True confession number two about AlDub. When I wrote What The World Should Learn from the Aldub Phenomenon, I was aware, but not fully, of the charges of “kababawan” (shallowness) that were being leveled at the AlDub devotees by certain (not all) people within the Philippine intellectual 1%. I knew that Filipina Broadway icon Lea Salonga had tweeted about “Kababawan” on the same day as a big AlDub moment — but she hadn’t mentioned AlDub and when a twitter war erupted with Joey De Leon, one of the hosts of Eat Bulaga, she insisted her tweet wasn’t about AlDub. They have since made up, but the “kababawan” debate continues.
What I didn’t fully realize was just how widespread among the intelligentsia the charge of “kababawan” had become. It’s not just Lea Salonga — her tweet really gave voice to a consistent body of opinion among the 1% that the #AlDub was the kind of shallow ‘pang masa’ or ‘bakya’ fantasy that exposed an overall shallowness in the culture, and for that reason the people who were caught up in it were wasting their time and doing a disservice to the country.
Once I became aware of how widespred the charge of “kababawan” had become — I felt like I wanted to join the discussion on the side of the people being accused of being mababaw. But I hesitated because . . . well . . .I’ve been accused by the same intelligentsia of being mababaw and who knows, maybe I am?
I’m talking about what happened when Goodbye America, a movie I co-wrote and produced, was released in the Philippines. (You can view the trailer here.) When we released in in the US and other countries — the critical reaction was good. When we released it in the Philippines, the Philippine critical response was mixed to negative, and the “kababawan” nature of it was the central theme of the criticism. Really? And I thought we’d done something better than that. Oh well.
So my views are a little suspect and won’t convince the 1% of anything. . . .
Okay, I get that.
But then I started reading the comments that were coming in and I realized — I don’t have to say anything. Everybody else is saying itfor me, better than I could, because it’s from the heart of the invidiual people who are experiencing the ‘AlDub fever’ and they can explain it far better than I can.
Here are some of the comments. There are many, many more after the original article here. ….but here are some selected ones.
I am a big fan of Aldub! It helps relieve my daily stress by the laughter and kilig factor. I am 70 years old and happily married for 47 years because I have a mother just like Lola Nidora who insisted on waiting for the right time. God bless you always!
Kalyeserye story reflects our culture and way of life. Respect to the elders, values of courtship, chivalry, patience, moral values, importance of family relationship, extended family helping together (Lola, Lolo, Tito and Titas), unity, (bayanihan), resiliency and sacrifice for the sake of their family’s future.
Had I been back home, I probably would have been one of the critics of the Aldub craze and would have called it shallow and dumb and *gasp* “jologs.” But being away from home, the show has made such an impact on me and has made me feel like the world is a smaller place. I experience a little bit of home each night I play the segment’s video on Facebook.
I have been so removed from the Filipino cultural trends and I was too cheap to pay for a TFC subscription. I grew up watching Eat Bulaga and when one of my friend posted a Kalyeserye episode on Facebook and I got hooked. I realized I was missing out on a lot of things about being a Pinay; the values and traditions; how Lola Nidora reminds of me of my lola; and how I really enjoyed watching Eat Bulaga. Last Saturday’s show was the best that Eat Bulaga has produced from what I could remember and it has always been funny as ever. I’m originally from Pasig and now lives in Utah with my husband who has retired from the USAF.
I have felt the deeper sense of “happy” as you were lamenting on your article infact I cried a river. It is that vibe of #Aldub that beyond words no better adjective can describe. All in it was hope love & happiness.
I never had second thoughts posting my teary face on twitter
Kilig is not only for the youth. People like me who will be senior next year and my wife feel it as we witness and feel the AlDub romance. It re-kindled our love moments many years ago till the present. Its “kababawan” sits well with us intellectuals and i am not ashame of it. I am a Professor and a PhD in the University of the Philippines and my wife is the Dean of a top ranking private school of nursing in the Philippines. We appreciate ALDub and are proud Filipinos for being part of this historic AlDub phenomenon. Mabuhay ang AlDub nation. Mahal ko ang Pilipinas. May kilig din dun.
