Pinoy Big Brother welcomed a new host for its newest season, a former housemate himself, actor-model Richard Juan.
Richard, who joined Pinoy Big Brother:737 back in 2015, is PBB: Connect’s “Online Oppa ni Kuya” who is tasked to give daily updates about the happenings inside the Big Brother house.
If you would want to know more about Richard, here are five interesting facts about him:
1. He studied grade school and high school in Hong Kong and finished university in the Philippines
“I studied in so many different schools growing up! And not because I got kicked out but because of various reasons, such as timing,” he shared.
He attended Singapore International School from Grade 1 to Grade 5 and attended Canadian International School from Grade 6 to Grade 8. For Grade 9 to Grade 12, he attended a British school in Hong Kong called Island School.
He returned to the Philippines to attend university. He graduated cum laude with a degree in Broadcast Communication at the University of the Philippines.
2. He started as a model which eventually lead him to joining show business
"I was on 'Cutest Faces in UP Diliman,' a page that was sikat back in the days. Then I started to model for publicity materials of org events, org posters, among others,” he shared.
He furrher relayed, “A friend, Patch Magtanong, then told me I can try modelling for real to make some extra money then boom, there was a show that was looking for people without Filipino blood that lives and loves the Philippines, and that was my first mini break.”
Then he auditioned for Pinoy Big Brother: 737 and the rest is history.
3. Aside from being an actor and a host, he is also an entrepreneur
Richard shared that his family has been doing business so growing up he was groomed to be an entrepreneur.
"My parents are business people, my grandparents are business people, so it’s really in the blood of the Juan family to be doing business. When my sister and I were kids, my parents would really teach us the value of money. We were given very tight allowance and we really had to be creative and think of ways to make extra money. My parents never spoiled us with gifts like toys. My very first game console, Game Boy, was something me and my sister had to save up and buy ourselves," Richard said.
"Not only that, my parents would also literally teach us how to write cheques, how to negotiate at the wet market or tiangges, how exchange rates work, and how taxes work, among others. Basically a lot of real life practical lessons when it comes to business,” he added.
The initial plan after graduating UP was to work for his dad and learn the ropes of his family business. "But it seems like fate wanted something else for me hence why I went into show business," he said.
After a couple of years, he still found himself going back to the entrepreneurship and investment world but not with his family.
"I prefer the freedom and also the added pressure that this is my own thing, and has nothing to do with the family. I like the feeling of starting something on my own instead of relying on the family," he stated.
4. He is Filipino by birth and a permanent resident of Hong Kong
"I was born in the Philippines, but raised in Hong Kong. By birth, I am technically a Filipino. However, 2 months old pa lang, my parents brought me to HK na, and that’s where I grew up in HK. I spent 18 years there, and that makes me a permanent resident of Hong Kong. But technically not a national. It’s complicated, I know!" he said.
5. He speaks five languages
Richard knows English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, and Tagalog.
"Hokkien is technically my first language because that’s the primary language we use at home. English is the close second because when we talk about something serious at home, it’s always in English," he said.
Meanwhile, he learned Cantonese because it is the language of the residents in Hong Kong. "Cantonese is the language that we speak in Hong Kong, and since I grew up in HK and I had a lot of local friends also, that’s where I learned Cantonese,” he relayed.
Richard learned Mandarin in school for around 12 years because it was a requirement. “That’s also how I got to learn Simplified writing characters of Chinese. I used to also practice my Mandarin by watching shows in Mandarin online,” he shared.
Richard learned Tagalog when he attended the University of the Philippines. "I’ve lived in the Philippines for more or less 10 years now and I’d like to think I speak fluent Taglish. There are still a lot of deep Tagalog words which I do not know, especially the ones that I do not use. Studying in UP definitely helped me familiarise with a lot of Tagalog words because I was just thrown into the deep end of the pool, I had to find a way to pick up Tagalog fast! We even had pure Filipino classes back then," he shared.
French is something he wants to practice and learn again. "I learned French in school for two years because it was a requirement too. But that was almost 15 years ago na so I forget a lot of it. It’s something I really wish I am able to find time to polish and learn again though!” he shared.