Wednesday, March 7, 2012

iStyled: GMA Tweens- Alden, Derrick, Louise, Lexi for Manila Bulletin

Living The Tweenage Dream

Alden Richards, Derrick Monasterio, Louise Delos Reyes, Lexi Fernandez
Styled by JP DICHE 
Clothes by FOLDED and HUNG /

Alden Soars High
One by one, his dreams are coming true.
Young TV actor Alden Richards started out as a ‘tween star. But the path to stardom seems paved at the moment as he is being built up by GMA Network as his generation’s next important leading man.  He has appeared in GMA Films’ “The Road” directed by Yam Laranas, scheduled for screenings in the United States and Canada, and for competition at the 30th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.
Thanks too to Alden’s billboard for a clothing company, he has even become a trending topic on Twitter the past week.
“I used to dream of having my own billboard along EDSA. My lola and I talked about it a lot before. Until now,  I still can’t believe I already have one. I’m grateful for all the blessings but at the same time I know I still have a long way to go,” relates Alden, who stars alongside Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes in the primetime TV series “My Beloved” on GMA.

Alden is an alumnus of many pageants in his hometown in Laguna, and several reality searches before he was finally noticed. “Iniyakan ko ‘yun kasi ‘yung effort pa lang namin ng father ko na lumuluwas kami everyday from Sta. Rosa, Laguna for VTRs and auditions. My plan B was either to work for a fastfood chain or a call center,” recalls Alden.
He became the breadwinner after his mother died three years ago. “I miss her a lot. Siguro kung meron isang tao na gusto akong makapasok sa showbiz,  it’s my mom. What I am now, I owe everything to her,” Alden confesses. “I matured a lot because someone has to do this. Kahit hindi ko man aminin, alam kong I have to take on the responsibility to bring my family to a better situation. My main motivation and drive is my family.”
Alden was taking up Business Administration at De La Salle University-Canlubang before he decided that school has to take a backseat for now. “I have to work and we didn’t have enough money to sustain my studies. I know I have to go back to finish it but this time I plan to take up Aeronautics,” says the aspiring pilot.
Alden has already bought himself a car from his earnings and now he is saving up for that dream house for the family.
Derrick’s Long-Term Plan
Derrick Monasterio never expected to be in showbiz even if his mom Tina Monasterio was.
“I wanted to become a doctor or a basketball player. But I discovered I can cry!” Derrick exclaims.
Besides, his mother never really wanted him to get into show business, preferring that Derrick finished school first. “I did a few commercials when I was younger. I really tried my best to attend classes even if I have tapings so I could graduate on time,” says the 16-year-old Filipino-Jamaican young actor.
But Derrick got fascinated with showbiz as his mom would share stories of her showbiz life.

“She had a lot of stories especially about the people she used to work with like Fernando Poe, Jr., Rudy Fernandez and Dolphy. Very professional daw ang lahat ng artista noon. And she wants me to learn from her experiences. She didn’t expect that I would eventually pursue acting that is why she is so excited for me. But she also warned me about things like chismis, etc. The most important advice that she gave is always to stay humble,” he relates.
It has only been a year since Derrick started in showbiz, but he says he has already matured a lot. “I used to be carefree and independent. Until I realized I have to be more responsible because I’m the breadwinner in the family. Tumigil na sa sustento ‘yung dad ko kasi sa US daw legal age na ang 16. My mom handles my money for now,” he explains.
Derrick hopes to last in this business that he has already come to love. “Gusto kong tumanda na nasa showbiz pa rin, like Eddie Garcia. I wanna improve on my craft, do workshops in acting, dancing and singing.  Gusto kong sumikat at gumawa ng sarili kong pangalan sa sarili kong sikap,” he states.
Louise Follows Her Heart
It is admirable how young actress Louise delos Reyes is able to juggle college life and showbiz at the same time. Despite her busy schedule, taping for the primetime soap “My Beloved”, she is still able to maintain her scholarship at the Lyceum University of the Philippines-Cavite, where she is already in her third year taking up Foreign Service.
“Showbiz is my life now but it is not really on top of my priorities. Masaya na ako na marami akong blessings. But even if I’m already working, my ultimate goal is to get that college diploma. It’s an accomplishment I know I can be really proud of,” says Louise, who enumerates Humanities, Math and Philosophy as her favorite subjects.
Louise was only 15 years old when she was discovered by film director Peque Gallaga and cast her in the indie film “Agaton and Mindy”. She snagged a Best New Movie Actress nomination from Star Awards for her role as the bubbly and impulsive teenager Mindy who falls for her quiet and reserved dance partner Agaton.
“When I auditioned for the role I didn’t have any idea who direk Peque Gallaga was. It was my mom who told me about him, that he is one of the country’s acclaimed directors. During the audition, sabi sa akin ni direk Peque, gusto ko ‘yung mukha mo, mukhang mabait pero alam kong pilya ka,” she relates.

