Oh, how time flies. It has been two years since a snobbish nanny joined us for lunch on the noontime institution, Eat Bulaga.
Then little-known Maine Mendoza, who went viral for her Dubsmash videos and Kris Aquino parodies, took on the apron of Yaya Dub, a tight-lipped sidekick to her fictional employer, the grumpy Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola).
While it could be argued that she may not be where she is now if not for that "chance encounter" with Alden Richards (and vice versa), Maine has always been an interesting character. It was the combination of her inherent comedic prowess in those now-iconic sketches and the air of mystery that surrounded her personal life that made the media darling so endearing.
Upon following Maine on social media even before her name blew up, we learned that this woman was more than just those wacky faces that she made. The connection only grew deeper when she started interacting with her fans online.
When 'Tamang Panahon' came, the Phenomenal Star was finally given a voice. This didn't sit well with casual viewers, but hardcore fans welcomed the development and saw it as a way to get to know Maine as an actual human being. The move may have initially been done to extend the Kalyeserye, but it also sharpened her hosting and improv skills.
Maine opened up to show business more by furthering her craft with legitimate acting roles, both in film (Imagine You and Me) and on TV (Destined to be Yours), albeit still alongside her leading man, Alden. Slowly but surely, fans got to know Maine the actress, who could hold her own against industry greats. She even landed a Best Supporting Actress trophy in the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival.
Magazine covers and product endorsements turned her into the "Maine attraction." She was gracious enough to share details about her experiences as a full-fledged star. For her fandom, the countless features were priceless, offering a peek into the life of the Dubsmash Queen before fame took over.
Fast forward to late last year, the sought-after personality showed a different side of her persona through a set of stunning photos during a personal beach trip. She recently indulged us with a fresh batch of bikini snaps with no less than the Maldives as her backdrop. It seems that Maine, who admitted to being shy despite being natural in front of the camera, is slowly taking ownership of her confidence.
It may be a while before the ninth sexiest woman answers our call for a massive spread (positive thinkers that we are), but we're cool with that. We're just happy to witness her transformation unravel. Happy anniversary, Meng.
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Extra rice, please!