I have never been enamored by happenings in the Philippine showbiz scene since I find it shallow & artificial. Then I read about updates from twitter about AlDub & Kalyeserye, and curiosity got the best in me, so I decided to watch an episode (Sept. 24, 2015). The rest is history.
Just one episode had me hooked. Her fresh, natural & simple presence nailed it, together with 3 comedians who manage to rip my sides every night I watch replay episodes & the handsome, God-fearing matinee idol were the perfect formula. I had to analyze myself since this was a first for me. Then I realized that seeing them everyday, whether it be through photos on twitter or watching the replays at night, they made me happy. All my problems & stress-filled day at work would just melt. It re-energized me and made me look forward to the next day. So, yeah, their blossoming beautiful story can serve as an inspiration to this hate-chaos-filled world.
As a Filipina, I am very glad and proud to say that the “Kalye serye” in Eat Bulaga noon time show reminded us all the good Filipino values in love, family and relationship with community. Aldub nation make our people unite here and abroad. … Mabuhay to all especially all OFW …Lord God take good care of THEM ..By the way, I am 52 yrs. old ..retired early from the BIR (IRS) ..and I’m busy doing business in Palawan…truly, with this noon time show I cope up with stress and anxiety..with the “kilig” and light moments things is handled and well taken care of..
I too was bitten by the bug that has captured the entire nation and even the world. I’m an academic librarian working in a community college here in MI and being an information professional, I think I know a thing or two about literacy. So I was so happy to learn that more than the kilig, the AlDubNation truly embodied the spirit of bayanihan by buying tickets to the TamangPanahon concert just so our children can have libraries built for them. My heart is so full knowing that Eat Bulaga thought of using their power in the service of the Filipino youth. It is what my classmates and I here in the U.S. plan on doing when we get home.– ship out boxes of books so we can donate to libraries around the country especially in the remote areas. Incidentally, I had my Chinese-Canadian hubby read your essay and finally he got what I was obsessing about for the past two months. I don’t even watch the news here anymore since it’s so depressing. At the end of a long and busy day at work, all I want to do is be inspired by the good vibes, love, and wackiness of the Kalyeserye characters.
I’m from Southern Leyte and now in Beijing for work. I flew to Manila last Friday just to witness the Tamang Panahon. No regrets. It was all worth it.
I am an addict fan of this show, where I can giggle, shout w/ limitation even cry and shift to laughter when the situation calls for.This KalyeSerye moved my heart, I can say reinvented me to be a joyful and youtful 24/7 because the ‘Kilig Factor” never ceases in me. I have been into work for more than 3 decades and it is my first time to act like I am seeing my Crush way back in High School. Maybe because I have been a single Mom for more than a decade since the death of my husband, working all days , no day off ( Sat/Sun Studying) and I never experienced this kind of joy/happiness in my life. My focus then is to give my children proper education so I forgot myself, being a stiff individual worrying too much for the future that I want my children to have, what a boring life. I am here in the Phil. exited from my previous worked( 1 yr ago) overseas hoping to have another enjoyable job, lucky to have interviewed last June, but until now , no update yet from my employer so I am too bored at home, watching TV should say switching to channel that will fit my viewing needs, waiting for the call from my agency , opening emails, doing the household chores etc.Until I was able to watch the whole show of Eat Bulaga until addiction comes along because of Kalyeserye. That was the time that I was able to be on my bubbly self, gigling, even screaming because of the joy watching Eat Bulaga and the Kilig factor brought by Kalye Serye. This show made me more hopeful and patienct Yes, you are right for Tamang Panahon. Maybe GOD has the reason why I am still here for me to reinvent my self to a new me , to take life stresses very lightly and calmly and to believe that anything happening in me is GOD’s plan. I just need to wait and enjoy what the situation is with me right now. My plan is not GOD’s plan if this is not happening as I planned.
