Maine Mendoza admits in open letter to fans ‘Alden and I just friends’

Photo from Facebook
Photo from Facebook

Actress Maine Mendoza, who is known for her dubsmash videos and “Yaya Dub” character on popular noontime show Eat Bulaga, wrote an open letter to her active social media following, asking for “freedom” yesterday.

In the letter, she made clear once and for all something fans have been speculating over since the AlDub (Alden Richards and Yaya Dub) “love team” was formed: “And for all the love and efforts you have given us, you deserve to know the truth this very moment. Alden and I are just friends. We are a love team.”

Love teams are actors paired together by TV networks and film studios to star in soap operas and movies. Some love teams have led to alleged off-screen relationships. The rumored pairings are rarely denied, probably in order not to offend their rabid fan bases who loyally watch their movies and TV shows and support their other projects.

Mendoza first shot to fame in 2015 after being paired with GMA actor Alden Richards in the noontime Kalyeserye (street soap opera) segment of Eat Bulaga.

“When I was new in this business, you all came to my life and loved me for exactly the way I am. I didn’t need to pretend to be anything else for you guys to love me,” Mendoza wrote in a mix of Filipino and English.

She explained that while she’s happy with the fan support, she feels like “she lives in a box.”

“I have not been able to do what I want and say what I feel because every time I try to express my thoughts and feelings, some of you tend to misapprehend and invalidate them in so many ways,” she said.  “Telling me I am not supposed to feel that way because I am “rich and famous.” Telling me I have no right to be sad because I have everything a person could ask for.”

While Mendoza didn’t specify the specific issue or controversy that triggered this open letter, her appearance in a recent Instagram story from Jake Ejercito, the son of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, recently caused fans to tweet their outrage over the possibility that she and Richards were not dating in real life.

This is hardly the first time Filipino fans, known for being highly engaged on social media, unleashed their outrage on Filipino actors and actresses.

Last October, actor Daniel Padilla had to defend actress Angel Locsin from intense online bashing after their dedicated Kathniel (Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo) fans accused her of stealing the spotlight.

Mendoza said she felt personally responsible for those close to her that were bashed by her fans. “I also owe this to everyone who were dragged into this. Our families, friends, and workmates are being bashed and ridiculed by some. Whoever they can link to us, they would talk about them and say rude things. I just really don’t agree with what I’m seeing. It hurts me to see them being hurt.”

She added: “It hurts me how some of you are so capable and proud of throwing so much hate on others — especially on people who care about us. Family and friends outside the industry are being taken into the wrong context even if they don’t have anything to do with the issues thrown at us. All I ask is respect.”

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