"Agad? Lovelife agad?"
That was how Alden Richards reacted to our opening salvo in our exclusive interview with him last January 13 during the press launch of Boardwalk, one of the brands he endorses, at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.
He's young, good-looking, a good man, and single, so why beat around the bush, “Are you taken now?”
But Alden has a valid reason for staying loveless.
His dimples in full display, he revealed the good news, “Kasi, nakabili ako ng house ngayon e so huwag muna, alam mo na…”
In short, he wants to make himself solvent without any distraction.
In high spirits, he continued, “It will be finished by June.
“It's a built house sa isang village na malapit sa Tagaytay pero not so much Tagaytay. It's before Tagaytay, sa may Nuvali, Nuvali area.
“So 300-square meter lot, ‘tapos 245-square meter yung bahay... five bedrooms, and then, kumpleto naman.”
One of the two bedrooms on the first floor will be occupied by his grandparents “since they can't go upstairs na.”
The other room is actually the maids’ quarters.
His room will be upstairs.
He beamed, “…it has a big master's suite, walk-in closet, and everything.”
Alden’s latest acquisition is “my dream house that you can call our own.”
The Kapuso actor added, “I was really praying for it when I was looking for a house.
“Nagdadasal talaga ako na, 'Lord, please give me the house that I want for my family. Saktong-sakto siya!”
Being the segurista guy that he is, “I even asked my lawyers na kung okay 'to, bihirang makahanap ng ganung klaseng deal for the house.
"So I decided, binili ko siya, and then I'll renovate it.
“We're in the process pa lang of transferring the papers para ma-settle yung payment, and then, 'yon.
“So, basically, kumpleto siya, and maluwag.
"So I bought it for a cheap price na sobrang ganda nung deal kasi talagang it was all in favor of me.”
So, is he still kuripot?
Smiling, he nodded.
Then, half-serious, half-joking, he resumed, “Pati nga yung bahay ko kung puwedeng i-ex-deal yung mga appliances, ii-ex-deal ko 'yan.”
At press time, his family is renting a house in Laguna.
When they move in, his monthly dues will be “three times of the rent,” but “it’s our house na.”
“There's no place like home.
“My dad is still working po there and my brother. My sister goes to school.
"So, hopefully, pag tapos na sila with their stuff, we can transfer in a much nearer place...
“Pag bumuhos talaga ang blessing, buy another property.”
He would also like to put his money in either “a restaurant or apartments.”
LOVE LIFE. To achieve his goals, finding “the one” has to take the back seat.
He affirmed, “Parang gano'n, e. Pero yun talaga, sinabi ko talaga, in-open ko na.”
Alden was referring to his previous interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) contributor Rose Garcia where he said, “Sa love life, sana meron na ngayong 2015.”
Moving on, Alden told this writer, “I actually... I never closed my door naman in terms of love.
"Hindi ko naman sinabing, 'Ayoko talagang magka-lovelife.' It's just that, wala, e.”
Thus, his priority this year: “I'm really praying for it—it's either restaurants or apartments.
“Yun talaga ang pinagpi-pray ko na sana, if possible, mabigay.”
So instead of dating, he will channel most of his energy into work.
“First quarter po, movies muna.
“Then second quarter, that's when I'll be doing another soap again.”
LEADING LADY. Who will be his next screen partner?
“Wala pa po, so ako naman po, whoever.
“Kung sino man po yung ibigay ng network would be fine.”
But he does have a dream leading lady, and he hopes he’ll have the chance to work with her someday.
“Anne Curtis, puwede ba yun? Bigatan na natin. Hopefully. Marami pa, e...
How about his dream project?
“I don't choose projects, I don't choose partners, I make it work,” he answered enthusiastically.
STAYING ON TOP. So far, besides Rocco Nacino, he’s the most visible on TV among his contemporaries in GMA 7.
How will he maintain his stature as Kapuso prince?
Alden had a long answer for this:
“Number one po, I don't compete with my fellow artists, actors.
"I just do my thing wholeheartedly, 100 percent effort.
“I make it a point na I express to impress...
“And prayers talaga, I always do that.
“Ang hirap-hirap ngayon, this generation, minsan sikat ka, super, you'll really be an overnight sensation. The next day, wala na.
“So it's really proper handling of what I have now.”
Lastly, “…you really, really have to surround yourself with good people.
"Kasi they will be the ones to tell you what's good, what's bad, what's right, and what's wrong.
“So yung people who really care for you, hindi yung people who care for you because you're this, because you're that.
“It's they care for you because you are what you are.
“So marami akong gano'n, maraming true friends.”