PS In If there is Unity nothing is impossible.
I was never a fan of any love team in the Philippines but these two–Alden and Maine are just a breath of fresh air. There’s just something unexplainable in them that makes you want to watch them over and over again. And to be honest, they are first and only tandem I followed whole heartedly from day 1. As a Filipino living here in the US, watching ALDUB/Eat Bulaga takes me back to my childhood, reminding me of the simplicity of of life back home.
In a nation traumatized by at least 15 typhoons every year and raped by corrupt political agendas, we find comfort in watching show like EB that boost morale and resiliency despite destruction and poverty; not to mention the hope it brings just like AlDub, that in a blink of an eye, it changed lives and motivates others to do good and wait for the right time.
As a Filipina that migrated to America, I’ve been witnessing both ends of the showbusiness-hollywood spectrum, and I whole-heartedly agree with you when you mentioned that AlDub is something that America might never be able to get, experience, or understand; and that is incredibly unfortunate for them. There is just something about the Philippine culture that I cannot exactly pinpoint, something magical….. something beautiful, humble, and strong, that sees and experiences a kind of happiness that not all people from different cultures can appreciate or feel. AlDub has become my everyday source of simple happiness amidst a busy, professional 9-5 life in Chicago. It just breaks all social classes, and it’s easy to see why. It shows who we are as Filipinos, and makes life a little bit simpler. It really brought me closer to my roots and to the beautiful Philippine tradition. I hope the two get to know each other better and more personally now, and realize for themselves what we have been witnessing for a long time now.
In my case,each time I watch ALDUB, I feel like have come back home. My husband is an ALDUB convert too. So last Saturday we kind of renewed our Vows,he even told me the line-“God gave me you…” Thank God for ALDUB!
Not only are we also being reminded of our old traditions, but at the same time the show is also able to help the needy. I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness the epic show on Saturday in person (I’m team abroad) but like all the people who attended, I felt proud, got goosebumps, cried, laugh and kinilig when Alden and Yaya Dub finally fell into each other’s arms. It’s something that I will never forget the rest of my life. I’m proud to say I’m an AlDub fan and I don’t care if I’m “mababaw”. Like they say in the Philippines, “walang basagan ng trip” (to each his own).
I am sixtyyish and very stoic about being swayed by “silliness” in noontime shows but ergo, they had me (and my husband too!) Life is short, its simple things that can put smile on our face, so live it!
Watching this “Kalyeserye” every segment reminds me of the following; My family, my Lola, respecting elders and my younger days when I was courting my wife. It also brought my soul to the streets of Philippine Island each day I watch tv since I live here in Canada away from my origin (Cavite). Watching the casts of Kalyeserye in the street is overwhelming for me. It brings back the memories. Some people do not understand these things which is sad.
This kind of show Eat Bulaga was so deligthfull,giving & reminding us how the Filipino culture must not to forget.RESPECT and MORAL VALUES should be still ,I remember when i was young,our parents teaching us to respect older than us. Untill now at my age i do ,remain those most important values that my parent guide us along my siblings. Like what in Kalyeseryer where the main cast reminding youth should not to forget.There so many thing change from technologies those kids forget the MORAL VALUES.
I’m not fluent in English so I can’t say what I really want say. In my simple words THANK YOU.. I’m so proud you’ve seen the deepest thought of a truly Filipino.. It’s so sad there still bashers, saying non sense, under estimates ALDUB & ALDUBNATION ( that’s what we call ourselves, fans of ALDUB) , & so much more negative comments.. Because of network rivalry & celebrities competition.. Of course we can defend our sides & we ignore such negative vibes, but still affected that they don’t see us how really happy we are.. They don’t know what positive effect & happiness we feel about ALDUB.. Everyday we see to it we don’t miss every episode coz it takes 45 min to 1 hour depends on the situation.. If we miss it, we wait for someone to post it on YouTube and even we’ve watch noontime we watch it over & over .. We’re so proud to ourselves were part of their journey even well not gain / earn money from it.. We’re here to support them all the way even they don’t know us & even will not meet..
