The #AlDub mind map
(The Philippine Star) - October 2, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - What is now deemed a phenomenon started out as an accident. According to director Mike Tuviera of APT Entertainment Inc., the producers of Eat Bulaga! never imagined that pairing actor Alden Richards with Internet personality Maine Mendoza in KalyeSerye — a 30- to 45-minute soap opera parody aired live during the noontime show’s “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment — would result in such success. “It was born from the moment the staff found out that in real life, Yaya Dub had a crush on Alden. No one knew that,” he told GMA News Online in August. 

Along with overwhelming support on social media, the confluence of timing, luck, reality, and fantasy has fostered perhaps one of the local entertainment industry’s most amazing flukes. Together as make-believe tandem AlDub, Richards and Mendoza have attained a level of fame that has previously proven elusive or unfathomable to them as individuals. Here are 7 elements that have contributed, directly or otherwise, to AlDub’s rise as a fictional romantic couple and as two of today’s most newsworthy entertainers.

Dubsmash

Launched in November 2014, Dubsmash is a video messaging application for iOS and Android created by Germans Jonas Drüppel, Roland Grenke and Daniel Taschik. After selecting an audio clip of excerpts from TV shows, movies, or songs, users record their own video to play with their chosen sound and can then share the dubbed clip via Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram or in a text message.

The public first began to notice Maine Mendoza after the 20-year-old from Bulacan posted her Dubsmash compilations on Facebook. Her entertainment career began in earnest when she was cast in July as Yaya Dub, the maid of Lola Nidora, a character portrayed by Wally Bayola on Eat Bulaga!’s “Juan For All, All For Juan” portion. Mendoza’s character lipsyncs her lines and exaggerates her facial expressions, which have since become her trademark. Richards’s onscreen persona also communicates via Dubsmash.

Pabebe

In July 2015, a video of two sassy teenagers from Bulacan named Janet and Michelle went viral, turning them into overnight sensations. Now better known as the “Pabebe Girls,” they warned people to leave them alone for being “pabebe,” a term used to describe people who try to act cute — usually by talking or behaving like a baby — which is generally perceived to be annoying.

Eat Bulaga! declared September 26 National Pabebe Wave Day, in which fans were encouraged to mention the hashtag #AldubEBforLove in their tweets and to post photos of themselves doing the “pabebe wave.” Rappler says the hand movement “became popular after Maine Mendoza, a.k.a. Yaya Dub, made the gesture last July, as a kind of shy greeting as she met Alden Richards.” 

Twerk It Like Miley

Originally released in May 2014 on Universal Music Denmark, the song by American recording artist Brandon Beal features Danish vocalist Christopher Nissen. It reached the top of Tracklisten, the official Danish singles chart, on its first week of release and stayed at the prime spot for one week. The track only became a hit in the Philippines more than a year after. It continues to be an earworm in the country due to the fact that a group of young men — contestants from a segment on Eat Bulaga! called “That’s My Bae” — have been dancing to various remixes of it on the GMA noontime show at least five times a week since July.  

Wally Bayola

Bae Alden and Yaya Dub may be the central characters in Eat Bulaga!’s KalyeSerye, but it would not have taken off the way it had without Lola Nidora, a figure brought to life by comedian Wally Bayola. The 43-year-old Naga City native told Pep.ph that sometimes he only finds out about a new role — or roles — he is supposed to play when he arrives on location. Bayola has a background in theater, which started when he was in high school and continued with workshops at Bulwagang Gantimpala at the Metropolitan Theater.

Bae

The latest monosyllabic pet name starting with B has a pretty straightforward etymology: It started as a shortened form of baby or babe. While the website Rap Genius points out that “bae” has been turning up in rap songs since 2005, it was only in late 2012 and early 2013 that the word spread into wider awareness, thanks to Internet memes such as “Bae caught me slippin’.”

Time says the term of endearment, “often referring to your boyfriend, girlfriend, or perhaps a prospect who might one day hold such a lofty position,” has now taken on a wider meaning, “being used to label something as generally good or cool.” Bae is also a common Korean surname.

In Eat Bulaga! Alden Richards is often introduced as the “Pambansang Bae”  (“National Bae”), and his character in the fictional pairing AlDub is named Bae Alden.  

'God Gave Me you'

The song by American country musician Bryan White is part of the 1999 album "How Lucky I Am" and became a big hit in the Philippines in 2012. It reentered our conciousness when Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, as the duo AlDub, started using the track in their KalyeSerye sergment.

Comedy improv

Eat Bulaga!’s KalyeSerye incorporates several elements of shortform improv, with scenes constructed from a predetermined structure or idea. The split-screen soap opera parody also appears to evoke the British and American improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, in which performers created characters, scenes and songs on the spot based on suggestions or prompts.

ACIRC ALDEN ALDEN RICHARDS BAE DUBSMASH EAT BULAGA LOLA NIDORA MAINE MENDOZA STRONG WALLY BAYOLA YAYA DUB
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