PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - October 26, 2015 - 10:00am

In his homily yesterday at a Mass at the JAKA building along Ayala Ave., Father Emil talked about the AlDub phenomenon as he preached the meaning of “in God’s own time.” In other words, #satamangpanahon.

Father Emil said there are different kinds of time: “chronos,” meaning the calendar time and “kairos” meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). While the former refers to chronological time, in the New Testament kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God.” And there is eternity, wherein we will be united with our Creator in “God’s time.”

AlDub, a segment in the long-running noontime show Eat Bulaga has found its time in the purpose of God. It became a hit when it married entertainment with good old-fashioned values that you would not expect in a noontime show. Let’s get real.

Alden Richards and Maine ‘Yaya Dub’ Mendoza with Paolo Ballesteros as ‘Tidora’, Wally Bayola as ‘Lola Nidora’ and Jose Manalo as ‘Tinidora’ during Eat Bulaga’s live show ‘Tamang Panahon’ at the Philippine Arena. Photo by Boy Santos

It is a hit because it teased people with a promise that was so pure — love that waits and is rewarded. And then the show delivered on its promise by bringing two split-screen sweethearts on the same stage under one roof — letting them hold hands as the culmination of a courtship that stood the test of time.

If the producers made the show drag and go through twists and turns that would have stretched the attention span of the public to its limits, you would not have the monster hit that you have now.

Our resident PeopleAsia finance guy Ryan Buguis, a CPA, rented with seven other friends a bunkhouse near the Philippine Arena in Bulacan so he would not have to rise at dawn to queue up for the #satamangpanahon show last Oct. 24, which broke a world record in terms of crowd attendance (55,000) and number of tweets generated (39.5 million). AlDub isn’t just a local Guy and Pip phenomenon. It’s a first in the world and in social media.

The house helpers of interior designer Tess Vargas were in their designated shuttle to Bulacan at 4 a.m. In the Philippine Arena, I was told that real-life yayas rubbed elbows with rich matrons with their own yayas in tow. Lawyers like Romulo Macalintal applauded the show side by side swooning call center agents.

AlDub is a concept whose time has come.

There is a time and a place for everything, according to the good book.


* * *

Androgyne collection collaborators Allure creative director Luis Espiritu and Seek the Uniq’s Mikka Padua.

When creative dynamo Luis Espiritu, Allure’s creative director, told me he wanted me to “model” one of his clothes under the Androgyne line, my contact lenses nearly popped out of my eyes in bewilderment.

Suffice it to say Luis shunted aside my “whys” and asked instead, “Why not?” It comforted me that there were going to be more “real people” than real models showing off his collection at the Manila Fashion Festival that took place last Friday at the Green Sun in Makati.

I was once a bespectacled overweight child and teenager (I was called “Fatso,” “Digby,” “Little Lotta,” even “Pantranco”). I was a wallflower who dreaded attending soirees and parties, my heart would be leaping out of my chest a kilometer away from the party. For Luis’ show, I felt I would finally be coming out of the walls onto the runway for my 15 seconds of fame. I was going to be the poster girl for all Little Lottas of this world who finally made Size 4.

There is a time and a season for everything, even a time to rise above the inferiority complex nursed in one’s childhood. So I said “yes” to Luis. (And also because I love him.)

On the runway with Randy Ortiz. Photo by ATTY. Ray Espinosa

Who would have thought that, thanks to contact lenses, eating right and exercising — and having a job that has brought out the best in me — I could strut the runway in mid-life?

On the night of my catwalk debut, I stride to the cordoned area near the elevator of the Green Sun to get to the fourth-floor dressing room. The burly man guarding the elevator gives me the “elevator” look (i.e. a look from head to toe) and tells me curtly, “Mamaya pa ho ang show. Dito muna sa ground floor ang guests.”

Hindi, mag-momodel siya,” insists the PR girl escorting me. Elevator guy looks like his contact lenses are going to pop. I raise myself to my fullest height and before I start a soliloquy about being a real person asked to model blah blah, elevator guy relents and off I go for my date with destiny.

The dressing room is crowded with the most beautiful people with the leanest bods that I wanted to go back to the elevator and tell the Doubting Thomas there that his instincts were right. But Luis welcomes me like I were Heidi Klum!

I get a seat next to Solenn Heussaff and we talk about her being one of PeopleAsia’s “Women of Style and Substance.” Another pretty girl asks me, “Who are you here for?” I hope she meant who I was modeling for, not who I was chaperoning.

Anyway, Luis’ models are then asked to fall in line and I think we are a pretty “real” bunch. Someone jokes that I am one of the “substantial women,” a pun on “Women of Style and Substance.” But I was beyond caring.

I step on the runway and hold my chin high. The lights are on me. I smile on behalf of all the fat little girls who were once bullied, and embrace myself and the person I have become.

It was a walk of faith, a leap of confidence. I did it! And the cheers were music to the ears that once heard only jeers.


* * *

“Androgyne is all about you and who you are, what your fashion is and what style you have,” says Luis, who collaborated with Mikka Padua of Seek the Uniq for this line. “We have a range wherein you can mix and match pieces depending on how you’d want to wear them. Androgyne is a symbol of nowness — a modern global, meaning unidentified by a singular or specific origin because it represents many. Current times have bridged the gap of the sexes in the manner of dressing.”

Luis’ pieces are casual and Bohemian. You see Japanese silhouettes, Euro-inspired prints and fabrication, and indigenous detailing. By no stretch of the imagination could they be called classic.

“The inspiration of Androgyne is to create a gender-less line of clothing and at the same time create awareness reflective of contemporary fashion. The ‘his’ and ‘her’ look is a global reflection and is a collection of multicultural influences fused by our very own.”

Luis Espiritu’s time as a designer has come.



(You may e-mail me at joanneraeramirez@yahoo.com.)

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