AlDub Nation and the Spirit of Bayanihan

AlDub Nation and the Spirit of Bayanihan

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.

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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.


  • Ron R. Lacson

    October 28, 2015 at 12:20 am Reply

    Hi Michael,

    Great Article again. I am now developing this penchant to read your write-ups; especially when it is about AlDub. I think we mutually (as well as many folks now) understand that the AlDub buzz creates more than just ‘kilig’ and ‘laughter’, but also delivers and produces many positive impacts ranging from embracing Filipino values to putting forth into actions the desire to help others like Bayanihan. Oh,,, and speaking of AlDub and Bayanihan (in one sentence), I coined something…., an acronym, which I thought could be useful to remember or say again when it’s needed (at least I feel that way 🙂 ) Here you go:

    ALDUB = Ardent Love Delivers Utmost Bayanihan. 🙂 🙂 🙂


    • Veronica

      October 28, 2015 at 2:37 am Reply

      Like! 🙂

  • Sugatang Itlog

    October 27, 2015 at 9:05 pm Reply

    Mr Sellers, EAT Bulaga in general is promoting and doing the bayanihan even before ALDUB was born. They collect plastics bottles or plastic things to make or produce schools chairs. And in my opinion, they do these particular cause they are more concerned on childrens wellfare, most especially the education. Though hoping and praying that one from the EAT Bulaga will read this and somehow do something about it.

    Again more power to you! and God Bless Us!

    • Ann

      October 28, 2015 at 10:47 am Reply

      They also have EB scholars. And the Juan for All, All for Juan segment also shows Bayanihan 🙂

  • veronica

    October 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm Reply

    Yes, indeed, AlDub and bayanihan are going hand in hand. The AlDub kilig of October 24 was channeled towards a productive endeavor. I believe that bayanihan was a crucial reason why tickets to the Philippine Arena episode got sold out swiftly. People didn’t have second thoughts about shelling out money because 100% of the proceeds were to be used for AlDub libraries in selected public schools in the country. That’s one fantastic expression of Eat Bulaga’s theme song “Magbayanihan tayo.” The Eat Bulaga Bayanihan has long begun with plastic water bottles collected daily from participating barangays. These are re-processed into monoblock desk-chairs, which are then given to public schools. So yes, Mr. Sellers, thank you so much for your push! I fervently hope the bayanihan will continue, spread and intensify. For bayanihan it is always tamang panahon.

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