On #ALDubEBTamangPanahon and fairytales that come true

Kathy Moran - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – It may be just one of many hashtags in the months-long saga of the AlDub fairy tale, but “Tamang Panahon” last Oct. 24 was just that — the right, perfect moment, not just for AlDUb (the split-screen couple Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza — but also for the “AlDub Nation”, the Philippines’ place in Twitter history and for Eat, Bulaga (EB) and its loyal fans.

The figure 39.522 million is a mind-boggling one for a 24-hour, one hashtag, tweet count reached by #AlDubEBTamangPanahon by 12:01 a.m. of Oct. 25. It went beyond the goal of 36 million tweets set by the AlDub nation for the Tamang Panahon big event of Eat, Bulaga at the Philippine Arena the day before.

This target had been the fandom nation’s way of thanking Eat, Bulaga for AlDub and the Kalye Serye. The Kalye Serye’s popularity — and the birth of the AlDub love team —  has been a sweet, special time for EB, which celebrates its 36th year this year. It has also set TV history this year, as the longest-running noontime show.

Tamang Panahon was an event that all members of the AlDub nation were looking forward to — as Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) had spoken often enough about it on the almost four-month long (short) Kalyeserye.

Tamang Panahon would be the time when Yaya Dub and Alden Richards would finally be able to start a getting to know, face-to-face relationship — minus all the rules that Lola Nidora had set for them in the past.

The atmosphere at the Philippine Arena was electric given the fact the first three dates of AlDub had been filled with rules that Lola Nidora had set.  There was the long table date, the date at the mansion and the date at the EB studio in Broadway — and at each date Lola Nidora was there to make sure that AlDub would make “no touch” on any of the dates.

A week in the making

Then, last week, Lola Nidora said that she had a surprise for Alden and Yaya Dub — and that the Tamang Panahon was just around the corner.

Last week, Yaya Dub had been absent from the Kalyeserye for three days — even missing the couple’s 14th weeksary — and the week prior Alden was away for a whole week.

During this time, both Alden and Yaya Dub were able to shine, each in his or her own way.

Last week, it was time.

On Oct. 17, the day that Yaya Dub had returned to the Kalye Serye from a “vacation in the province,” Lola Nidora announced that AlDub could finally have their first real date with no rules attached.

“Gusto ko imbitahin ang AlDub nation,” she said. “Gusto ko magkita kita tayo sa aming munting bungalow — ang Philippine Arena.”

Finally, the event that every member of the AlDub nation had only dreamed of — would become a reality. And, each of them would be witness to it.

Yes, there were tickets to be sold. But, proceeds of the ticket sales would go to building school libraries, Lola Nidora said.

In a few hours after the announcement that Saturday, Twitter was alive and tweets went out that the P1,200 tickets and P600 tickets were sold out. The next day, gone too were the P350 and P100 tickets.

The Philippine Arena, which has a 55,000-person seating capacity, sold out. The first record set by the AlDub nation was that tickets sold out in less than three days.

Perhaps it was also because Tamang Panahon would be a way for the AlDub nation to give back. After all, the proceeds of ticket sales, which totaled P14 million, would be used to build libraries for public schools all over the country.

“When Eat, Bulaga started in 1979, I coined the slogan, ‘habang may bata, may Eat, Bulaga’,” said Joey De Leon in an interview. “From the time the show started in 1979, we have focused on helping kids and giving back.”

The magic of AlDub

Tamang Panahon was a show for the books. Aside from breaking Twitter records, raising P14 million and filling the Philippine Arena to capacity — it was also a show for the fans that had long waited for Alden and Yaya Dub to become a little more “intimate” with each other.

The Philippine Arena opened its doors at 6 a.m. on Oct. 24. By about 9 a.m, it was filled to capacity — even if the show was not to start  ‘til 10 a.m.

“We are overwhelmed by the crowds,” said Teddy “Daddy Dub” Mendoza, father of Maine, when we bumped into him at the Arena. “So grateful for such a blessing.”

The show was everything that was promised to the AlDub nation — one that would require oxygen tanks because they wouldn’t be able to breathe from all the kilig.

Add to these records broken, the fact that for Tamang Panahon, there would be no commercial breaks throughout the show. This way, people at home, or #Teambahay as the AlDub nation called them, would see exactly what the crowd at the Philippine Arena saw.

