In the middle of the previous decade, long before COVID-19 seemed to overwrite memories of happier days long ago, a love team was accidentally born. In 2015 on GMA7’s “Eat Bulaga!” co-host Alden Richards sparked a reaction with dub-smash artist Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza that led to their co-presenters pairing them as team “AlDub.” The duo were the focal point of the noontime variety show’s “Kalyeserye” parody soap opera segment before becoming product endorsers and appearing together on films. Their fandom, the AlDub Nation, is vocally protective of their love team to the point of calling for boycotts of any project where they appear separately and with other love interests.
According to The Manila Bulletin, the AlDub Nation has remained stubborn in their intent shut out any production that does not feature Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza as a tandem. As of Friday, April 16 some of the love team’s followers have been indignant on social media for 40 days, pining for them to have another joint project and decrying the personalities’ management for “abandoning” the fandom. Their worryingly-cultish fanaticism has been the talk online.
Things seem to have come to a head when Maine Mendoza’s real-life boyfriend Arjo Atayde appeared on GMA’s weekend sitcom “Daddy’s Gurl” starring Vic Sotto and Maine as father-daughter leads. Richards is also a member of the cast, but seeing Mendoza and Atayde together in that March 6 episode caused uproar for some overenthusiastic AlDub fans. They have thus called on boycotting productions of M-ZET and APT Productions, the two companies producing “Daddy’s Gurl,” “Eat Bulaga!” and several other Kapuso programs. This is regardless of Maine and Arjo having been in a relationship already for more than two years now.
For the AlDub Nation however, the pairing that was born in 2015 trumps all others, even if it was a masterful piece of impromptu theater acting. For the fanatics it was real, and recent projects such as Alden co-starring with Kapamilya young star Kathryn Bernardo in 2019’s “Hello, Love, Goodbye” were existential threats to the love team they have revered for half a decade now. Only time can tell how this will conclude, but for now the “ADN” are busy making social media noise, and it may be some time before the hubbub dies down.
Image: Eat Bulaga! Wiki