This post is for my non-Filipino friends who may be wondering what the heck is that ‘AlDub’ thing that have I been posting on social media lately.
Here is a brief glossary of some terms or persons that you will encounter as you know more about this phenomenon:
Eat… Bulaga! – now on its 36th year and still counting, it is the longest running show in Philippine TV history. It is the first and only Filipino TV show to have an international franchise in Eat… Bulaga! Indonesia.
Tito, Vic and Joey (TVJ) – the main hosts of Eat… Bulaga! for the past 36 years, the comedy trio comprised of Tito Sotto (now a Senator, hence the nickname, ‘Tito Sen’; ‘Tito’ means ‘uncle’ in Filipino); Vic Sotto, brother of Tito and also goes by the monicker ‘Bossing’; and Joey De Leon. They usually act as the studio panelists (whenever they are present) while the remote segment is ongoing.
Juan For All, All For Juan – hereafter to be referred to as ‘Juan 4 All’, it is the segment of Eat… Bulaga! where they go on remote broadcast to various barangays (villages) in the country to give out prizes to deserving winners, particularly those who are financially stricken. The Kalyeserye is part of this segment.
Kalyeserye – a portmanteau of the words “kalye” (street) and “serye” (series), it refers to the improvisational drama series aired on live TV within the Juan 4 All segment. It’s being called so because half of the drama setting is literally being done on the streets.
Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros (aka. JoWaPao) – hosts of the Juan 4 All segment, these three also portray various supporting characters for the Kalyeserye. Wally Bayola, in particular, plays Senyora Nidora Zobeyala vda. de Explorer (aka Lola Nidora; ‘Lola’ = grandma, but some of you regulars here already know that ), the ‘villain’ between the star-crossed lovers in the series. (Yes, Lola Nidora is played by a man.)
AlDub – stands for ALden Richards and Yaya DUB, the romantic leads of the Kalyeserye.
Yaya Dub/Maine Mendoza – the main female character whose full name is Divina Ursula Bukbokova Smash, she is the caregiver of Lola Nidora (hence the ‘Yaya’ title; ‘Yaya’ means nanny or caregiver) who fell in love with a guy whom she only sees through split screen on the TV monitors. As of today, Yaya Dub only speaks via Dubsmash as Maine Mendoza, the actress who plays her, was known as the Dubsmash Queen of the Philippines prior to joining Eat… Bulaga! (She still is, actually). We might be hearing her actual voice soon. Hopefully.
Alden Richards – one of Eat… Bulaga’s regular hosts, the be-dimpled Pambansang (National) Bae is the other half of the AlDub couple. He is the man on the other side of the split screen. Recently, aside from Dubsmashing, he also communicates with Yaya Dub/Maine through written notes passed via split screen.
Allan K – one of the Eat… Bulaga! hosts who also mans the studio panel whenever one of TVJ is absent. He is credited for being the first person to notice and comment on live TV that Yaya Dub is smitten by Alden Richards, hence, the birth of the AlDub couple and Kalyeserye.
Pabebe – to put it simply, ‘pabebe’ means aegyo. (How fortunate it is that most of the international readers of this blog come from the K-drama/K-pop community, hence, I don’t need to explain further.) Therefore, ‘pabebe wave’, the small wave that is the AlDub couple’s trademark, simply means ‘aegyo-style waving’.
To explain it briefly, Kalyeserye began as a simple prank made by the Eat… Bulaga! staff on Maine Mendoza because they heard that she has a crush on Alden Richards. They made Alden sit on the audience area and focused the camera on him as Maine was doing her Yaya Dub thing on the other side of the split screen. (Note: Alden is stationed at the studio, while Maine is stationed at the barangay where Juan 4 All is on remote broadcast.)
I have been racking my brains trying to figure out how to explain how it all began. Fortunately, some really blessed souls have come up with English-subbed clips of the July 16, 2015 episode of Juan 4 All where Yaya Dub (sort of) met Alden, which eventually led to the birth of the AlDub and Kalyeserye phenomena. That certainly saved me a lot of time and brain cells. *whew!* Watch the clip below:
The subbing group has uploaded the first 4 days with English subs on their YT channel, so do check them out if you want to indulge in more AlDub goodness.
And do it soon, because AlDub may soon become MaiDen (Maine and Alden).
After a few episodes of the two of them flirting via split screen, it somewhat evolved into a story that mainly revolves around the two (literal) on-screen lovers who are being prevented from meeting each other in person by Lola Nidora. Various characters and drama series stereotypes have been introduced and incorporated throughout the series. It was Joey De Leon who eventually labeled it as ‘Kalyeserye’.
Aside from its popularity on social media (so far, they hold the record for the most number of Tweets posted within 24 hours in the Philippines at 5.6 million) and insanely high TV ratings for a noontime show, the Kalyeserye has been gaining much praise from various sectors of Philippine society for its ability to fuse entertainment with values education. Despite its comedy roots, the characters – Lola Nidora, in particular – also impart moral lessons for today’s youth, such as the value of patience and hard work, especially in forging romantic relationships.
Any questions, clarifications and violent reactions? Feel free to post them at the Comments section below.