#AlDub fever

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya - The Freeman

What makes a social activity phenomenal? With numerous man's undertakings competing for attention, we tend to forget the passing of others. But not in the case of a certain marvel being followed by many and its staying power remains indeterminate.  

The case of a recent Filipino pastime proves right. Staying home with the rest of loved ones creates a vacuum to spice up the gathering. AlDub or Alden Richards and Yaya Dub (Maine Mendoza) follows a fresh format focused on the two central characters. One is a popular male persona who has the necessary boy-next-door attributes.       The other protagonist, a simple lass who likewise made popular in the dubbing craze. The unique format where two young lovers are separated by physical distance and would only communicate through a big split screen and through love songs, with no voices and only through written notes conveying their sweet nothings. 

The craze has dominated both platforms-social media and television. It has reached to an all-time high of more than 10 million tweets, and breaking its own record thereafter. Even international celebrities have wondered that such following has endured to be the most talked about in the social media, indeed, a pioneering and trending innovation.

Like any other love stories, not only distance has separated them but the main antagonist, Lola Nidora is making the relationship difficult for the main casts. For the faint-hearted, an easy way out is deserting from the romantic race.

The anticipation that the two main characters can eventually meet in person is hyped by a series of interventions or circumstances. Like the usual plot, their meeting would be hindered by so many inexplicable circumstances that for the audience this would be the chance for the two characters to relish the moment of intimacy and love they have been waiting for. Despite several trials from Lola Nidora, the determined Alden would do everything without reluctances and end up a victor just for the realization of the long awaited date.

Though projecting a protagonist character, but the segment would not end without the morals from Lola Nidora. Interspersed with lessons from the wisdom of Lola Nidora like that of respect for elders. The word of wisdom seems to create a block to their young love affair. But the wisdom of the old has to be respected as this serves as a guide for them not be trapped into the pit of failure.

To wait for the right time is another lesson one can get from the story. As young individuals, they tend to be deceived by emotions without necessarily looking at possible repercussions of their actions. Waiting for the right time means waiting for one to reach a certain maturity so one can prudently handle life's challenges. But perhaps the big question for today's youth is whether delayed gratification is still in their vocabulary. For the right time is for those who believe that true love can wait. 

On a lighter note, the other characters provide comic relief to complement the heavy lessons of life. The two other lolas Tinidora and Tidora, are family extensions, not only provide the sidesplitting side but also support to the main character. The body guards, though with no speaking lines, have projected blind following to the old Nidora.

Nothing significantly novel about the story but its format of separating the two main characters has created a great anticipation from the viewers. Relatable, creating nostalgia among our Overseas Filipino Workers and those in long distance relationships. Our young ones love the main characters and their story. Part of the anticipation is putting themselves in the shoes of the main characters that someday they can meet their princes and princesses – at the right time.

Beyond the story of possible meet up, they also expect that the real persons behind the characters would come to reality. The persistent puzzle remains that are the onscreen characters in the real realm or magical world, following the dictates of the network's staff to weave a grand design of a romantic illusion for the viewers.

The characters in the Aldub phenomenon are people we used to live with and love. They mirror changing values. It is not about a noontime craze but a search of who we were, and keeping the sound values for today.

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