Hindi natuloy ang plano ni Benjamin Alves na umuwi sa Guam ngayong Pasko para makasama ang kanyang pamilya.
Ayon sa Kapuso actor, ongoing daw kasi ang lock-in taping nila para sa GMA teleserye na Artikulo 247, kunsaan kasama niya sina Mark Herras, Kris Bernal at Rhian Ramos.
Sa panayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) noong December 9 via Zoom, sinabi ni Benjamin na gustung-gusto pa naman sana niyang makauwi sa Guam dahil two years niyang hindi nakita ang kanyang ina simula noong magkaroon ng COVID-19 pandemic.
Aniya, "It hurts... it stings that I can't go home to spend time with her on Christmas. Matatapos po kami ng taping in February pa.
"So hopefully by March, which is my birthday month, makapagbakasyon na ako. Hihiling ako ng one-month vacation because I owe it to my mom to spend time with her after two years. And, of course, to visit my dad."
Four Christmases na raw na hindi nakakasama ni Benjamin ang kanyang amang si Ebet Sapida, na pumanaw noong October 2018 dahil sa heart attack.
Ayon kay Benjamin, life doesn't get better or easier once you lose a loved one.
"I don't think it gets easier or it gets better. That's life. For those who lose a loved one, it's just... yun na 'yon, e.
"When I think about my dad, automatically, naiisip ko ang nanay ko because she's alone this Christmas. I can't spend time with her and it's something that I value now because I lost my dad suddenly... I lost my dad when I was taping. Hindi ako nakapagpaalam nang maayos," malungkot niyang pahayag.
Malinaw pa rin daw sa alaala ni Benjamin ang huling Pasko na nakasama niya ang kanyang ama.
Kuwento niya, "I will always cherish the last Christmas we had before he passed away. May picture kami na ginawa kong wallpaper sa laptop ko. Nakatingin kami lahat kay Noah [his nephew].
"Specific memory, every Christmas, me and my dad, we watch a basketball game with my sister.
"'Yung feeling lang na hindi mo na magagawa iyon kahit kailan. Habang buhay na siyang may finality na iyon ang huling picture naming magkakasama.
"But in the spirit of Christmas, that family will continue to grow and hopefully new additions will come. He will always be with us. We are the product of our fathers."
on being a kapuso for nine years
Magandang Christmas gift naman para sa aktor ang pag-renew niya ng kanyang kontrata with GMA Artist Center.
Nine years na raw siyang Kapuso at tuwing magre-renew siya ng panibagong kontrata, ramdam niya ang importansya niya sa network.
Lahad niya, "It's surreal. It's been nine years. There are moments in an actor's career that you wake up and there's a contract for you to sign. Kailangan pirmahan mo na para matuyo na agad yung ink, di ba?"
Lumipas man ang mga taon, lagi pa ring excited si Benjamin na humarap sa camera.
Pagbabahagi niya, "It's a dream come true. It still is, every day. When I get on set, it’s the same feeling I have the first time I went on set as a Kapuso. It’s the same feeling I had when I was young, who wanted to be in front of a camera and play a part.
"I don’t think it will go away. It’s the reason why I’m still here, that’s the reason why I love it. I love to act.
"I’m glad that I can call GMA my home still. I want to give something different… surprise them and surprise also the viewers.
"I just prayed and I just wished. I’m a product of everyone else believing in me and good timing. I’ve been very blessed to be in a good position."
Kabilang sa mga nagawang projects ni Benjamin sa GMA-7 simula 2012 ay Coffee Prince, Unforgettable, Katipunan, Adarna, Dading, Hiram Na Alaala, Beautiful Strangers, A1 Ko Sa 'Yo, Sa Piling Ni Nanay, Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa, I Heart Davao, Kapag Nahati Ang Puso, Sahaya, Dahil Sa Pag-ibig, I Can See You: The Promise, at Owe My Love.
LOOKING BACK ON SHOWBIZ BEGINNINGS AND PAST IN GUAM
Nagsimula ang showbiz career ni Benjamin noong 2006, nang sumali siya sa reality model search competition na Close-Up To Fame.
Gamit ang screen name na Vince Saldaña, naging contract artist si Benjamin ng VIVA Artist Agency. Lumabas siya sa mga comedy films na Ang Cute Ng Ina Mo at Apat Dapat, Dapat Apat. Napasama rin siya sa teen series ng QTV Channel na Posh at nagkaroon ng bit parts sa ilang teleserye.
Pero dumaan daw ang tatlong taon na hindi nahanap ni Benjamin ang gusto niya sa showbiz. Kaya noong 2009 ay nagdesisyon siyang bumalik sa Guam at tapusin ang pag-aaral niya.
Pagbabalik-tanaw niya, "Back in Guam, I learned so much about myself. Sa totoo lang, I didn't want to leave then. Pero hindi ko nakuha yung gusto ko sa career ko that time. Tapos, wala pa akong natapos, so there was this sense of uncertainty.
"I was with VIVA for three years and na-excite ako sa mga possibilities na darating noon. I really thought na ito na yung gusto kong gawin.
"Pero parang biglang unti-unting nawawala yung excitement and confidence ko because hindi ko ma-feel that doors are opening for me. So naisip ko na baka hindi ito ang para sa akin.
"So I really had to be honest with myself, that's why I went home and got a dose of humility."
Ikinuwento naman ni Benjamin ang mga pinagdaanan niya pagbalik niya ng Guam.
Aniya, "I was working at a warehouse owned by my uncle. Ako yung nag-aayos ng forklift, unloading things from the truck and I was delivering newspapers sa mga offices. May mga nakakakilala naman sa akin because they saw me on TV and in the movies I made. It was a lot of swallowing my pride.
"Ito kasi yung bigas na kailangan kong kainin kasi ito yung nangyari sa akin. But finishing school [at the University of Guam] and earning that Summa Cum Laude [with a degree in English Literature], mas naging appreciative ako sa maraming bagay."
Dahil naranasan ni Benjamin ang ups and downs ng pagiging isang artista, ang tanging payo niya sa mga nangangarap na pasukin ang showbiz ay ang maging handa parati sa mga anong puwedeng mangyari.
"They really have to be ready. If you have this showbiz dream, try to make it happen. Kailangan mong maging physically and mentally prepared. Always stay hungry and never stop learning."