But somehow, what began as a simple story ended up breaking records along the way.
AlDub, the portmanteau referring to actor Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza – who is more popularly known by her TV character Yaya Dub – is the name on everyone’s lips.
But the love story has evolved into something more; something bigger, and its effects have reached further than its creators could have possibly imagined. AlDub Nation in numbers On Wednesday’s
(October 28) News.PH, Pia Hontiveros, CNN Philippines’ chief correspondent, sat down with Sharlaine Andal, founder of the AlDub Facebook page; pop culture expert Mykel Andrada; photographer and artist Gwendy Gayle de los Santos; and sociologist Erwin Rafael to talk about AlDub.
According to De los Santos, the reason why AlDub-related hashtags work is because of teamwork.
“It’s a team effort between all the fan clubs, especially on Twitter,” she said.
Rafael said there was someone in charge of setting the trend for the day, but the hashtag #ALDUBOnCNNPH –which trended on Wednesday evening – was started by one person.
The hashtag proved effective, with tweets from AlDub Nation – the name of the fandom the groups’ supporters belong to – reaching over 228,000 in just 30 minutes.
Andrada added there were subgroups within the group whose primary goal was to make hashtags trend.
The AlDub fan page on Facebook has over 800,000 likers; its equivalent on Twitter has over 60,000 followers – numbers which may potentially increase as AlDub’s popularity has yet to show signs of waning.
Andal, who founded the Facebook page, said she owed the success of the fan page to the eight administrators who help her manage the page.
Understanding the phenomenon
Andrada said what contributed to AlDub’s success was that it was able to capture three large audiences: overseas workers, people who are often at home (Team Bahay, as he called them), and millennials.
He said the way the Kalye Serye was presented resonated deeply with migrant workers as it was played out on split-screen – a technology close to their hearts because it is often how they communicate with loved ones back home.
Millennials, he explained, are social media enthusiasts. They are very aware and capable of using Internet technology.
These captive audiences factor greatly in the invention and reinvention of AlDub as a phenomenon.
He said the presence of family values, as seen in the reminders of the Lolas in the AlDub storyline, reflected Filipinos’ adherence to these traditions.
Mendoza’s skills as a thespian contributed to AlDub’s success, explained Andrada.
“May thespian abilities talaga si Maine,” he said. “Mahusay siyang mag- caricature ng mukha niya, kung anu-ano ang ginagawa niya sa swivel chair. Ang aura talaga ni Yaya Dub, bukod sa meron siyang millennial na audience [ay] yung expression talaga ng mga kabataan through Dubsmash.”
The “kilig” factor
Do Richards and Mendoza like each other?
“We see it through their acts kasi, kahit hindi nila sabihin, kitang-kita sa mga actions nila,” Andal said.
Blurring the line between real and make-believe is also part of AlDub’s appeal.
“The audience is smart,” Rafael said. “Yung fictional side, dun nila nakukuha yung tawa nila. Pero yung kilig nila, parang may nape- perceive kasi silang totoo. So, hindi natin alam kung totoo, pero nakikita nila na parang totoo.”
Bridging homesickness, building communities AlDub has gone worldwide.
Rafael said that, on Saturday(October24), records were broken when the hashtag #ALDUBETamangPanahon resonated all over the world, resulting in 41 million tweets sent. He said while there were a lot of tweets coming from the Philippines, there was a large number of tweets from the East and West Coasts of the U.S., Japan, Europe, and the Middle East.
“Indicator [ito] na karamihan ng nagtu-tweet ay Filipinos na nasa ibang bansa,” he said. He added, two-thirds of all the tweets came from outside of the Philippines.
“Ito, bibigyan ko ng ibang interpretation,” he said. “Meron kasing sinasabi na interpretation na ‘’tweet ng tweet, wala naman kayong ginagawa para sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas.’ Pero kung lumalabas pala na ang nagtu- tweet pala ay OFW – na actually, sila ang bumubuhay sa Pilipinas. So iba pala ang AlDub Nation. Hindi pala sila yung taong walang ginagawa.”
He said part of the reason why Filipinos overseas keep on tweeting is because it’s a way to keep up with happenings at home.
“May nakausap kami na sinabing naaalala nila ang Pilipinas pag nanonood sila ng Kalye Serye,” he said.
Outside of the series, AlDub fans have also used their hashtags to participate in community service and other good deeds.
Among them were supporting the campaign to stop lumad killings, gathering donations for a book drive for lumad children, and an awareness campaign for dengue prevention.
Andrada and De los Santos said AlDub had become a way not only to reconnect Filipinos living overseas to the motherland but also to remind people of Filipino values that might have been forgotten or lost.
Twitter reacts to #ALDUBOnCNNPH
AlDub Nation continued to throw their support behind not only for their idols, but also for those who represented them on the News. PH. Using the hashtag created especially for the show, netizens celebrated the discussion through messages on the social media platform. (cnn.ph)
L-R: Sharlaine Andal, Gwendy Gayle Delos Santos, CNN Philippines’ chief correspondent Pia Hontiveros, Erwin Rafael, and Mykel Andrada.