I was there when it happened. I was lying on our sofa in front of our TV set, home alone on a Thursday morning on July 16, 2015 instead of being at work because I was down with flu. That was also the day I strung together all the curses I learned from my barakong male cousins because only two channels on my 136-channel cable subscription were working right. The Disney Channel and the GMA Network. That didn’t leave me much choice, eh?
I was never into local programming, be it drama, variety shows or slapstick entertainment. True, being a kid of the 80’s and the 90’s I grew up in a household where “..Mula Aparri hanggang Jolo, saan ka man ay halina kayo..” is akin to an Angelus sung every 12 noon (ooppss..no blasphemy intended here) , and in fact, up until now I can still sing from memory the “original” version of Eat Bulaga’s theme song. Where was I..? Oh yeah, I’m not into local programming because back then TV reception was real bad in the provinces, it still is. I was more of a radio-drama addict when I was in high school. When I went to college in Manila- oh yes! I’m a Paulinian just like Maine is- the dazzling lights, the happy fast-paced living and my crazy college life in the city enticed me so much to have fun everyday to the point I forgot TV networks existed. And then I had to do my practicum at RPN-9 and PTV-4, a hard knock on my head that effectively reminded me they do exist, but even then TV dramas never became my thing. I do watch Filipino movies but long dramas were never my cup of tea. I don’t have the patience to sit in front of the TV for hours and follow the drama’s long and winding stories night after night with equally long TVCs on the side. When I started working, someone introduced me to Korean dramas and I got hooked! The K-dramas were shorter for one, and two, they have such eye-candy actors over there. Mababaw ako that way eh.I have memorized the names and the faces of these old and young actors and actresses in K-dramas. Ask me who among our stars are my favorite and I would automatically answer Sharon and Gabby, Richard and Dawn and…that’s it! Napaghahalata ba ang edad? Twenty years! For twenty long years my viewing habits revolved around K-dramas, moved on to J-dramas and yes extended even to Thai Lakorns.
July 16, 2015 and AlDub happened. Serendipity was it that only two channels were working right? Serendipity was it that I happened to change channel just at the right moment when Maine was doing her dub smash “natin” while Alden was sitting handsomely among studio audience showing off his dimples on national TV? Yes, I witnessed the first time Maine’s eyes grew big when she happened to glance on the monitor and saw Alden sitting there, smiling and observing her dub smashing antics . The giddiness she felt then spilled beyond the monitor she was facing and affected everyone who watched that first fateful on-screen meeting. Friday and Saturday came and went by so fast. On a Monday the week following, realization dawned on me that I wouldn’t be able to watch it live anymore and that’s when I knew I got caught by these two beautiful individuals hook, line and sinker with a serye that’s all live and improvised!
What’s a working Mom gonna do? Reactivate an old youtube account and wait for replays! It wouldn’t be few more weeks later yet that different teams in AlDub Nation would be form , and when the different teams came about, I realized I definitely belong to Team Replay. Sometime in August my twitter account created in 2009 was reactivated if only to help trend HT’s of the day. I met some new friends over there, fellow Aldubbers who are passionate in their belief that Maine and Alden are match made in heaven. Passionate in promoting good values and Filipino traditions long taken for granted by the youths of today. Passionate in defending Maine and Alden against bashers and haters who can’t believe their meteoric rise to the top. Passionate in their desire to tweet non-stop and put #ALDUB_____on top of the trend NW and WW. Passionate in their cause in creating good vibes in and outside the fandom. Passionate in their stance that indeed everything should be done “sa tamang panahon”. For the Aldub Nation, the “patience is a virtue” saying became an everyday mantra.
Thirteen weeksaries, three monthsaries, awards from CSMS , an individual award for Maine, innumerable original composition AlDub-inspired songs, two gold record awards for Alden, million tweets and six TVCs later, in just such a short span of time the AlDub couple and the AlDub Nation have gone through so much laughter and tears, and all other emotions in between already. Who can ever forget the kilig moments AlDub dishes out day after day? The sweet split-screen kisses? The unlimited flying kisses? (aminin! minsan gusto mo na rin sumalo ng ligaw na flying kiss no?) And who can forget Lola’s challenges ? Ahhh..the pricking pains in our hearts, the lip-biting, the finger-curling, the shouting of encouragement each one of us did in front of our TV sets at home, in the studio and in the barangays to laughing like crazy, crying, clapping, pulling our hair, jumping and heaving a collective sigh of relief whenever Alden fulfilled them in Kalyeserye. Who can forget the two-week separation by our reel lovers? That was painful for us fans, and although unintentional on Alden’s part, many began doubting him. Masyado kasi tayong atat eh. Sabi nga ni lola hindi araw-araw pasko. Hindi araw-araw kilig. Who can forget those people name calling us AlDub fans as Aldogs and labeling us asal kalye? Aba! akalain mo from lawyers to doctors to nurses to engineers to teachers, professionals from all walks of life from in and out of the country biglang naglitawan and collectively said “proud AlDub Fan ako”. (aminin! na-touch ang ego ng slight no? ako din :)) .nang-aano sila eh…) Not to mention the uncountable small frictions within the fandom? Which thankfully gets resolved easily! We acted and reacted in rage, others remained calm and others just chose not to care or just kept silent. We have gone through these highs and lows, and more… in our own little nooks, alone or with fellow fans. Yet through these all AlDub Nation remain steadfast. Sabi nga ni Alden kay Maine di ba, “ang dami na nating pinagdaanan, ngayon pa ba tayo susuko?” The same line applies to us, too.
This KalyeSerye is not just Maine and Alden’s journey in their careers and their journey from reel to real life. It is a journey of the AlDub/Maiden couple, the lolas, the EB people, and the Aldub Nation as a whole and as a family towards a future full of good causes and intentions that would benefit a majority of our fellow Filipinos. AlDub Red Cross blood-letting anyone? and another one this coming October 24, A gathering of fans to help make possible the AlDub Library Project for schools in the country at Philippine Arena no less! The reel union of these two wonderful, generous, grateful, loving, family-oriented and god-fearing individuals bore the Aldub Nation, a fandom like no other. A fandom that is mature enough to realize that there is more to just being fans. A fandom that transcends time, space, age, class level and status in society.
Thirteen weeks and three monthsaries down…forever more to go Maine, Alden, Lolas, EB, every Juan and Aldub Nation! Huwag tayong bumitaw. Hindi tayo bibitaw. Ngayon pa ba? Eh eto na, abot kamay na nating lahat ang tamang panahon?
Ahmmm…my viewing habits? Well, it has changed, not a 360- degree turn around..old habits die hard, y’know? But this I’m sure, I ain’t leaving AlDub and Aldub Nation any time soon…pinky swear, stamped, filed and kissed!
Aldub U all.