It’s no secret that we here at FHM are card-carrying members of Aldub Nation. We’ve spent countless hours glued to our TVs watching Eat Bulaga just to get our daily fix of Yaya Dub, Alden Richards, and the three coolest lolas this side of Zirkoh. But in the midst of all the laughs and tears, we sometimes catch ourselves wondering about the things that get lost in the shuffle as the popularity of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards continue to skyrocket to the stratosphere.
Let’s face it, Aldub may be the focus of Aldub Nation, but it’s not the only reason why the love team has been such a hit among Filipinos. There’s no shortage of people who deserve credit for the success of Aldub and we’re dedicating this space to acknowledge the things we love most about the entire Aldub experience.
It’s not all about Maine and Alden, people.
1) WALLY BAYOLA'S REDEMPTION
We love redemption stories, and there’s probably nobody in local showbiz who has been through so much personal turmoil than Wally Bayola. We’re not going to rehash all the things that’s happened to him. Some of it was his own doing and some of it was out of his control. But as much as we give Alden and Maine credit for being the stars of the show, we should also give equal praise to its heartbeat.
Bayola, with his quick wit and surprisingly versatile acting, has been absolutely incredible in in his role as Lola Nidora. Not only has he resurrected his career, but more importantly, he’s endeared himself to a loyal and passionate fanbase that has embraced him for his talents as one of the country’s most underrated actors. Well done, Wally!
(Side note: We know what Wally’s daughter is going through, and like a lot of people, we wish her nothing but good health and happiness. Live strong, Rian!)
2) THE GIVE-AND-GO DYNAMIC OF JoWaPao
We’re not going to get too ahead of ourselves and anoint the comedy trio of Bayola, Jose Manalo, and Paolo Ballesteros as the next Tito, Vic, and Joey. The latter trio is an instituion in the industry so let’s get that out of the way.
Having said that, JoWaPao has become the perfect comedic balance to the onslaught of kilig moments provided by Alden and Maine. Without these three, we’re not sure Aldub would be the phenomenon that it is now. That might ruffle the feathers of some Aldub loyalists, but let’s be real about this. It’s would be really hard, especially with the unique way the show is constructed, for Alden and Maine to drive the show without JoWaPao steering them in the right direction.
3) LOLA NIDORA'S WORDS OF WISDOM
As funny as Bayola is in playing Lola Nidora, his—or is it her?—words of wisdom are the real lessons that viewers really take away from the show. Forget about the killg for one second and focus on the things Lola Nidora has said about instilling the right values in Alden and Maine.
Statements about fighting for what you love, waiting for the right time, and respecting your elders may have been delivered for dramatic purposes, but they weren’t messages for just Alden and Maine, but for all of the show’s viewers. It’s especially more important for the younger audience of the show, a lot of whom are growing up in a society that has a blurred concept of right and wrong.
4) GRACIOUS DABARKADS
For a cast of celebrities so used to being in the spotlight, it’s refreshing to see Eat Bulaga’s more established hosts essentially take a backseat to two relative neophytes (Maine especially) and give them the stage all to themselves.
Watch an Eat Bulaga episode these days and you can see how the likes of Allan K, Jimmy Santos, Ruby Rodriguez, Julia Clarete, and the rest of the Eat Bulaga cast rally around Aldub and cheer them on like soccer moms. Even Tito, Vic, and Joey, the backbone of Eat Bulaga, have pushed themselves to the sidelines at the expense of losing precious airtime on TV. It’s the kind of unselfishness that’s made us wonder whether the concept of dabarkads is, well, more than a concept to these guys.
5) IT'S A STORY THAT'S REALLY BUILT ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF LOVE AND BAYANIHAN
Anybody who has watched Aldub knows that the series is contained inside the Juan For All, All For One segment. It’s the part of the show that has the JoWaPao trio routinely going from barangay to barangay to give out gifts to the less fortunate. The segment itself may have been overshadowed by kalyeserye, but it’s still a critical portion of the entire Aldub experience since it exposes viewers to the real reason behind the creation—accidental or not—of Aldub. Our love for Alden, Maine, and kalyeserye would never have been possible if it had not been for Eat Bulaga’s passionate calls for bayanihan.
In a lot of ways, the real message of Aldub isn’t in the split-screen moments of the two lovebirds, nor is it in the crackling banter of Lolas Nidora, Tidora, and Tinidora. It’s merely a tool to a bigger purpose, a call-to-action to love and be kind to one another, especially to those who need it the most.
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