‘The Gift’ of Alden Richards


    ALDEN Richards returns to primetime with “The Gift,” which starts airing tonight on GMA.

    The actor, who was last seen as the superhero “Victor Magtanggol,” will be bringing a different kind of hope as a man who finds the gift of clairvoyance after losing his sight.

    Richards stars as the street smart vendor Joseph, who becomes visually-impaired after being hit by a bullet.

    Joseph or Sep is not your average vendor along the buzzing streets of Divisoria. He uses his undeniable charm and enthusiasm to get through the tough days. Together with his adoptive mother, Strawberry (Jo Berry) who sells fruits for a living, and adoptive grandmother, Lola Char (Elizabeth Oropesa) who is a self-proclaimed fortune teller in Quiapo, Sep continues to find the silver lining amidst the harsh realities of life. Although struggling to make ends meet, all seems well in Sep’s simple life not until that fateful day when he got in a near-death experience and woke up in literal darkness. At the expense of losing his vision, Sep has been given the ability to see things beyond the naked eye.

    Alden, who has undergone blind immersion training to be able to fully understand the culture of the visually-impaired people, shared his realizations upon accepting the challenging role.

    “Sometimes we take things for granted, normal lang na nakakakita tayo but once na mawala siya, parang that really got me. Actually, nalungkot ako ng ma-experience ko kasi ang hirap mawalan ng paningin,” he said, “After that immersion, I interviewed people who can see before sila nabulag and na-inspire ako sa kanila na tipong ‘what can be my contributions to society now that I’m blind? Iyon ‘yung gusto kong mabaon ng mga manonood sa ‘The Gift’ – bibigyan natin sila ng peek sa mundo ng mga taong hindi nakakakita para mas maintindihan natin sila.”

    According to director LA Madridejos, “The Gift” will not only focus on Sep’s ability to bring good through his gift to see into a person’s past and future, but also on how someone who faces such disability can overcome depression.

    “The Gift,” therefore, strives to show the silver lining in difficult and trying times.

    Playing important roles in the life of Sep are the members of the Marcelino family: Christian Vasquez as Javier, Nadia’s unfaithful second husband who is a shrewd businessman and a controlling father to his son whom he aspires to be a politician; Martin del Rosario as Jared, son of Nadia and Javier who is always out to please his father and will make use of Sep’s gift for his personal interests as a young politician; Ysabel Ortega as Sabina, brat but good-natured daughter of Nadia and Javier; Betong Sumaya as Asi, the trusted assistant and driver of Javier and Jared; Tetay as Tonya, Nadia’s best friend and Javier’s wealthy cousin; Rochelle Pangilinan as Francine, Javier’s feisty and entitled executive assistant and mistress; Luz Valdez as Puring, Javier’s doting grandmother who took care of him when his parents passed away.

    Giving life and meaning into Sep’s journey are: Victor Anastacio as Andoy, comical leader of young delinquents in Divisoria who adores Amor; Mikoy Morales as Bistek, outgoing friend of Sep and Amor who sells anything under the sun in Divisoria; Thia Thomalla as Faith, fancied by Sep and dubbed as the “Princess of Divisoria” for her beauty and for being the daughter of a wealthy fabric store owner; Mikee Quintos as Amor, a spunky vendor who secretly admires Sep; and Jean Garcia as Nadia, Sep’s biological mother who loses her faith in God after the death of her first husband and the disappearance of her son.

    “The Gift” also features the special participation of TJ Trinidad as Gener.

    “The Gift” airs weeknights, after “Beautiful Justice” on GMA. Viewers from across the globe can also catch their favorite Kapuso shows via GMA’s international channels GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International. For the program guide, visit www.gmapinoytv.com.