I commute a lot and when I’m in transit, I listen to the people onboard with me. There are passengers who are beaming with delight as they talk about their crush, boyfriend or potential love, while there are some who would complain about work or school over the phone. But recently, there’s this one word I always hear everywhere I go. Be it in the office, in a high end hotel, in a terminal, in a restaurant, or in any place I could think of, people (young and old) are talking about “Aldub.” Heck, even my Facebook news feed is full of Aldub-related posts from friends! And because Aldub is everywhere, maybe it’s time I educate myself a little.
Who is Aldub? Without even watching a single episode, I learned the answer to that question (thanks to my colleagues and friends). Fondly called together as Aldub, actor Alden Richards and Eat Bulaga’s new talent Maine Mendoza have become the nation’s favorite couple as of late.
Let’s face it. Most Filipinos are intrinsically hopeless romantic so whatever pulls their heart strings, they will follow and adore religiously. Filipinos love onscreen love teams but this “split screen love team” has taken the country by storm and has been the talk of the town for more than a month now. They have caught the attention of the masses, middle class and even those that belong to the upper crust of the Philippine society.
A simple push to bring the two together turned into something big. Fans even dug up an old photo of the two which was taken years ago when Alden was just starting his career, while Maine was one of his adoring fans. Years after, who would have thought that these two will cross paths again and be linked together.
Every noon time, many Filipinos are glued to their television sets to catch the silent interaction between the two. While Alden is inside the studio, a split screen shows Yaya Dub (Maine) who is outside, together with Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) and their fans. At first, they were not allowed to see each other face to face and just communicated by writing on a piece of paper.
Everyone was anxiously waiting for the moment the two will see each other in the flesh. And when they did, the social media was on fire with updates here and there about Aldub. Their first personal meeting last Sept. 5 resulted to 39.5% rating (based on AGB Nielsen) and five million tweets with the hashtag #ALDUBBattleForACause.
Yaya Dub was allowed to join the wild card contest inside the studio. The two caught a glimpse of each other but it still wasn’t the right time. As the two ran towards each other, “fate” intervened as a piece of plywood fell from above and blocked each other’s way when they were just inches apart. So near, yet so far. Videos were uploaded online showing screaming fans, both out of frustration and joy. The right time will come, they say, so a glimpse for now is enough.
But what came next was bigger. Yaya Dub and Alden’s abduction (orchestrated by Duhrizz, granddaughter of Lola Nidora) turned into a short reunion as they were able to see each other briefly. But that was not what made fans glee like teens seeing their celebrity crush. They drank from the same cup using the same straw. It may be absurd for some, but that was indirect kiss right there and it was enough to garner eight million tweets.
Things are becoming grandiose for the couple because last Saturday (Sept. 19), Aldub conquered the Twitterverse with a staggering 12 million tweets from fans. It was the most awaited moment as the couple went on a date but unfortunately, it was cut short as Yaya Dub had to go to Lola Nidora’s aid.
Even foreigners are now asking who or what is Aldub all about. What does this tandem spell for the show and their career? So far, nothing but good news is coming their way as the show’s ratings are soaring high, while Alden and Maine are now hot commodities that companies are aiming to get for endorsements. Even religious sects and churches approve of the love team. Yaya Dub depicts a simple woman who follows and loves her family, a perfect example of how Filipinos value their ties with the family. Alden, on the other hand, portrays a typical gentleman who does not rush and knows how to respect the woman he is courting.
Fans are eagerly anticipating the next development in this fictional love story. But will a split screen love turn into real romance? Well, let’s just wait and see.