Aldub without them knowing it,saves lives. Downest moment of my life due to separation happened during the time of aldub. Many times because of loneliness I feel like hanginging myself to death. And many of those times I am just lying there in our living room with our television opened. There are times I was weeping in tears and while watching eat bulaga, particularly aldub and hearing Lola in Dora’s advice it is somehow uplifting and hopefull. The promise of Tamang Panahon is striking. And truly, the right time came on me when I realized that my life is valuable. And that my family,friends and work is valuable.
Now, I am back on my feet, reconciled with my other half and everything happened in his perfect timing..God send us tools/people to show us his grace. And as for me I would like to humbly thank Aldub because they have saved my life. Welcome to my second life..God bless us all!
Aldub could be just another slapstick in the eyes of its few detractors but if you’re abroad for decades, it does hit a sensitivity that awakens “something” from within. To me, it’s beyond words. Aldub came at a time when I needed it most.
As a Filipino in these times I find it so difficult to feel anything but disgust and shame towards our government what with the blatant display of greed and abuse of power. It’s really a breath of fresh air for most of us to see on tv other than the calamity-plagued, corruption-riddled, crime-infested country we have. I didn’t know I have a hopeless romantic in me and by that, I’d like to believe there is still hope for my nation.
For our so-called intellectual society, this “kababawan” of the Aldub phenomenon does not sit well with them. Unfortunately, for a jaded person as myself riddled with natural calamities, and saddled with an inept and corrupt government; this show offers a respite from the hard realities of life and teaches us to hope and pine for the traits that are truly Filipino..To hope that maybe in the right time everything will come out just fine.
We are a nation of hardworking, simple folks who loves to have fun. Some cultures criticize us because they see Filipinos smiling to the camera in the middle of a flood or after the devastation of an earthquake or in the midst of poverty and squallor. They think we are fools for finding something to be happy about in the middle of a tragedy. You called it resiliency, and I agree. The spirit, faith and hope in every Filipino is something that is almost impossible to extinguish. Kalye serye talks of patience (good things come to those who wait), respect (of elders and traditions) and love (not just the romantic kind but love of family as well). Three things that are prevalent in our culture. So when people ask me, “you’re a smart, successful person, why do you watch AlDub?”, I humbly reply, “It’s the story about the Filipinos and it makes me happy. Isn’t that reason enough?”
I was not too involved in such love teams and shows before but when I watched this more than the giddiness it portray, I like the values that they partake. On their show in the Philippine Arena, I bought and gave away 44 tickets to fans who liked to go but couldn’t afford to buy. An example: There was a son whom he’d like to surprise her mother for her bday. They’ve been wanting to go but had no extra money. I contacted him through facebook and there I was able to give them free ti kets. The joy of giving this son and mother the chance to bond and watch a history show is priceless. The thank you I received from them is more than the worth of the ticket. Furthermore, I didn’t just gave joy to these people whom I gave free tickets, I also was able to help eat bulaga in putting up aldub libraries. By the way, I am based here in the US that’s why I cant attend that event.
I also got the kilig factor just anybody else who got addicted to this fairy tale. I’m a Pinoy based in Canada. I went home first week of October for a couple of weeks. Out of curiousity about the show that I see on Facebook, I watched Eat Bulaga on my first day after a long time and got hooked to it ever since. I started to watch all the previous shows since Yaya Dub started, it’s good that they compile the Kalyeserye series in Youtube. Now I have a Twitter and IG account to be more updated on what’s going on. Now, I’m back in the cold. Subscribed to GMA and thanks to PVR that I can watch Eat Bulaga after work. This just proved that there is no age limit to have “Kilig”. Mabuhay!