The first-half of the show was fun with the hosts of EB including Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, Allan K, Pauleen Luna, Julia Clarete, Patricia Tumulak, Ryan Agoncillo, Jimmy Santos, Ruby Rodriguez, Ryzza Mae and even Baste -were there to entertain as the ever-supportive Dabarkads family.

Of course, the explosive first number of the three lolas — Nidora with her Rogelios, Tinidora (Jose Manalo) and her Cuando Cuandos and Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros) and her Bernardos was a spectacle of delight, which the crowd was greatly appreciative of.

Tito and Vic Sotto, together with Joey de Leon, sang the theme song of EB — which was another big hit.

The best for last

Deafening cheers, tears of joy and an electrifying vibe filled the Arena when Yaya Dub made her entrance hanging on to the back of a jeepney. From that time on and for the next hour or so, the AlDub nation stayed largely on its feet not wanting to miss a single detail of “Tamang Panahon.”

Lola Nidora gave Alden and Yaya Dub her blessing — and the three broke into a group hug — which brought the Philippine Arena down — with tears and cheers.

Hug over, the couple finally embraced and held hands as Alden Richards, who was in tears, sang God Gave Me You to Maine.

Yaya Dub, who for the most part of the four months of the Kalyeserye, was only heard through Dubsmash, had also arrived at a Tamang Panahon in her own career as she spoke more than usual on Oct. 24.

“Alden, thank you,” she began. “Alam mo, pinagdasal ko talaga itong araw na to. Ganun din naman ang gusto kong sabihin sa yo, God gave me you,” she said.

There was a first dance, which Lola Nidora wanted the couple to do, a few Dubsmash performances by the couple of the songs, which had become part of their everyday split-screen Kalyeserye dates and even solo dance numbers by Alden and Yaya Dub.

Tamang Panahon was everything and more that the Aldub nation had wanted to see — and the vibe throughout AlDub performances was no less than heart-stopping.

On records and more

The show was definitely one that the AlDub nation will not soon forget.

This year, as EB turns 36, De Leon, who is a master at coining witty and intelligent slogans, has another slogan, which he feels best describes EB’s rEBirth — and the entry of AlDub.

“Habang may mag-syota, may bata. Habang may bata, may Eat Bulaga.”

Traditional courtship and other Pinoy values in the time of Twitter

By 12:01 a.m. of Oct. 4, the total number of tweets for #ALDUBmeetsTVJ had reached 11.726 million, the third highest tweet record for the Aldub nation. That’s just a little below the 12.1 million tweets last Sept. 19. For now, the 25.6 million-tweet record last Sept. 25 may be hard to break.

Leave it to the Aldub nation (what the followers of the Kalyeserye call themselves) to make it a daily habit of reaching about two million tweets on weekdays, and then turning on their “beast mode” to tweet their hearts and fingers out on Saturdays to record-breaking tweet counts.

It is not only in social media that Eat, Bulaga, through its Kalyeserye, has been able to make a difference — the show is also top rating in the noontime slot shows. For the episode of Oct. 3, the Kalyeserye episode got a rating of 42.7 percent of TV viewership over its closest competitor, which got 9.9 percent. For now, Eat, Bulaga is ruling the ratings game, too, when it comes to noontime shows.

Netizens and TV viewers are united in giving the Kalyeserye their nod — and how. That’s a clear sign that the formula that Eat, Bulaga is using for its Kalyeserye is deeply touching its viewers’ hearts.

From twitterverse to broadway studio

Last Oct. 1, the 11th weeksary of Alden Richards and Yaya Dub (Maine Mendoza), Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) asked Tito and Vic Sotto and Joey De Leon (TVJ) if they could visit the Broadway studio so that Yaya Dub would be able to meet the dabarkads of Alden.

Request granted. She made one more request — that TVJ serenade the lolas Nidora and Tinidora (Jose Manalo) when they visit the studio. Second wish granted.

Last Oct. 3, the Broadway was decked fiesta style complete with marching band. The fans, whether netizens or not, filled the studio to the rafters. Other fans, who were at Broadway but could not make it into the rather small studio, were content to watch the episode on TV monitors outside.

Twitter remained active — before the show Twitter count was a little over five million — by the end of the episode — the tweet count had reached 10 million.

Lessons, lessons

For anyone who has watched Kalyeserye since it started about three months ago — there are two focal points — of course, the developing love story between Alden and Yaya Dub (whether just for reel or real, only they know) and the many teachings of Lola Nidora about keeping the Pinoy traditional values alive.

What values did Lola Nidora want us to learn last Oct. 3?

