Alden Richards: ‘My faith keeps me sane’

Alden Richards: ‘My faith keeps me sane’
In keeping with what seems like a tradition of having local celebrities share about their faith, the 2017 Philippine Conference on New Evangelization has actor and singer Alden Richards share about his faith and personal advocacy of helping indigenous people gain access to education with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. ROY LAGARDE

MANILA – Alden Richards, one of the most recognizable faces in Philippine show business today, gave a personal testimony on July 28 at the 2017 Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE), revealing how instrumental his faith is to his career.

“My faith is one of the things that keeps me grounded, that keeps me sane. Faith is a way of life … [It’s] my purpose of living,” said the celebrity during a talk-show type session with Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

Talking to an estimated 6,000 delegates from all over the Philippines, Richards, an actor said he would have left the limelight a long time ago if not for his Catholic faith, saying, however, that his faith was not so strong to begin with.

Discovering faith

“Since I started showbiz..my faith was scattered. I believed in the Lord, I believed in Catholicism.. I believe in the Catholic Church, but [it] was not that strong,” he shared, noting that it was the fleeting nature of the industry that pushed him to hold on to something unchanging.

“I met so many people, I experienced so much.. The showbiz industry, it’s in and out. You get famous quickly, you also fade away quickly. Maybe it’s faith that really keeps you where you are,” he shared in Filipino. “Slowly I discovered the power of faith in the Lord… and in Mama Mary,” explained Richards, who shot to stardom after starring in Eat Bulaga’s “Kalyeserye” with Maine Mendoza.

He also shared how he has made it his personal advocacy to help give indigenous peoples (IPs) better access to education, after organizing an outreach project with the Aetas of Bamban, Tarlac on his birthday in 2015.

Education for IPs

“It [was] an off road trip. You need a heavy duty vehicle. We went there, we gave out some supplies. What I really noticed is the need for education, especially for IPs,” explained Richards, who, together with other Kalyeserye stars and producers, was awarded the 1st Catholic Social Media Awards in 2015.

Homelessness, he said, is “one of the biggest problems in our country.”

Carrying the theme “Of One Heart and Soul”, the 4th PCNE is a three-day event to mark the Church in the Philippines’ celebration of the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities. CBCPNews