When speaking is not enough, actor Benjamin Alves resorts to the written word to express himself. He pools his artistic energy and creates poems or short stories.
“I may have a hard time putting my thoughts into words when speaking but writing them down was never a problem,” he said.
Note that the 26-year-old actor earned a degree in English Literature at the University of Guam, graduating Summa Cum Laude, no less, in 2012.
Despite his busy schedule, Benjamin still finds time to create poems that he publishes online through his Tumblr account dedicated solely to his writings.
“Even when I’m on a set, I write. I just simply pick up my notepad or iPhone and do it. The great thing about social media is, you can post your work instantly,” he said.
We asked Benjamin if he ever thought of reading his poetry live in front of an audience. “I don’t know if I have enough courage to do it,” he said, “but… I actually write some poems in the mindset na baka pwede siyang piyesang pang-spoken word.”
He mulls coming out with a book but notes, “Not anytime soon. I’d have to write more. If there’s a demand for it, maybe I’ll do it.”
His love for writing started when he was a kid, and it became an outlet for him to express himself despite his shyness.
“It always felt natural for me, and every time I write, I feel great,” he said.
It helps that he’s also a bookworm and being so further developed his vocabulary and focus.
“’Yung makabasa ng isang buong libro from beginning to end ay napaka importante na achievement dahil natapos mo siyang basahin nang walang ibang distractions,” he said.
He doesn’t differentiate between an e-book and a physical copy; he believes reading is worthwhile whichever way you enjoy it. “As long as you’re reading, may it be poetry, short story, novel, whatever it is, maybe on an e-book or a real book, it’s going to be good for you.”
Benjamin is taking his passion for reading to another level, opening Books And Borders Café with good friend Karylle. The coffee shop now has branches along Tomas Morato, in Quezon City and at Tuscany in McKinley Hill, BonifacioGlobalCity.
“It’s a place for people like us who like coffee and books. It’s cozy and inviting and isn’t too distracting like other crowded cafés,” he said.
This interest aside, Benjamin assures fans he isn’t giving up on acting. “There’s more to explore… and I want to delve deeper into it,” he said.
He relies on his home network for projects, noting, “I trust GMA fully in that; that wherever they’re gonna push or take me in terms of my acting career, it’s something that is good for me, something that would help develop further my understanding of acting.”
He just finished shooting the Cinemalaya 2016 entry “Dagsin” where he is paired with Janine Gutierrez, and is now gearing up for “Goyo,” a biopic about the revolutionary hero, Gregorio Del Pilar.
“Goyo” is the second installment of a trilogy starting with the successful “Heneral Luna,” where Benjamin appeared as Manuel Quezon.
“I like our director Jerrold Tarog’s approach with ‘Goyo’and this early, I know the film is going to be very interesting for everyone. Different siya sa ‘Heneral Luna’ because of the way the historical characters are brought to life and also because we have a great Gregorio Del Pilar in Paulo Avelino,” Benjamin said.
There’s talk of him reprising his portrayal of Quezon in the third installment of the trilogy. Benjamin said, “If that is true, I will surely make myself available. I would really want to do it.”(MNS)