Here are three:

“Wala pang Dubsmash (Yaya Dub and Alden’s split screen romance revolves around dubsmashed songs) nung panahon namin, ganyan ang panunuyo, harana,” says Lola Nidora to Yaya Dub after the serenade of TVJ. “Kinakantahan, pinagsisilbihan, pinupuntahan sa bahay — hindi yung sa kalye nagliligawan.”

“Ngayon tinginan lang, MU na agad,” she adds. “Di pa lubos nagkakakilala, in a relationship na.”

“Grabe na ngayon. Ang lovelife ngayon daig ang balita  — live via satellite.”

At the end of her soliloquy, she admonishes Yaya Dub: “Tandaan mo Yaya: Maganda sa pakiramdam ang harana.”

As I sat and listened — I understood where Lola Nidora was coming from — but, at the same time, I also see the importance of news in virtual reality — it keeps us in touch with the world. It is also where the Aldub nation is most present — in the Twitterverse.

And just like fandoms of the past (even perhaps during the time of Lola Nidora), the fans in Broadway were loud with their appreciation of the slightest show of affection between Alden and Yaya Dub.

Pandemonium erupted when Alden beat Lola Nidora in “bato bato pick,” her final challenge for Alden so that finally he could shake hands with Yaya Dub.

Moving on

What catches my attention is the desire of the Kalyeserye and Eat, Bulaga to create a conversation on traditional Pinoy values with its very young Aldub nation on Twitterverse (many based here and others living abroad) — a conversation that does go on after each episode.

While we are enamored by the love story between Alden and Yaya Dub, Lola Nidora continues to insist that we pay heed to the values that should remain at the core of every Filipino.

At the same time, the writers of the Kalyeserye continue to keep their audience guessing as to what will happen next.

#ALDUBTogetherAgain was announced on midnight of Oct. 7. Many thought that it would be another kilig show between Alden and Yaya Dub.

But, the suspense went on, and Alden, who was busy with other commitments, was absent from the show on that day.

The episode last Oct. 7 ends with a heart- broken Lola Nidora shedding tears because perhaps the time has come for what she refers to as “tamang panahon.” Perhaps, the time for Yaya Dub to leave her may have arrived.

As anyone who has been following the Kalyeserye knows, Lola Nidora raised Yaya Dub; the identity of her real mother kept from her.

The show seems to be moving in another direction, for now — not just focusing on the love story between Alden and Yaya Dub.

The sadness that Lola Nidora felt did not go unnoticed by the Aldub nation as the tweets for the Oct. 7 episode reached 2,188,784 — a clear sign that the Aldub nation on Twitterverse was touched by the episode.

After all, a love story, no matter how many ways we choose to express it, is a love story — but tried and tested Pinoy values are unique to our culture. Love develops over time with a long courtship, men must respect women (the “no touch” policy), love for our parents and family and taking to heart the words of wisdom from our elders — these are uniquely Pinoy.

The many funny antics and jokes of Lolas Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros) make the viewers laugh out loud. At the same time, the serious discussions and words of wisdom of Lola Nidora on values of love for family and respect for elders bring them to tears.

“Eto na siguro and tamang panahon para sa ‘yo, Yaya. Matagal-tagal na panahon na nakasama ka namin — mahal ka namin ng mga lola mo,” says a tearful Lola Nidora. “Yaya, eto na ang tamang panahon para sa iyo at para kay Isadora (Yaya Dub’s mother).”

Freeze. Episode ends.

A good life

What Kalyeserye has achieved has gotten noticed beyond the Aldub nation. The stars of the show are among the recipients of the 1st Catholic Social Media Award (CSMA) given during the 4th Catholic Social Media Summit in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, last Oct. 11.

Alden Richards, Yaya Dub (Mendoza), Lola Nidora (Bayola) and the show’s producer, TAPE Productions got the award for promoting Catholic values on courtship, love for family and respect for elders, among others.

CSMA is an independent body established by Youth Pinoy and the Areopagus Communications, Inc. Its goal is to encourage producers, directors, writers and actors to produce more programs and content that are not only entertaining but are also “steeped in Christian values”.

@cbcpnews, the Twitter account of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) tweeted last Sept. 26, “Supporting the noble cause of spreading virtue, values and morality that our nation deserves. #ALDubEBforLOVE.”

I only hope that these values never die — nor remain mere sources of entertainment around the AlDub “love” story, but are applied to youngsters’ real, everyday lives — and loves.



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