Sunday, November 22, 2015

The AlDub Serendipity

The Aldub loveteam is a pleasant surprise. It is a fortunate happenstance of a split screen romance gone viral. Their undeniable chemistry propelled this loveteam to unprecedented stardom that had defied expectations. The Aldub serendipity is a phenomenon that was meant to be. Five years after a chance meeting at a teen event, fate had intervened and brought an unlikely pair together. Yes, it is serendipity; a magical coming together. On July 16, 2015, the Aldub Nation was born in the Philippines.

The Beginning

Yaya Dub, as played by Maine Mendoza, was in a remote location in the baranggay for the long-running show Eat Bulaga. We are all witnesses of Yaya Dub's giddy reaction when she spotted her crush, Alden, watching her on a tv monitor as she performed her dub smash song. Alden Richards was in a television studio for the noontime tv show Eat Bulaga. The micro expressions on Yaya Dub's face are familiar to us; haven't we all responded the same before with our old crushes in our teen years? One of the hosts, Allan K, noticed and started to tease Yaya Dub who became even more flustered. The writers and the producers took notice of the attraction and ran away with the notion of a love story via split screen. Little did they know that the whole nation will be hooked as well.

The Aldub Phenomenon

The Aldub phenomenon has swept the Philippines. Last October 24, the Tamang Panahon event was held in the magnificent 55,000-seater Philippine Arena. The hashtag #AlDubEBTamangPanahon drew 41 million tweets and shattered world records. Of course, the Twitter world was perplexed about this loveteam that commanded so much devotion. The Aldub fans cross all demographics and transcended all walks of life. Sociologists, pop culture experts, businessmen, and advertising executives scrambled to understand this social media phenomenon. The internet world became curious of our quirky pabebe wave. I must admit, I have started greeting friends (even non-Pinoys) with a pabebe wave.

Alden and Maine are the new Filipino superstars. Success couldn’t happen to a more kind-hearted couple; they are both beautiful inside and out. As the song goes, God has given them to each other. The Aldub team spelt the rebirth of Eat Bulaga to greater heights. The song "God Gave Me You" by Bryan White appropriately captured the blessings each brought to each other, and to the Aldub Nation. The interaction between Alden and Maine had awakened long-forgotten “kilig” feelings. Respect to elders and to the traditional custom of courtship took center stage.

Magic of Romance

There is magic with the first blush of romance, when everything was beautiful and energizing. I could relate to the extra heartbeat, that momentary loss of concentration, and that sweet giddy feeling. And I found myself smiling in remembrance. It doesn’t matter that happily-ever-afters do not always happen, but love is a feeling meant to be shared, even if we’re mere witnesses to a blossoming relationship. We cheered with the first handshake, the first date, the first hug. Now, we wait with bated breath for the first kiss. If this reel romance turns into a reality, I will be joining in the celebration. Fantastic, Baby.

The Haters and why I don't care

Some elitist and intellectual snobs scoffed at the adulation heaped on Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. What irked me was the condescending attitude of some critics who were chiding the fans for what they call low-brow humor. The crab mentality surfaced again. The self-proclaimed high-browers have admitted that they have not even seen the show, but deigned to write scathing criticisms. These are the same people who demand political and social responsibilities in our entertainment shows (duh!). They ignored that 100% of the proceeds from the Tamang Panahon show went to create public libraries all around the Philippines. Well, miserable people could not appreciate the simple joys of romantic love, witty comebacks, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Innovative Television

I am a proud fan. The Kalyeserye episodes had provided me countless hours of enjoyment. Pure entertainment. Innovative television. I stand in awe of the creative genius by the writers and the spontaneous improvisations from a loose script by the three hosts (JoWaPao- Jose, Wally, and Paolo). Stand-up comedy at its best. The extemporaneous repartee between the baranggay cast and the studio hosts Tito, Vic, and Joey contributed to the amusement. Allan K’s shrieks mingled with my own.

The show was meant to be a distraction from the mind-numbing challenge of my Advanced Statistic class. Aldub provided me a much-needed respite from the stress of my doctoral studies. As I listened to the audio via my cellphone on my drive home, the traffic on Belt Parkway had become much more tolerable. I drove with a smile on my face. Priceless.

What will be, will be. If it is meant to be.

At the end of the day, the non-fan/critics should just let us all be. Let AlDub be. Let the fans exult in our fandom. Our happiness is not of any of the critics’ concern. Nobody can dictate what gives us pleasure. They will never understand; their loss.

What matters most is that Alden and Maine remain true to themselves. If this romance blooms further, the fandom will rejoice. What the fans need to remember is that the magic happened because of the two of them, not one more than the other.

If July 16 did not happen, they could have achieved individual success but I doubt it will be near to the phenomenon they have become as a team. As far as I am concerned, July 16 evened the playing field, it did not matter that Maine was the neophyte and Alden had five years of showbiz experience. The chemistry is inexplicable; perhaps it is just that- serendipity.

And if the naysayers still try to bother you, maybe you can shove them, unfriend them, unfollow them, delete them. Or you can try this: Give them your best I-don't-care-what-you-think expression. Stick out your tongue and tell them “Wala kang pake!” (None of your business!)

Video credit: Eat Bulaga

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