Louie considers Gallaga as her mentor. “I learned a lot of things from direk Peque in terms of acting. How to be vulnerable, na dapat wala kang restrictions sa katawan mo kapag umaarte ka. All of his advices, naa-aaply ko siya ngayon sa work,” says Louise.
Her biggest break was when she was launched as one of the teen royalties in the Sunday afternoon youth-oriented series “Tween Hearts”. Last year, she took on the lead role in the afternoon soap “Alakdana”.
Surprisingly, Louise used to be a shy child. “School at bahay lang. Hindi talaga ako mahilig mag-ayos. Kung saan lang ako kumportable. Tapos kinuha ako na muse sa school, na-expose na ako, so nawala nang konti ‘yung inhibitions,” shares Louise.
“‘Yung mga ginagawa ko sa buhay ko, hindi ko siya ginagawa dahil naisipan ko lang,” she explains. “Meron akong purpose. I consider them as the building blocks for my future. The opportunities that I get are all connected. Ganun kasi ako kapag meron talaga akong gusto, naka-focus ako,” she continues.
Louise advises young people in their ‘tweens to know their priorities and to obey their parents, first and foremost. “Although minsan masakit ‘yung mga desisyon ng parents natin, kailangan nating tanggapin kasi napagdaanan na nila ‘yun. And follow your heart. You’re only young once so go for whatever makes you happy,” she ends.
Lexi’s Love
Before she became part of “Tween Hearts”, Lexi Fernandez was a fan first.
And now, the 16-year-old Lexi still can’t believe she is already part of the cast.
The daughter of actress Maritoni Fernandez, Lexi decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps. After all, it came natural for her as she grew up tagging along her mom to movie and TV sets.
“In a way, sa set na ako lumaki. Two years old pa lang ako sumasama na ako sa mama ko sa tapings niya. When I was 12, that’s when I realized I wanted to be an actress like my mom. Pero sabi ni mama mag-aral muna ako. When I turned 15, seeing the ‘tween stars on TV made me want to pursue acting even more. We’re of the same age and they’re already doing what they love,” she says.
Lexi relates how she saw her mom worked hard, and experienced first-hand that showbiz is not all about glamour as most people might think. “My mom needed help so I was my mom’s personal assistant for some time. Taga make-up, nagbibitbit ng gamit niya. Doon ko na-realize na mahirap din pala siya.”

Knowing that showbiz is not one happy playground made Lexi love the biz even more. “This is the career that I really want to pursue. Love ko na talaga siya,” she says.
Although Lexi has the showbiz family name, she intends to make her own mark in the business all on her own. “Sina Tito Rudy Fernandez, Mark Anthony Fernandez, we belong to a showbiz family. Pinsan ko din ang mga Padilla but  all the more that I need to prove myself, and that I deserve the opportunity I was given in this business.”
In between tapings for the TV show “Alice Bungisngis” and shooting for her upcoming movie “Tween Academy Part 2”, Lexi is also busy with school work. She is a third year high school student under a home study program.
“My mom is my inspiration. She’s a journalism graduate. Magaling siyang magsulat. At the same time, she’s active in showbiz. She was able to do both. And I want do the same, to finish school and make a name for myself. Right now, I’m thinking of taking up Mass Communications in college. I haven’t thought of a school though,” she says. “I’m the studious type. Ayoko ng bumabagsak. I achieve for an A+ grade all the time.”

Special Thanks to Folded and Hung 
and SM Department Store
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