AlDub – the phenomenon that’s taken our country by storm.
In social media, it’s impossible to escape it. Use your Facebook or Twitter for 5 minutes and tell me if you don’t see any AlDub-related post from your friends or even from celebrities you follow. (READ: #AlDub: 10 celebrity fans)
If you go to a coffee shop or a restaurant, chances are the table next to you is talking about AlDub or doing the “pabebe” pose in their group photo. If you head to your apartment, your roommate is probably viewing a Yaya Dub video on YouTube and laughing his/her heart out. If that restaurant or mall has a TV, trust that people are tuning in like it’s the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight all over again.
Just earlier today, I overheard someone say to his friend, “AlDub really has a different effect on you!”
Let it be known that I am not a fan of AlDub. I am not here to promote or bash it because I simply do not know enough. However, I would like to point out why I believe AlDub is so powerful and is breaking social media records everywhere (record 12.1 million tweets). (READ: How #AlDub is breaking the Internet)
What is it like to be a spectator, and how does it affect the society I’m part of?
Maine Mendoza started to become well known for her Dubsmash videos and her awesome ability to lip sync famous lines. Her videos became viral, and then boom, the Yaya Dub persona was born. Links were shared, there was word of mouth, and here we are. We have to remember that Filipinos generally love underdogs. Since Maine is your ordinary girl turned Internet sensation, a lot of people became her fans and followers, which propelled her to the limelight even more. (READ: #AlDub: The fun tandem of Alden Richards and ‘Yaya Dub’)
You know what we love more than underdogs? Love teams. Enter Alden Richards. His charisma complemented Maine’s energy, so it was just natural for them to be a pair.
Happily ever after, right? Not quite. GMA and Eat Bulaga saw the opportunity here, and banked on our desire to see more drama. When Maine and Alden were finally supposed to meet, another obstactle in the form of one Mr Plywood just happened to be there, and it definitely devastated the fans. (READ: #AlDub: That time Yaya Dub and Alden almost met face-to-face)
When they had their first date, they sat at a ridiculously long table, both of them strategically placed at opposite ends. It’s like an invisible hand was intentionally keeping them apart, which made the AlDub nation roar with emotion. (READ: #Aldub: Yaya Dub and Alden finally go on their first date)
Nothing can tug a Filipino heart more than a relationship destiny seems intent on wrecking. AlDub has this kilig factor that’s unmatched by any ongoing loveteam right now, and yet, at the same time, their difficult situation is so relatable to the millions of people currently experiencing uncertainty in their relationships.
Seeing how the pair is able to progress despite obstacles might bring viewers hope that they too will get to move past the long tables and Mr Plywood eventually, one way or another. AlDub seems to have created the new gold standard for sweetness, too. People in love see themselves reflected in the duo, and people who aren’t long for that day when they could.
As for me, I got most of my knowledge on AlDub because a lot of my friends follow it religiously. I remember a few weeks ago, they taught me how to do the “pabebe wave” during lunch, and we laughed at how I was so clueless about it. I noticed that discussing AlDub was a good way to relieve stress among our group, and for the purpose of small talk, it was by far a more entertaining topic than the weather.
My friends went as far as electing a president for their very own chapter of the AlDub nation. Even if it was meant as a joke, I like how the AlDub fan base is able to bring different people together and transcend gender and age. Strangers can become friends in an instant because they all want Yaya Dub to get her happily ever after.
I also watched an episode recently and I have to say it brought a smile to my face. I now get why fans are enthralled by their loveteam and their crazy antics – seeing Maine and Alden interact onscreen can be like watching your favorite romantic comedy over and over and over again.
Critics of AlDub say that the time spent following the pair can be used for something more useful. If you think about it, being a fan of something is considered a hobby, and hobbies can be good for our well-being because they help us unwind. We have a personal attachment to our hobbies. I simply cannot imagine discarding reading Marvel comic books just because I know I need to do other things in life.
The real danger here is probably when you choose a hobby over your responsibilities. Going back to AlDub, if you’re a fan, your whole life still needs to go on even if Maine and Alden break up or end up getting married, right? Unlike them, you do not live in a fantastic telenovela. As long as you know your priorities and pay your bills first before thinking about the next episode, I don’t see anything wrong with being a fan.
I don’t know if AlDub is just a pop culture phase or if it will go on for a very, very long time. I guess it’s up to their fans to decide. Again, I am neither promoting nor bashing AlDub – these are just thoughts from a non-fan.
I understand why things are the way they are when it comes to AlDub. If you don’t understand it yet, maybe it’s about time you give it a whirl, too. – Rappler.com
Jurmane is a freelance writer who loves to write about TV shows, movies and travel. He dreams of publishing a book one day. Follow his adventures on Facebook (Jurmane Lallana) and Twitter (@shatteredrifle).
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