I believe that the “kalyeserye” came at the time when the Filipino people needs something to make them “happy” after all the tragedies that they experienced due to natural calamities and the social problems attributed to government inaction or incompetence. Traffic, port congestion MRT/LRT breakdowns, smuggling, price increase of basic commodities, etc. were daily burdens that made life miserable for ordinary citizens. The ALDUB segment somehow offered a respite from this daily burdens. the segment made people relate to the basic emotions of love an happiness and the positive values that it imparts to the viewers.
Me and my husband lived in US for over 46 years and last Jun we came back for vacation and this is the longest number of months we stayed. After buying our condo here in Pque in 2011 we thought well try it here and we’re glad we did. Anyway, we’ve been watching TFC since 1998 and I know nothing about GMA until I saw Kalyeserye in Eat Bulaga. At first with just YAya it wasn’t very eventful until Alden and her smiled at each other. Since then, I never missed the show and if I do, I watch the replay online. I wished though I watched the show at the arena, but I was in HongKong for a week with my cousin. I’m 66 and never really like Tweeting even if I have account since 2009, but since this addiction to the show, tweeting is the very first thing I do when I wake up in the morning and joined the sleepless night of tweeting when needed. My husband let me do what I want and he himself is also very much kilig and we just have a good laugh when the Lola’s do their funny antics. All three are super funny, but Jose/Lola Tinedora just cracked me up. He’s flirty, wild and every word he says comes out funny and Im sure putting a show without script must be hard. They said it’s hard to make people laugh but they just know what to say to make us laugh. Unfortunately, I’m leaving for the holiday to joined my 2 sons and their family next month, and probably come back in 3 months again, but I’m sure this time that I’m a convert from TFC to GMA. Thank you for your article and more power to you and your wife.
To be honest, i was nonchalant about it during the first few weeks that Eat Bulaga was airing this Kalyeserye. I thought to myself it will die down, sooner than later. Being the ABS-CBN fanatic that I am (for reason I really don’t know, perhaps it is something you can also write about – GMA and ABS being so polarizing that people -even within families – fight against each other defending their channel preference), i truly really really wished it would end soon hahaha… however, as the show’s popularity got stronger, i gave myself the chance and watched it together my GMA-fanatic cousins, and I was hooked.. i remained casual outwardly but i cannot deny the fact that i cannot control what i feel whenever i watch an episode. I find myself chuckling and giggling uncontrollably and would pretend to ease down when i realize i am getting too carried away.
I just stayed home watching the Kalyeserye everyday. Have to arrange my plans or errands for the day so not to miss a single Kalyeserye segment. Watching each episode, I couldn’t help but to feel how each of the lolas, Alden and Yayadub FEEL ___ as if I am on their shoes___ getting enthralled and mesmerized, feeling deep inside my being the character herself/himself. I would just realized, tears were already rolling down my cheeks, or I would be giggling with the lolas’ gags and antics, or the “Kilig” as if I went back to my high school days___having a crush for the first time.
The ALDUB PHENOMENON is God inspired. There is a Divine Manifestation! Alden and Maine must have done something good___ they are really good and kindhearted. What they are experiencing now are storm of blessings from heaven! They are MAI DEN HEAVEN (MAI for Maine “Yayadub” and DEN for Alden) !! The outpour of blessings to them are unbelievable!
The ALDUB TANDEM is a sweet inspiration for the young and the young-at-hearts alike. I believe they are starting to dream like the ALDUB , to emulate or somehow follow their footsteps.
I’m Filipino but grew up in Canada, and first came across AlDub from my parents watching Eat Bulaga (and rarely ever miss an episode). Now I’m the one who can’t miss an episode. The show makes me realize everything my parents have taught me about the importance of family, how that never goes away even if they’ve spent decades in another country. It makes me super proud. And most especially it makes me understand and appreciate my grandma even more.
Anyway, AlDub is just too beautiful not to be awed. It’s amazing how it unites so many people. I wish the western world also had something this amazing and almost transcending we’d forget our problems even for just a few hours a day. But I doubt it, and until then I’ll be up in the middle of the night livestreaming Eat Bulaga and improving my tagalog.
I rest my case!