Musing Over AlDub (Part 1)
We Filipinos always love new and exciting things, don’t we? And we also love mushy stuff on TV and social media.
We may avoid stuff that seems corny, people who are OA (overactive), and situations that look embarrassing, but if they are something new, untried, untested, and potentially entertaining, who cares? We Filipinos love to be entertained. We reserve judgment later on.
Alden + Yaya Dub = AlDub?
Four months ago, the Philippines’ longest-running noontime show Eat Bulaga! debutted something that was never tried and tested on television: A kalyeserye (kalye+serye) or street series, a new form of fiction built from quick thinking, easy blending, people skills, speech skills, and impromptu acting. Well, the kalyeserye that Eat Bulaga! had developed was a love story.
The love story centered on Yaya Dub (Maine Mendoza) who served as the bitchy yet funny, dubsmashing personal assistant of the rich Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola dressing in drags) in the show’s segment “Juan for all, All for Juan”, where the trio of Jose Manalo (later cross-dressing as Lola Tinidora), Wally, and Paolo Ballesteros (Lola Tidora) visits barangays or communities to give prizes and rewards to lucky locals and homeowners and to give answers to (somewhat silly) problems of people who don’t look problematic at all. Of course, the advices are peppered with jokes. The other protagonist is Alden Richards, one of the co-hosts of another segment, which is held at the studio Broadway Centrum.
Pre-AlDub days, Yaya Dud would always get the goat of Jose, who tried to humiliate her and overshadow her on almost everything she does on their segment. They were at each other’s necks. Actually it was Jose who always brought attention to her or tried to get her attention. On the day before it was revealed she got a crush on Alden, she hit Jose on the head with one of her placards. And on the day that changed the history of Philippine television forever, she, standing beside Jose, dubsmashed that she’s beside someone who’s ugly.
Alden, on the other hand, was at the studio, doing his segment.
So how did Alden and Yaya Dub become the hottest love team and Internet phenomenon at the moment?
Let this episode tell you how:
So now you know.
Yaya Dub has been carrying out her dubsmash routine for 10 days before she saw Alden for the first time via split-screen. At that fateful hour, she broke out of their snobbish character by smiling and doing the pabebe wave at him. Jose, Paolo, and the other hosts at Broadway quickly took notice of this and teased the two. Since then, Yaya Dub began to smile and feel inexplicable joy at the sight of Alden.
In the few days that followed, Eat Bulaga! began to realize that a potential blockbuster, a phenomenon was slowly unfolding before them. At the sight of Alden via split-screen, Yaya Dub always tried to get Alden’s attention. They started communicating by dubbing audio samples of popular samples and movie lines, and exchanging split-screen kisses and fan signs. Eat Bulaga! the developed various storylines typical of Filipino soap operas. Lola Nidora restricting the couple’s communication was the major storyline. AlDub kalyeserye was born, thanks to the ingenuity of Eat Bulaga!
On the episode that started it all, notice that Yaya Dub lost focus on her dubsmashing upon seeing Alden on split-screen. All of us can really relate to this: We become conscious at the sight of people we like, have crush upon, and Yaya Dub is no exception.
The kalyeserye will not be possible if it were not for the cameraman who zoomed the camera in on Alden’s face, at an angle that showed off his famous dimple – while Yaya Dub was dubsmashing.
(To be continued)