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Truth of the matter is, the #AlDub trend has gotten so big that it’s reached the consciousness of our classiest and/or most clueless of friends. Every day on our feed, in our various group chats, and even private messages, we encounter the question: What is #AlDub?
To begin: It’s the newest development and the latest manifestation of genius of the 36-year-old noontime show Eat Bulaga! It has strangely managed a seismic shift between traditional and new media by, well, uploading entire episodes of the Kalye Serye on Facebook, but just the Kalye Serye; nothing more of the show.
But that’s getting ahead of the story. Allow us to help you get to the bottom of things by answering your questions one by one.
1. What is #AlDub?
It’s the accidental love team between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, more popularly known as Yaya Dub — hence #AlDub. The hashtag? Social media habits die hard. People always spell the love team name with the hash, enabling #AlDub to rule social media as much as it rules daytime TV. That said, #AlDub is the early favorite in Eat Bulaga‘s new Kalye Serye segment, “Juan for All, All for Juan.”
2. Wait, who are Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza?!
Get off Instagram and pay attention. Okay, ladies first. Maine Mendoza is a De La Salle University, College of Saint Benilde Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate waiting to become a flight attendant when she Dubsmashed her way to showbusiness. Her performances on the lip-synching app got the attention of EB’s producers and she eventually snagged the role of Divina Ursula Bukbukova Smash aka Yaya Dub.
Alden Richards, meanwhile, has long been trying to get his leading-man break. He was only supposed to try hosting for some bits on EB, like “That’s My Bae” when something happened on July 16.
Watch this YouTube clip below:
Yaya Dub, on duty at a barangay, broke her character and looked incredibly shy when Alden’s be-dimpled face was shown on the split screen. The entire EB crew called her out, and she could not hide her kilig. Soon after, the audience wanted more screen time of the two. So instead of a teleserye, a ‘Kalye Serye’ segment was formed.
Later on, it was revealed that Maine really had a crush on Alden.
3. Anyway, who’s this Lola Nidora character that people are also talking about?
Ah, the #AlDub saga wouldn’t be complete without her. Lola Nidora is basically Wally Bayola in drag. She is the malaking hadlang of the #AlDub love story. As in, she keeps #AlDub from seeing each other saying things should happen “sa tamang panahon.” Her “sa tamang panahon” battle cry, coupled with her “asawa ni” jokes, have made her less of a villain and more of a, well, wise lola figure.
Because she won’t let #AlDub see each other, everyone has turned into some sort of a fan girl and a fan boy. People have begun rooting for the star-crossed lovers.
When the two begin smiling toward each other and Dubsmashing their sweet nothings to each other from the split-screen, you won’t be able to help but feel your entire body tingle with love. The anticipation reaches fever-pitch levels that EB has been enjoying TV ratings as high as Manny Pacquiao’s Top Rank cards. So now, enter advertisers because really, who wouldn’t want to cash in on that?
4. Why is #AlDub a hit?
Because it’s funny in so many levels, it gets us kilig on a daily basis, and when people realize it does not have a script, it becomes this impressive little thing.
“Kalye Serye” was a stroke of genius, especially because #AlDub blurred the line between reality and fantasy. In the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Filipino anthropologist Anna Leah Sarabia said “Kalye Serye’ is a ‘Cinderella’ story that’s fake and true-life at the same time”. The segment is unscripted. The lovebirds only communicate through songs and handwritten messages in a split-screen setting.
Adds Eat Bulaga! director Poochie Rivera, “lots of Filipinos can relate with their predicament. People who have partners who work abroad often communicate and pursue their relationships online through Skype or Facetime” — indeed, through split-screen.
Sociology Professor Clifford Sorita says it is this mimicry of “real-life events” that makes people more drawn to #AlDub. “It is very important so the audience can relate to the message of art. The more accurate art reflects the true experience of an individual, the more he or she can be drawn to it,” he explained in a GMA News article.
“We [Filipinos] have a tradition of love teams. Our epics have romantic couples,” Palanca award-winning playwright Lallie Bucoy says. “Perhaps, almost everyone has a desire to love and be loved. Or it becomes easier to define self-identity if one’s part of a couple,” she said.
In the Kalye Serye, there is no fourth wall nor a social class that is its target market. The audience is in a circle, and the sector includes everyone with a TV and an Internet connection. Everyone, including the peanut gallery in the studio, is a parody of themselves, can tease anyone in the show, and has to come up with a joke — and fast. It’s basically a masterclass on impromptu acting, tailor-made for Eat Bulaga’s roster of talents.
Pauleen Luna, an EB mainstay, admitted that AlDub “has brought a different kind of energy to the show.”
TV exec Malou Choa-Fagar also believes that it’s the unpredictable nature of the “Kalyeserye” that largely contributed to the AlDub success. Remember that time Yaya Dub fainted? Ah, feels like fate is in on this thing.
5. So, what now?
So the only thing you can expect from #AlDub and the Kalye Serye it finds itself in, really, is that it’s always going to be unexpected. Last Saturday, it was the unexpected kidnapping of Maine Mendoza after their brief encounter in the studio. A few Saturdays ago, it was the unexpected fake pastor that made the Yakie marriage null and void.
Pro-tip: If there’s only one day you can watch AlDub — which is already unbelievable, because episodes are available on Facebook — make it Saturday, when the big events usually happens. In fact, EB is already teasing a “pasabog” for this Saturday’s episode. Trending topic alert!
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