress, yung some negative parts of the industry, I really pray everyday," he revealed in an interview. A Roman Catholic, Richards credits his paternal grandmother for his Catholic upbringing.

His book In My Own Words is a glimpse of his personal life behind the camera. Through this book, Alden is able to reveal his most authentic self. The book features his hobbies, one of which is hiking. He also reveals what he looks for in a woman and his views on love.

Segments

Eat Bulaga's Lenten Special

Year Episode Role
2016 "God Gave Me You" James Esteban
2017 "Kapatid" Franco
2018 "Haligi ng Pangarap" Andrei Gonzales


Notable roles within Eat Bulaga!

Year Segment Role
2015 Kalyeserye Alden
Anselmo
2018 The Barangay Jokers Patrick

Awards and nominations

The following list only includes the awards and nominations of Alden Richards for his contributions as a host on the noontime show Eat Bulaga! as well as other notable accolades for his important contributions to the Philippine entertainment industry. His achievements in the advertising, music, and film industries as well as television accolades not associated with Eat Bulaga! are not listed. The list also excludes awards that he received as part of a group, such as AlDub.

Anak TV Seal Awards

The Anak TV Seal Awards are awarded annually to honor wholesome and family-friendly television shows and personalities who exemplify good values to children.

Year Category Result
2015 Anak TV Makabata Star Awardee Included


Box Office Entertainment Awards

The Box Office Entertainment Awards is an annual awards ceremony organized by the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. that honors stars and performers simply for their popularity and commercial success in the Philippine entertainment industry.

Year Category Result
2016 Breakthrough Male Star of Philippine Movies and TV Won


Catholic Social Media Awards

The Catholic Social Media Awards are given by church-based organizations Youth Pinoy and Areopagus Communications during the annual Catholic Social Media Summit to recognize personalities and groups in the entertainment industry who are promoting Christian values. In 2015, the production company and the stars behind Kalyeserye became the first recipients of the Catholic Social Media Awards for spreading traditional virtues and good values through the segment.

Year Category Result
2015 Catholic Social Media Achievement Award Won


Eastwood City Walk of Fame

The Eastwood City Walk of Fame is a sidewalk along Eastwood City, Quezon City that serves as a Philippine entertainment hall of fame. It is embedded with hundreds of brass star plaques featuring the names of celebrities for their popularity and contributions to the entertainment industry.

Year Category Result
2015 Eastwood City Walk of Fame Star Inducted


People's Choice Awards

The People's Choice Awards is presented by the People Asia Magazine to various individuals from all walks of life who inspire, encourage, and make a difference in the lives of others. After being featured on the cover of the magazine, Eat Bulaga!'s AlDub were then chosen as People of the Year for becoming a global social phenomenon.

Year Category Result
2016 People of the Year Won


PEP List Awards

The PEP List is presented by the Philippine Entertainment Portal to honor showbiz personalities, television shows, and movies that made a great impact in the year. The list is divided into two categories: Editors' Choice and PEPsters' Choice. The Editors' Choice subcategories will be chosen by the editors and staff of PEP, while the PEPsters' Choice subcategories will be decided upon by PEP users through an online poll.

Editors' Choice

Year Category Result
2016 Male TV Star of the Year Won


PMPC Star Awards for Television

Founded by the Philippine Movie Press Club in 1987, the PMPC Star Awards for Television is a major award-giving body that recognizes the outstanding programming produced by the several television networks in the Philippines.

Year Category Result
2016 Best Single Performance by an Actor
(for "God Gave Me You" episode of 2016 Eat Bulaga's Lenten Special)
Nominated
2017 Best Male TV Host Nominated
Best Single Performance by an Actor
(for "Kapatid" episode of 2017 Eat Bulaga's Lenten Special)
Won*
Notes:
  • * – Tied with John Estrada for "Mansanas at Juice" episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya


USTv Students' Choice Awards

Born in 2005, the USTv Students' Choice Awards is a yearly awarding ceremony hosted by the University of Santo Tomas that recognizes excellence and Christian values in local television programs and personalities. Awards are based on students' preferences survey that accounts for Catholic and humanist values.

Year Category Result
2016 Students' Choice of Variety Show Host Nominated