Episode 129: In Defense of AlDub


Last week, I talked about Street Fighter V and my current thoughts on the game. Even though I don’t have access to the Beta version, I still love watching videos about the game and how it’s coming along. I guess you can kind of say I’m obsessed with Street Fighter. Which leads me to something that I thought I would never do: defend the AlDub phenomemon in the Philippines.

Now, people outside of the country may not know what the heck I’m talking about. But I’m guessing now that the entire AlDub thing is usually one of the top trending things on Twitter, they may at least be asking questions what the heck it’s all about. Well, it’s a phenomenon in the Philippines. And I don’t really care for it. But I will defend the fans for liking it and tweeting all about it on social media.

It's a hashtag!

It’s a hashtag!

Okay, let me try to explain what AlDub thing is all about. In the Philippines, there is a noontime variety show called Eat Bulaga. The show has several segments and several hosts. One of the segments takes place in the streets and one of the hosts of this “street” segment is named Yaya Dub. Yaya Dub is the snobbish helper of Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola) who doesn’t speak any lines. Instead, she only “speaks” by lip syncing songs and audio clips; this is called “dub smash.” Following so far?

Now, another host, named Alden Richards is way back in the studio. He’s somewhat of a hearttrob in the country. The two characters never really crossed paths as one of them is in the streets (Yaya Dub) while the other is in the studio (Alden Richards). However, both the “street” team and the “studio” team do see each other via monitor. One faithful day, Yaya Dub was doing her thing, lip syncing some dialog and was somewhat taken aback when she saw Alden Richards on camera. The actress that plays Yaya Dub, Maine Mendoza, broke character as the usually snobbish helper actually smiled! The hosts noticed this and pounced on the slip up and started poking fun at Maine Mendoza and her reaction.

But the viewers loved that little slip and ate it up! The viewing public wanted to see more of Yaya Dub and Alden Richards together and Eat Bulaga’s head honchos were only happy to oblige. Soon, Eat Bulaga started focusing on the duo, even creating the “kayle serye” (“Kalye” = street / “serye” = series) featuring the adventures of Yaya Dub and Alden, now known as AlDub, and trying to actually meet and date each other. The entire AlDub phenomenon reached a head a couple of weeks ago during the “Sa Tamang Panahon” (At the Right Moment) event where the two finally… sorta became an official couple, leading to a torrent of 41 million tweets in a span of 24 hours!

I may be missing some of the nuances of the show since I’m not a fan of the entire AlDub thing but that’s basically the gist of the entire thing. Like I said, I’m not particularly a fan of the entire AlDub phenomenon. I tried watching a few segments and, while I kind of admire Wally Bayola and Maine Mendoza to improv their way through segments and I do think the entire idea behind the story is “cute,” to say the least. And some of it is actually laugh at loud funny. However, I have to say the entire thing is not for me. It just feels so trite, to an embarrassing level at times.

And I do understand why people like it. Like I said, it is pretty funny and Maine Mendoza, while not drop dead gorgeous, is cute in her own way. There was also some curiosity regarding what Maine Mendoza actually sounds like, which I think escalated its popularity . And Filipinos are just suckers for your “poor girl falling in love with a rich guy” story, which is what AlDub essentially evolved into.

With that being said, as much as I would want to bash it, I think it would incredibly hypocritical for me to do so. I do think AlDub is pretty silly and dumb and I do think fans are getting carried away with their love for the entire phenomenon. I’ve seen fans bashing the haters all over Twitter and Facebook like they’ve insulted their religion so, yeah, fans to tend to go overboard and attack the person making the argument against AlDub instead of addressing the argument.

But I’m guilty of being the same way as well. Maybe not with the entire AlDub thing. But I’ve been incredibly passionate about other things as well. Even “dumb things” like Street Fighter and video games. It’s a part of human nature to feel attacked when something they love is being criticized. If you attack something I hold dear to my heart, I will retaliate much, much harder. Remember “Leave Britney Alone?”

I do, however, have a caveat regarding my defending AlDub or anything like it. I will not defend a person of a group of persons if they become obsessed by it and start forcing people to “agree” with them. There should always be room for people to both like and dislike something. You may not agree with their opinion but you have to give them the benefit of liking or disliking something.

Anyway, that’s all I have to really say in the matter. I don’t think I’ll watch any future episodes of this “kalyeserye” thing or any segments featuring AlDub in the future. There are a lot more better things on TV… in my opinion. One of those shows just so happens about being a girl growing up… and I’ll talk more about this show next time!


Have you seen AlDub? What are your thoughts on the entire phenomenon? Let me know what they are in the comments section below!

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