When I wrote What the World Should Learn From the AlDub Phenomenon I felt like I was talking to a community of people who have a great capacity for love, for empathy, and for goodnatured joy. And then, as I’ve read the comments coming in, that feeling has been reinforced hundreds of times. People who are moved to enjoy the #AlDub phenomenon are anything but mababaw, it seems to me — they’re warmhearted people who have the ability to feel and care for one another. Think about it: If you feel “kilig” while watching Alden and Maine — it’s not your own romance you’re feeling, it’s theirs — and that is empathy.
What is empathy? It’s the ability to share and understand the feelings of others.
And, pursuing this — what is the greatest expression of empathy that the Philippines is famous for? Bayanihan, of course. People help one another because they feel for one another.
All of this has me thinking about the incredible potential for good deeds that AlDub represents. It’s already started — the event last Saturday raised money for a good cause; there’s a Red Cross Blood Drive happening.
I think more is possible. I think the joy and sense of community that AlDub has created really ought to give birth to many different efforts to help one another. Is there anyone out there who will take the AlDub phenomenon and, while it continues to play out and spread joy and kilig throughout the country and the world – will someone also “channel AlDub” for good?
There is so much need in the Philippines. Only a small percentage of the homes destroyed by Yolanda more than two years ago have been replaced. Fishermen who lost their boats are still without boats. Plus there are so many other worthwhile causes.
A last word: please do not misinterpret this as any kind of complaint. I’m not at all saying “if all those AlDub people would just do something productive with their time instead of obsessing over a love team ….”
Not at all.
I’m saying — why not do both? Why not enjoy AlDub every day and get all the joy and kilig there is from that, but why not also come together and do good? To me it seems like a natural thing that will probably just happen, beause the people who are moved by AlDub, are people who have empathy, people who care about their fellow human….it’s that capacity that makes them get drawn into this.
In our little corner of the Philippines — the southern coast of Samar–we know there is still great need. For more than two years a handful of our friends and the “abroads” of our town have been working together to replace fishing boats (48 have been replaced so far), provide seeds, and help in other ways.
Here’s a pic from our third batch of fishing boats as they were being turned over — boats 25 through 36. That’s Rena’s father there with the towel over his shoulder. These were made possible by people working together in bayanihan fashion — and this has happened elsewhere, around the country, you all know the story better than I do.
But here’s my thought. Bayanihan is so very Filipino, and so is AlDub. I hope there’s a way to keep enjoying the kilig while finding ways to reach out and help each other.
And with that in mind — here are some bayanihan images. I honestly feel that AlDub nation and this spirit go hand in hand. I hope to see more and more evidence of this.