Thoughts on the AlDub phenomenon
Let me start by saying that I’m neither an AlDub nor an Eat Bulaga fan. I first heard of “Yaya Dub” when I was considering applying for a website management job, which entails updating a news site every day, and didn’t think much of what or who Yaya Dub was. During a work meeting, one of my coworkers said that she was a proud member of AlDub Nation. After a while, I heard that Alden Richards was a part of it, and I thought, “Cool.” I had admired Alden Richards for a couple of years and I’d been wondering when his popularity was going to explode on a much bigger scale.
Apparently, his time has come, and this year is his year, along with Maine Mendoza, who initially rose to fame via her Dubsmash videos and then as Yaya Dub on Eat Bulaga’s Juan for All, All for Juan segment. I’m not going to try to retell the story of how the AlDub phenomenon began and how it has progressed since then. Their Wikipedia page can give all details you’ll ever need.
There have been some harsh comments about people’s obsession with AlDub. In sum, some people say that this nation is careening towards disaster because people are shallow and obsessed with a fictional love story on a noontime show. Some bring up how our national heroes died for the country at a young age 1 and yet young people today are heavily into things that critics perceive as worthless and silly rather than think about serious issues. Some would call this a reflection of Filipino society and how we like to escape into fantasy and deny the bad things that are happening around us.
This kind of thinking is snooty and narrow, and it reduces AlDub fans to nothing but a squealing mass of giddiness. People are capable of liking and being interested in multiple things. AlDub fans come from all walks of life. Being AlDub fans does not mean that those people are stupid. More likely than not, they are also painfully aware of what is wrong with the Philippines and are doing their own part in helping society, but they are nevertheless still able to enjoy something fairly harmless 2. Nobody wants to be judged based only on the things they enjoy 3, and nobody should be judging people based on what they like. If you don’t approve of something that other people like, there’s no need to get in their faces, condemn them, and say that they’re causing this country’s downfall. There are bigger fish that are responsible for whatever mess this country is in, and the critics who think they’re smarter than AlDub fans should know that.